From the first day I started working I have had travelling jobs. Within my first month of my first job, I had to leave my boys for one week to go to the Dominican Republic. As beautiful and fantastic as it was, I missed my boys (all three of them). At the time, Matthew and Michael were almost two years old, and today, eleven years later, it is still hard leaving them. One job required me to travel out of the country for as many as four times for the year, for as much as two weeks on each occasion. For others, I had to travel to other parts of my country that required an overnight stay or two or sometimes three. Regardless of the time spent or where I go, I have a love-hate relationship with business trips.
As I write this blog post, I am sitting in the lounge of the Altamont West Hotel, a business hotel with a fantastic view of the Caribbean Sea. Watching the waves crash ever so gently on the beach is soothing after a really long day; the only drawback is the hustle and bustle of the busy street below that separates the hotel from the beach. Nonetheless, I try to block out the negatives and enjoy the positives.
As I sit and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the sea and the smell of the jerk pork cooking at the restaurant, Pork Pit, next door, I ponder the pros and cons of my trips over the years.
Reasons why I love business trips!
- Peace and quiet – Business trips guarantee some peace and quiet as there is no one shouting “Mom”, “Mommy” or “Hon”. These trips are a welcome break from the normal routine.
- Food frenzy – I love food and trying different types. My boys (all three of them) do not share the same sentiment. As such, business trips are an opportunity for me to partake in diverse restaurant offerings from the hotel or nearby establishments. Tonight’s choice was sushi; and boy was it delicious!
- Relaxation time and “me” time – What to do with peace and quiet? Enjoy your own company – watch TV (in peace), read a book, or sit by the lounge and watch people and traffic go by. Whatever floats your boat, enjoy it while it lasts!
- Get stuff done! – Doing work at home makes me feel guilty, as if I am putting work before my family. However, I don’t feel this guilt when I work on a business trip so I make good use of the time. I make sure to call and talk to my boys, ensuring that all is well at home and everyone is okay. After that, my conscience is clear to work until I am sleepy.
Reasons why I hate business trips
- Empty hotel room – Nothing beats coming home to a warm house, full of people you love and who loves you.
- Not my bed – While I have slept in nice hotels with nice beds, none were my own and no bed is as warm, comfortable and inviting as my own.
- Missing my boys – Somehow when I am home and my name or “mommy” is called several times a day I want it to stop but when I am away and not hearing my family, it sounds weird and I feel nostalgic. Does that happen to you too? Sometimes the peace and quiet is deafening and I want some noise! I want to hear my name; I want someone to shout “Mommy, where are my school shoes?”
- No human pillow – I like to cuddle in bed; it helps me to fall asleep, and no hotel room comes fitted with my husband or a life-sized version of him for me to cuddle with. Until this is invented, I will forever hate business trips!
Business trips are bittersweet and this one is no different. I love the view from my room and the peace and quiet is great; but even when they drive me crazy, I love my boys and today I really miss my boys!