This was new to me.
“Business trip life” was something I thought was only reserved for the accomplished, educated individual that either had 1.5 kids, or none to speak of.
Now that being said, I’m pretty accomplished in my career field, and although I don’t hold any diplomas or degrees, I’d say I’m fairly educated based on my job title.
But I don’t have 1.5 kids. I have 4 kids. All of whom I’ve been away from collectively for no longer than about one night up until now.
Going on a business trip always seemed like something out of a movie for me. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be on one.
So when the time came for me to take my first trip, I was excited and apprehensive all at once.
I was excited to walk in and out of airports like all the other professional travelers and visit cities I’ve only seen on maps, but, was apprehensive since I’d be leaving my little ones behind for a few days.
Yes it was only 3 days and 2 nights, but in my world it would seem longer. Like most of you reading this, I love my kids with a weird type of “stalking-and-look-at-them-while-they’re-sleeping-kind-of-love.”
I tried to FaceTime my beautiful wife every chance I could to ensure the tribe hadn’t consumed her yet.
Okay that may not be you, but I think you get my drift. Being away from my kids rarely happens and for good reason. As a working dad I only get a certain amount of time with them during the week. And I want to make the most of it.
So with all that being said I had no clue as to how I would really feel on this trip. Would I enjoy time away and actually sleep for 7-8 hours straight? Or would I try to FaceTime my beautiful wife every chance I could to ensure the tribe hadn’t consumed her yet.
When all was said and done and I returned home, these 5 revelations stuck with me about being a business traveling dad.
1. Making it a BIG DEAL to your kids on where you are traveling to. It should be no secret of your travel destination. Kids for the most part are impressionable. They want mom and dad to “ooohh and aahhh” them with all-world type of knowledge. So before I left I made sure to tell them where exactly I’d be off to. The location wasn’t anything to blink twice at (it was a town of 800 people) but they did have the largest covered bridge in the world. And that’s something to report. I also showed them on a map of where I was traveling to, which gave them a sense of comfort knowing where I’d be.
2. King size beds suck. No seriously they really do. I thought I would love being in a king size bed alone for once. Then I realized, no wife to cuddle with and no toddlers (I have 2 of them) invading my space meant I’d be in for a very boring night and cold empty bed. And no, extra pillows didn’t help.
3. Time away from the homestead is nice, but… I’m not complaining. Really I’m not. But being alone in a hotel room made me realize why I wanted to build a family early in my young adult life. Missing the madness of home is one way I would put it.
4. Technology is your best friend. Wi-fi, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp. I love them all when I’m on the road. To be able to connect with the people I love most when I’m the furthest away from them is something money can’t but (well actually it can but it just sounds good saying it that way).
5. Bring your family as often as you can. It hasn’t happened yet for me but it will. My wife has researched families that home school and has read about parents bringing their entire families on business trips. Of course they won’t join in on the work that has to be done, but just having them there in the car, on the plane, in the hotel room can build memories that kids will never forget.
I’m no traveling parenting expert. But one thing I do recognize is business travel as a parent doesn’t have to go just one way. I can still be an amazing, connected dad even though I’m miles away.