Corporate frequent flyer turns to not-for-profit travel

17 Jun

CORPORATE FREQUENT FLYER TURNS TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT TRAVEL  I have officially left the corporate world to enter the not-for-profit sector and it’s going to be a tough transition. For the past three years I have worked in the PR team of one of Australia’s largest infrastructure groups. The company has flown me to most Australian states for photo shoots, filming and events, put me up at fancy hotels and paid for exquisite meals. It wasn’t always glamorous though. In fact, I spent one day filming at an aeration water treatment plant, which means I was covered from head to toe in poo particles by the end of the day. But I achieved silver frequent flyer status and boasted to my friends about regular travel assignments.

Exquisite meals are a benefit of the corporate world

Just two nights ago I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Sydney. I had a huge room to myself, with a spa bath, cable channels and a bed that’s big enough to sleep Shrek and all his fairytale friends. But today I received my first travel itinerary for my new position. It says I will be sharing a room with someone else. For a moment I thought to myself, “How the mighty have fallen.”

I’m no princess. I always rough it during personal holidays, either backpacking in dorms or camping, and I love it! But the corporate world is a vacuum – it sucks even the most reluctant individuals in – and you quickly become used to expensive treatment for work purposes.

I have enjoyed the perks during my service to the corporate world, but I have also been internally torn, at times. The money that has contributed to my special treatment could have better served someone less fortunate than me. For that reason, I welcome shared accommodation for my new work purposes because the organisation’s money is strategically managed for a good cause. There are many other advantages to budget travel anyway. For example, you usually meet more people, get a ‘real’ taste of the areas you visit, and you don’t need to wear a suit.

Stay tuned to read about my experiences adjusting to working and living in Vietnam.

By Marissa Toohey

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