5 for 5 blog – A reflection on travel

22 Aug

Photo Jan 15, 7 49 54 PM

“I love to travel, but I hate being away from my family.”

That’s what I say when people ask if I like visiting other countries or just about any time the topic of travel comes up in conversation. And I was reminded vividly of this thought when I got a text while on a quick, overnight trip in the US which read:

“A_____ really cried after she talked with you.”

Uugghh.

I have never worked in a job since graduating from college that didn’t require some kind of travel. For the last 22 years, I have been traveling in various levels of frequency….and urgency. I have been traveling to China for a full fifteen years now. And it is not uncommon for me to make 4-6 trips to the region per year and additional trips within the US on top of that.

Quick disclaimer: I don’t travel nearly as much as many people in my industry or even in my company. Also, my career path has been my choice. As mentioned above, I love to travel. Growing up in Chicago as a kid, a big trip to me was going across the border into Indiana to visit family. I have had the privilege of traveling all over the US and across Asia and Europe, for which I am very grateful. I work in a global company with team members distributed all over the world, which I have also been doing for fifteen years and if a blessing in itself.

But it doesn’t make the travel any easier when I kiss my family goodbye and head off for 5 days or 10 days or longer. The burden on my wife is huge with the promise of no breaks unless the kids are in school, which isn’t even a break, just a chance to catch up on errands or until I get home. Not to mention missing events at school or the kids extracurricular activities.

I say all this not to be all “whoa is me”. I am not writing this post to be prescriptive so much as I am being reflective:

  • First, I am truly grateful to my wife. She has endured tiny, crying babies and even a flooded basement. She keeps the kids on schedule during school and busy in their free time. I am not sure I would ever get on a plane without her.
  • Second, I am reminded all the more to be present when I am home. And please know I am not writing this as someone who has this piece all figured out. But rather, something that I am working at every day.

Face time does not make up for home time. We cannot get back the hours and the days we are gone traveling, but when we are home, we can give the best of ourselves and make difference in the lives of those closest to us.

Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

If you fall flat on your face, you are still moving forward – by Richard Branson

Seasons – by Austin Kleon

Without training wheels – by Seth Godin

Why The Most Productive People Constantly Change Their Methods – by Stephanie Vozza

Why Olympic Athletes Are Listening to This Robot-Composed Music – by Kevin Ryan

all the best, kevin