I write about travel. But I am often the one at home.
As my husband has climbed the corporate ladder over the years, his amount of travel has increased.
I can’t really complain, because as a family, we decided that I would stay home and raise our girls and he would work. At first, travel was rare; when he was gone, he was only gone 2-3 days, and was traveling domestically. Years passed and he then started traveling to Poland. He would be gone 4-5 days. Eventually, it became 7-9 days and sometimes even longer.
I know that may not seem like a lot to some people, but as he does not work in a travel profession, it was a bit of a surprise that travel was becoming such a critical part of his job. His absence was always challenging for me when our kids were young. Being home all day and not having a break became taxing. I never dreamed I’d be married to a traveling husband.
China was eventually added to his list of regular destinations, which made our limited contact even worse, because of a 14 hour time difference and poor wifi/internet service. As of now, he’s gone at least one week a month, on average.
Sometimes his travel does have its benefits. Last January, he had to travel to Florida for work and he brought me along. Because his travel and hotel is paid for by work, being able to join him gave us an opportunity for a deeply discounted mini-vacation.
So it hasn’t always been a bad thing. There are some advantages to his absence. He has accumulated so many miles that he has priority status and occasionally gets us upgraded to business class. If we get to fly with him to his work destination, we get to check in via Premier class and get to bypass the long check-in lines. Having earned so many miles, we often use these miles to book flights, with minimal cost.
However, it can be extremely frustrating that he’s out and about, seeing the world (even though his IS working). He’s seen the sites in London, the English countryside, Scotland, historic Krakow (Poland), the Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration Camp, Berlin, Netherlands, Chengdu (China), among other domestic and international locations. He doesn’t enjoy touring without us, but at least he is traveling and touring when he is able.
So while I’m at home, I try to vicariously live through him. Unfortunately, I can’t write about his travels; a second hand account of a destination is not what people want to read about (nor how I want to write). My priorities are at home, keeping the family happy, making sure he doesn’t have anything to worry about at home, and being the mom that’s able to send her kids off to school each morning and be here when they return home.
Travel cannot be priority now. Finances, responsibilities, and family dictate that. So right now, I’ll savor my husband’s photos, soak up his stories, and know that when we’re older and empty-nesters, we’ll have our own photos and shared stories to tell.