Over the years, I traveled to my wife, and the kids often went to visit her parents. In this case, they all went down to Florida. I suspect I was somewhere in the world. I didn’t go on vacation. Traveling a lot can be hard. Life is funny that way. We have a chance, well I had a chance to see the world. But so did the kids and my wife. They have been to many places because I was traveling so much. Free nights pile up when you spend 200 nights a year in a hotel. When you fly a lot, the miles rack up as well. We didn’t pay for a full vacation for many years. We either had free airfare, or free hotel stays during the 12 years I was in the air (I can’t say on the road, I only drove occasionally).
I think in reviewing that time, I would travel less; I know that in the past nine years of not being gone has been a lot better. I enjoy being home at night. I also find that traveling because I choose to travel is a lot more fun overall. You don’t have to be at a meeting at 9 am when you are going for fun. In all the years I was on the road I missed one birthday and one Christmas Eve. My daughter, now nearly 20 years later, has never let me forget that. She reminds me on the occasion of the birthday I missed, and the Christmas Eve I missed (I arrived at 2 am on Christmas Day driving from Columbus Ohio to Bloomington, Indiana). I do regret both of those misses a lot.
But overall, I have moved on from the regrets. You do what you have to do. This week we were supposed to pack things up and head to the Grand Canyon. We won’t, because of the Pandemic, be able to do that. The risk is still high for traveling, and Arizona continues to have a spike. I wonder what my job would have looked like all those years ago, now. What happens to people that were working on projects that required some level of human interaction.
There are lots of things to wonder about. The pictures today are all from my wife’s archive and are from her trip with the kids to Tallahassee, Florida, to see her brother and her parents.
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)