Friday, July 15, 2011

Travels of a lonely wanderer

The past ten days have been very challenging. I have been away on business and have had to deal with the lonely far away feelings that come from being separated from the people I like most in life. Being a wanderer isn’t so bad when the family wanders with me but heading off to the cruel cold world (OK, San Diego and LA aren’t all that cold) alone is never a satisfying experience for me.

Luckily Ringo committed my temporary cell phone number to memory and sneakily called me from his bedroom multiple times a day when no one else was around so he didn’t have to share the conversation time. I also got to talk with the rest of the gang frequently although every time I called Milly was out milking the cow.

I’m not sure how anyone does this sort of thing on a full time basis. Usually any business trip follows a very similar pattern for me.


Day 1 – Say good bye to family. Kind of excited about a full nights sleep without kids waking up in the middle of night and being able to eat out at fancy restaurants and interact with people in person. Bowels regular and sleep pattern normal. Going to miss family but trip has to be done.

Day 2 – Meet everyone at new location and have lots of chit chat with old acquaintances. Family still remembers what dad looks like and have lots to say on phone. Watch all the sporting events possible from hotel room. Eat a ton of meat and unhealthy restaurant food. Going to bed later than usual due to time change, jet lag and business obligations so sleep patterns get way out of whack. Bowels still normal even if guts start to solidify.

Day 3- Business meetings are in full swing. Starting to feel tired and lonely. Still eating lots of unhealthy food. Still cramming in ESPN and various activities at travel destination. Would love to come home and get back to real life. Searching for fruit and any fiber to help with bowel situation. Guts about at a stand still.

Day 4 through end of trip – Super lonely. ESPN seems to repeat everything about 20 times a day. Food is a burden. Body is rebelling from the deprivation of healthy food especially bowels.  Everyone I talk to gets on my nerves and I have self affirmation why I work from home and live where I do.

Would love to talk to family all day but immersed in reason for the business trip. Youngest kid reaches some milestone such as walking for the first time or talking in full sentences on the phone (Polly said “I want the tap turned on” clear as day so says Milly.)

Homecoming day 1– Head home on the plane. Since we live in the middle of nowhere it takes all day to get home. Kids are in bed when I arrive so can only sneak in and hug and kiss kids while they are asleep.  Wife is frazzled from managing the affairs of the house alone for the past several days. Debriefing on activities with wife usually ends with tears of relief and joy.

Disgusted at the thought of ever leaving again. Check the scale to see the damage done on body weight and composition. Appalled that anyone can gain X number of LBS in such a short time. For me it’s about a pound a day due to congealed intestines.

Homecoming day 2 – Kids are so excited to have another parent to interact with most of the time screaming and yelling is involved. After being away from kid noise and body being worn down to a base survival level nerves are touchy and much distress is involved for both children and parents.

Start trying to eat and sleep normally again. Wife wants to go out to eat to get a break from the woes of being a single parent. Just the thought of eating out prompts heaving and gagging reflex and I try to convince Milly to settle for a home cooked meal after putting the kids to bed at 5pm for the night.

Homecoming day 3 through 5 – Almost back to normal. Body is semi recovered. Find out when the next trip from home is and dread the time I have to say goodbye again. Start to lose about a pound a day after getting back into regular activities.

Get back to normal work and try to catch up on being away as things have just piled up knee deep.


Thankfully I only have to do this 3 or 4 times a year.

I tried to convince Milly to come with me this last trip for the first few days but she was much too responsible as she pointed out someone needed to milk the cow and build our house. I suppose that’s important although if it was me I’d have been irresponsible and jumped at the chance.

I’m one flight away from being back home. I feel the lonely feelings subsiding and excitement is continually building to see my loved ones again. Be home tonight guys. Maybe Ringo will sneakily stay awake so I can tuck him in for bed.

Did I miss anything about the challenges of traveling for business?

1 comment:

  1. You forgot Homecoming Day 6!...Kids getting too loud, getting on nerves, too many items on "Honey-Do" list (not calling it nagging), longing for a good steak (esp. after looking at a cow that many times), missing sporting events/ESPN...wondering when next 'business' trip will be!!!