I’ve been an IT feild engineer for about 8 years, and I travel about 30% of the time but it’s not all nicely distibuted like 1 week on the road then 3 weeks home… sometimes I don’t travel at all for months, then I’ll be gone for a month or more (sometimes hitting 3 or 4 cities in that time). DH has recently started a job as an IT consultant so he travels about once a month, usually for a week.
We’re obviously happier when we are both home (especially since we both telecommute when we’re not traveling), and we love being near each other, but we realize that we’re being paid to do our jobs and sometimes those jobs will take us away from where we want to be. The trade-off of being able to work from home is worth the periods of separation, especially when I factor in my salary and my job security.
FWIW I see myself keeping this job for as long as they’ll have me, although DH is looking for a new job, which has far more to do with the specific consultancy firm where he works than it does with the travel. I enjoy the time I spend in the feild, because it keeps the job “fresh” and gives me a change of scenery, although traveling for business is usually quite boring. Even in cities I love, like Chicago and San Francicso, when I’m there for work I usually don’t see much other than the hotel and the client site, and more often, I end up somewhere not so exciting, like central Florida or the NJ suburbs. Traveling with DH is definitely a lot more fun.
We make time to talk on the phone every day at some point, usually at night but with time zones and all, sometimes it’s first thing in the morning. I do my best to not let a day go by without spending a little time with DH. It also helps that DH used to work for the same company as I currently do, so he knew what my job was like before we even started dating even though he never actually had the same job; he has a high tolerance for my last-minute unexpected travels and I have a high tolerance for his late-night remote work sessions, since I know what an IT consultant does. We also have a lot of trust, and neither of us worries about the other getting too flirty at the hotel bar when out of town; it’s just not something he or I would ever do, so it’s not a sore spot in our relationship.
Also FWIW because my employer allows me to keep my airline miles and hotel points, we take extravagant vacations twice a year, and short getaways whenever we can; there’s no way we could afford first class airfare to Australia if we had to pay from our pockets, but with our points and miles, we’ve had some fantastic travels. So when the separation gets difficult, we remind ourselves of that little perk 🙂