Finding Community Away from Home
A career in truck driving offers several advantages, but as with any profession, there are downsides as well. One such downside includes those long drives that often take you away from family that can result in loneliness and missing out on important events.
Fortunately, there are ways to remind your family and friends you’re thinking of them, regardless of the miles between you. From bringing pets and partners to sending postcards and flowers, through technology and a bit of creativity, you can nurture those connections and maintain a strong sense of community from where ever you are.
Stay Connected When You Leave Family Behind
When a job takes you on the road for several days at a time, it causes challenges for you and your family. Finding time to connect with family, while maintaining a tough work schedule isn’t necessarily easy, but always worth the extra effort.
The key is finding innovative ways to communicate. Whether you prefer a traditional phone conversation or enjoy a video chat with your loved ones via FaceTime or Skype, connecting virtually will help diminish the miles between you for a while. During this scheduled time together, prepare a shared recipe or watch a special show.
If you’re missing your spouse or a child, compile a playlist of favorite music via Spotify or Pandora and take solace in knowing that the two of you are listening to it throughout the day.
Before heading out on the road, pack a few treasured photos that you can look at when those homesick moments creep in. Take along a camera and make a point of photographing scenic views and points of interest, so you can share your travels with family and friends.
Even when you find yourself without phone signal or internet access, you can show the people in your life they are close to your heart by picking up a postcard and writing a personalized note. Snail mail isn’t fast and may not be as popular nowadays, but communicating in this way is timeless.
Ask Your Spouse to Join You
More than ever, truck drivers are joined by their spouses on the job. This dynamic is growing in popularity with the trucking companies, as a perk for keeping and attracting new drivers during the current shortage.
Undoubtedly, your spouse experiences loneliness just like you, when you’re away, so if possible, have him or her join you on your travels. Further, in some scenarios, both individuals are truck drivers. Working together allows them to split the drive time, logging more miles faster, and brings about monetary and achievement rewards. Having a companion on the road also has the potential to enrich the relationship, as well as decrease safety risks.
Bring Your Pet with You
Perhaps one of the reasons you enjoy driving a truck is because you primarily work alone, avoiding continuous interactions with people. But, regardless of how much of a loner you are, exploring new places on those long drives, without any companionship, is not always fun. Therefore, consider bringing your pet along for company and for your health.
This is also becoming more routine in the trucking industry for a variety of reasons. Research has shown that having a dog helps reduce depression and loneliness, staves off stress, and enhances social life and fitness levels.
While having a dog along for the ride is beneficial for you, it involves a few requirements for keeping your dog healthy and happy too. For instance, setting aside time for a couple daily walks will ensure both of you are getting physical exercise. And don’t forget, dogs need mental stimulation as well. So, as you explore new places and meet new people, you will enjoy the scenic views and fresh experiences, while your dog soaks in the new sights, sounds, and smells along the way.
Get Involved in the Trucking Community
In addition to staying connected with family, build relationships with others working in the trucking industry. There are an array of Facebook groups and forums designed specifically for the trucking community. This form of camaraderie will put you in touch with people who know and understand exactly what you’re going through. Also, because members of these groups are spread throughout the country, it’s likely you’ll meet along the way and have the opportunity to enjoy a chat or cup of coffee, growing your network of friends and reducing the likelihood of loneliness.
Happily, Anticipate Returning Home
Some of those long hauls are more difficult than others, depending on what’s going on in your personal life. However, by implementing these suggestions, undoubtedly you’ll discover how possible it is to close the mileage gap; and quite likely uncover new and interesting things about one another in the process. Then, when you meet face to face again, you can bask in the joy of a deeper level of togetherness.
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