MODERN NOMAD - Kerry Duggan

Her address is a private mailbox. Her residence is a hotel room or an Airbnb in whatever city she happens to visit. She gets her best sleep on the red eye to Asia. 

She travels with a basic wardrobe and preplans
to have dresses and outfits delivered from Rent The Runway wherever she is staying. All over the world. Meet Kerry Duggan, CEO and Travel Director at The Travel Director, LLC. "It didn't start out this way," she says. "I graduated from Baylor with what was essentially a degree in home economics, ready to get married and be a full-time housewife, but about six years ago, after flying to Boston for a dinner meeting, the first time I'd flown for work, I realized that I wanted to travel." She continues, "I'm a Dallas blonde who loves to dress up, go out and party, but I wanted to see the world and on my own terms."

A native of Austin, Texas, Kerry is no stranger to travel. From the age of six years old, she curled up to sleep on the floor of the exit row of an international flight accompanying her parents on work trips. But today she logs a minimum of 100,000 miles a year on her own frequent flyer schedule working at events all over the globe. The Travel Director is an extension of the travel planning community. She handles third party on-site logistics for major corporations, Fortune 500 companies, and travel planners and is shortly headed to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Whether she is hosting small dinner meetings in Thailand or handling one strategic aspect of a 1,000 person event in Paris, she sets out to provide a seamless experience for the client.

“And that,” she says, “is all about attitude.” There’s no question that Kerry sees the world, not only as half-full, but full to the brim with opportunity. “The neatest part of travel is the idea that there is no sort  of degree of separation to us and any place, any culture,” continues Kerry. “The magic of the road for me, and the reason this life is possible is that I take that freedom and use it—so if I  get a flight that’s cancelled or I get diverted, I see it as an opportunity to  meet someone new, and to try something new.

“Anyone who travels must travel with  intention. When I get up and get  dressed--and I dress up and wear heels when I fly--I’m not going to the  office but to my office which is an airport, and then a plane. It makes me feel better in myself to be dressed. We  all attract what we put out there and  we are all surrounded by opportunity, so I want to be prepared.”

Kerry is one of a small group of travel directors, mostly women, who globe-trot for business and pleasure. The old name for such travels is ‘road warriors’ which implies some sort of battle, but to Kerry, the ‘road’ is one of wanderlust. “Travel enables us to shift our perspectives,” she says. “But you have to be open to it, to the great unknown and to the excitement of exploration.”

Two months ago, Kerry gave up her apartment to live on the road. “Mentally,” she says, “I can do this but my body is resisting. The best antidote to that,” Kerry continues, “can be summed up in one word: yoga.”

Read more about Kerry’s hints on making travel easier and avoiding jet lag here.

  • On international flights stay awake the day and the night before if at all possible so that you're ready to crash on the flight
  • Stay hydrated and never drink alcohol on board even if you're tempted
  • Stick to a healthy food schedule, eat lightly on board or avoid eating
  • Disconnect from wi-fi and other media
  • Use the long flight as an opportunity for a refresh
  • On short flights do the opposite, stay awake, connect to wi-fi and communicate with other passengers. You never know who is seated next to you.
  • Always carry with you a phone, charger, toothbrush and long underwear
  • Practice yoga if possible, even in your mind, and breathing exercises. They work.