I have had the opportunity over the past 20 years, through work, to travel. I have made trips to Latin / South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. You might say that I have gotten around. Contrary to popular belief, business travel is not like going on vacation. Many times, I have seen a location in terms of where I am staying, where I work and where I eat. There have been a few times where I spent an extra day, or squeezed in an hour to do something touristy. Working on location is good – a chance to work face-to-face and be more productive than attempting to coordinate time to work together (especially in different time zones). Sometimes, I have traveled alone and while I have found good places to eat, I spent dinnertime alone in the company of a book, then retiring to my hotel room to spend more time alone. Sometimes, I have traveled with someone else from work; it is good to have someone to eat and hang out with, but, in the end, at the end of the day, there is just Wayne, alone in his hotel room. I realize at these times how much I miss my family.
As I planned my current business trip to Dublin, I would be away from home for over 2 weeks – a long time. Every time that I travel, Bec has asked if she could come along. It did not matter to her that she would have to skip school; she just wanted to go. Debbie mentioned that maybe this time it could be a good time to “tag along”, with school out for the summer, Gab being finished with her summer job and a last chance to do something fun as a family before both girls leave for college. For the second time in 20 years, I would have this special chance to bring Debbie, Gab and Bec with me, for at least part of the time on my current trip. Taking a few vacation days up front, here was a golden opportunity to be together on an adventure abroad!
There is something special about being out of the country, no responsibilities, no pressures and being able to go and experience life. These last ten days have been GREAT! Even while I am working, it is a wonderful feeling to “come home” to my family. I am so happy we did this. This morning, I said goodbye to Debbie and the girls, as they head home. Tonight, when I go back to my hotel room, I will once again be alone and will once again miss my family. This trip, however, I will have the warm memories of spending the preceding days with them.
The bottom line, we have to make the experiences that become good memories for our family and ourselves. Our times together are precious and should be valued. That means taking the time off from all of our obligations to do things together, whether at home or abroad. Please feel free to share your experiences / thoughts…