Here we are on a downright cold Sunday morning. It is overcast and still dark at 7:41 AM as I hunt and peck at the little iPad keyboard. If it dries out, I have some outside stuff to do. I need to put the hose away for the winter, dismantle the swing, and clean up debris from the big willow. Nothing hard, nor too time consuming. I should rip up the tomato plants from the garden. Summer lingered well into fall, and we went from the 80s to the 40s in a hurry. Now all of those chores need doing.
Why the urgency, you ask? I’m off to the Far East next weekend. I offer a lower-case “woot” to express my lack of excitement. Back in 2013 when I went to China the trip was way better than I expected. Perhaps that will be true this time as well. If I am honest, it is the trip itself that sucks. Usually, my favorite part of traveling is the “getting there”. Twenty hours-plus on various planes, trains, and automobiles is no fun. I was thinking about it yesterday, it was more than fifteen years ago when I did a lot of international travel (is going to Europe 5-6 times a year a “lot”?). Not that I am ready for a bed in a nursing home, but hard travel at 40 is different than travel at 55. I don’t know how to explain it, but business travel is not vacation travel. You have to adjust to the time ASAP, meetings and work start right away. There is no relaxing ramp-up to get used to your surroundings. Colleagues want to make sure you are entertained, so long days end with late dinners, followed by yet another early morning.
It sounds like I’m gripping, and I am. I also recognize I have been fortunate enough to go all over the world on an expense account. That is indeed, pretty cool. Short of the military, I have travelled more than most people. I have seen stuff most people dream about. I have walked the Great Wall, seen the Louvre, the British Museum. I touched the Rosetta Stone. I have visited cathedrals and castles. I also put in 15-18 hour days for a week at a time and spent more days than I can count away from my wife and kids. International travel most always extends over a weekend. Or two.
I would leave in an instant for a vacation trip to just about anywhere. Traveling around the globe to work; meh. It is hard to explain to anyone who has never had to do much business travel. In my heart, I know the trip will be fine.
I just wish I could get the hang of chopsticks.