Friday, March 27, 2009

First Time Business Travel

Tuesday I am going on a short business trip. This post is part warning to my readers and part lamentation. The trip will only last two nights, and I will only be venturing as far as Wichita. I probably won't be blogging on such a short trip because each day will have a full agenda. Most of my readers probably weren't with me when I posted about business travel before. You can see that post along with some pictures of Italy, Malaysia, Thailand and other places here. My job has taken me to several different countries for various lengths of time. I used to love travelling for my job. After getting married I didn't enjoy it nearly as much. Now as a dad, not only will I not enjoy it, but I will despise it. How could you not be miserable leaving this guy at home.

This trip to Wichita is no big deal. I will miss Braden and Arica, but I know that I will be home in a couple of days. The real pain is that this trip is making me think about my upcoming travels. I am scheduled to visit France in May and Scotland in July. I have already been to France three times, and I find most of the stereotypes to be true. I really have no interest in going back. I far prefer Italy, but that is another story for another time. Scotland will be a new adventure for me so it is at least a bit intriguing. These trips usually last two weeks. Sometimes they drag along into a third week. The trip to France should be shorter than that, but therein lies the real difficulty with this type of work. You never know when you are coming home. Just because you have a ticket for a plane that leaves in two weeks does not mean you will be on it.

I don't know how anyone can make a living travelling when they have children. Some people do it every day and probably live very happy lives. Often times I am sure people have no choice. They must travel in order to make a living. I could never do it full time. These infrequent trips are quite enough for me. Luckily today's technology makes it easier to stay in touch. Skype makes it possible to use your computer as a phone. Calls from one computer to another are totally free. We have one web cam and are set to get another so we can see each other from across the pond as well. Being able to see my family will be a huge boost while I am away. Knowing that they can see me will make me feel better too. I would hate for Braden to forget what I look like.

I should probably leave those worries for a later date. At the moment I am only off to Kansas. I know nothing of the place and will know nothing more when I return. I will do a little engineering and a little sleeping. If I am lucky I might find a good meal somewhere in between. I am sure Kansas will be fine with me. After all I grew up in a very small farming town in Arkansas. There may be more wheat and Jayhawks in Kansas, but it surely will have a familiar feeling.

With that I am off on Tuesday to Wichita. As I am always alert for humor and/or blogging topics, I hope to come back with a great travel story. Instead I will probably return only armed with a renewed hatred for the pain that is travelling in general.


Andrew's Daddies said...

I agree with you new dad. Hate traveling unless we can go as a family.

Tom said...

I am totally with you on this. I used to love traveling to different places and experiencing new things while on my company's dime.

Now I dread having to leave, even if it's just for a day. Had to spend a week away from home a couple years back and it was about all I could stand. That, and every day my wife would send me emails with photos of my son in time-out, showing me what she was having to deal with. That's very frustrating, not being able to step in and do anything to help.

Hurry home!

Isabella said...

First, safe travels!

Second, I don't have experience with leaving my family for business, but I've been the one "left." When Peanut was 8 weeks old, ShankRabbit went to Florida for a week on business. It was tough, but I made sure my week was chock-full of activities and family/friends so that I wouldn't feel lonely. I still couldn't bring myself to sleep in our bed without him...I spent my nights on the futon with the baby next to me.

Happy FF!

Bella Daddy said...

We travel the world, and our little one is a jet setter...but, nothing compaes to staying home with the family....but we all need that break...besides, the shear joy when you come home is priceless!

PJ Mullen said...

I know I'd have a hard time traveling if I had a jobby job for sure. I've only been away from my little man for two and a half days since he was born and while I had fun visiting with friends, I missed him like crazy. Be safe traveling and just think of all that awaits you at home.

Apok said...

Hey on the plus side you could start a cool international collection for the tike, like coins from around the world, or stolen diner menus from around the world.

Otter Thomas said...

@Andrew's Daddies: I would love to do some travelling with my family.

@Tom: I will be hurrying the entire time

@Isabella: I feel for you because I know how hard it is for my wife.

@Bella: Don't get me wrong, travelling is something everyone should experience. Travelling alone is no fun.

@PJ: Thanks. I will be safe.

@Apok: Good idea. I already have plenty of coins. I also have an awesome beer mug collection. It can be passed down at the appropriate time.

WeaselMomma said...

Your job is part of what you to care for Braden. You will miss him and Arika. He won't forget you and just wait to see face light up when you come home.

Rob said...

That stinks but you work to provide for your wonderful family and being away a few days will let you appreciate your family that much more (not saying you don't now). Think of your sons face when he sees you after being gone a few days, He will light up when he sees you.

Jason said...

My best friend used to travel nonstop for his job, he cut back his travel time when he got married and has eliminated it altogether now that they are trying to get pregnant.

Otter Thomas said...

@WeaselMomma and Rob: Thanks for the perspective. I am already looking forward to seeing his smile.

@Jason: my bosses have cut back on my travel requirements. There are some times that I just have to go if I want to keep this job. Other than the travel this is a dream job so I have to go.

Joeprah said...

The beer mug collection sounds awesome. The only good thing is that return walk to the house--seeing the excited duo waiting for you. Its cool you use Skype, that will ease the travel malaise for sure.

Have a safe trip.

ciara said...

i don't travel for my job & since we've been married, my husband hasn't had to go on any trips. he is gone from home 12 hrs a day so it's almost like he's traveling. i live in a diff state from my ex so my girls go and see their dad three or four times a year. i find that i'm lonely, more depressed, and really no fun to be around when they're gone. hopefully you won't have to travel too much more. have a safe trip.

Dto3 said...

Have safe travels. Seeing new places with your new family is always better than on a business trip. Great pic of Trevi Fountain from your Jan. entry. How'd you get it without a million people in the background?

Mocha Dad said...

I travel for work quite often and I don't like as much as I did before I had kids. In my new job, I don't have to travel overseas anymore, but I do have to travel throughout North America. The worst trip I took was when I spent three weeks in Iraq.

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

Back in the day, when my oldest (13) was a newborn, I travelled 80% of the time. I can relate to what you're going through.

You do what you have to do and focus on the big picture: your family.

Later on, I traded the flying travel for driving: I am home every night by 5:30 (6PM the latest), but I leave the house at 04:45; long commute, but when compared to the big picture, it's worth it.

If you can find a career - that fulfills your family needs AND is what you want to do - and has none of the travel, grab it. In the meantime, don't feel guilty about the travel: it's what you need to do to support the fam.

Otter Thomas said...

@Joeprah: The beer mug collection is awesome. Almost all of them have been free too. I just go have a few beers and make friends with the bartender. I have never been turned down a request for a beer mug.

@ciara: Thanks. I know that would be hard.

@Dto3: I don't know how I got the pic. Probably because it was January and it was freezing. We only got a quick tour of Rome because our flight was cancelled creating an 8 hour layover.

@MochaDad: Iraq would be awful.

@Charlie: Thanks for the insight. Someday I will find a way to stop.