Reflections of a Road Warrior: The Challenges of Staying Healthy While Traveling 

In this feature series, GBTA’s Board of Directors share their views on topics that matter most to members, the industry and the way forward for business travel. Today’s guest author is GBTA Board member Mike Daly, SVP at Serko. 

For many, the life of a road warrior conjures images of adventure, networking, and professional growth. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle of countless airports, hotel rooms, and boardrooms, there lies a silent struggle that often goes unnoticed: the battle with weight gain. 

In my early years of travel, I embraced exploration over health concerns, enjoying exotic cuisines and decadent meals. Despite efforts to adopt healthier habits, my demanding profession often undermined these attempts, leaving little time for meal planning or exercise. Decades later, the weight of my excess baggage—both physical and emotional—became impossible to ignore, and I got my wakeup call when I realized my health was deteriorating, prompting a pivotal moment of reckoning.  

I knew I needed to prioritize my health, and smaller changes can lead to bigger ones. One easy idea is selecting healthier eating options at events when available. GBTA’s Sustainability Summit last June and Convention in August offered plant-based meals, and I already chose the vegan option for the 2024 Convention this July in Atlanta. 

Bravo to GBTA for setting the example for all of us, especially if you are like me embarking on a new journey of self-discovery and transformation to reclaim control over my health and well-being. And I know I’m not alone – with the latest GBTA poll pointing to strong desire and demand for business trips in 2024, making healthier eating choices while on the road is more important than ever!      

My road to wellness, which started last July, has been fraught with challenges and setbacks, but it has also been marked by moments of profound growth and resilience. With each passing mile, I have learned to embrace the power of perseverance and self-care, recognizing that true success extends far beyond the boardroom. 

In sharing my story, I hope to inspire fellow road warriors to prioritize their well-being amidst the chaos of their professional lives. For true success is not measured solely in miles traveled or deals closed, but in the ability to nurture and sustain the most precious asset of all: our health.