I found out something interesting. Over the last two weeks, I have come to notice my wedding band more, whether by looking at it, or merely touching it. I also have a shirt and house pants from both the University of Hartford and Johnson and Wales University. When I packed, I am sure it was unconscious the selections. In hindsight, I realize that this is not true, that my family is always on my mind, even when traveling.
Recently, I wrote about Debbie and Bec traveling with me being at home alone during that time. This time, I am the one away. After the last experience, maybe I have become more cognizant or more open to realizing that whether home or away, when I am alone, I do miss my family. I do wish Debbie came with me. Yes, I know that I am working long hours, but it is the thought that she is nearby…I do wish Gab and Bec came as well, as I am a firm believer in the benefits of traveling, experiencing other cultures and spending unique experiences as a family. I missed them enough to pass a spot that we were at as a family, in Hong Kong, eight years ago. I am not necessarily the sentimental type, but traveling alone, missing my family and having a place with positive memories is hard to just push away.
OK – I admit, I did not sit in a room pouting or feeling sorry for myself. I did make use of my time while away. I had the opportunity to have dinner with a friend in Hong Kong that I last visited with my family 10 years ago. It was great seeing her and her family. I really appreciated that they made a traditional Chinese dinner for me. In Australia, I had the unique experience of my friend from Down Under having me as a passenger in a 4-seater plane, a very cool experience. One night, I even had the opportunity to see a very funny play before it comes to our own Broadway.
When talking to Debbie earlier in my time away, she mentioned how lonely she felt. I know she said the same to me in the past, but this time, I was able to empathize with her more so than in the past, having recently been in the same position. The lesson learned? Being alone is just that…being alone. For business travel, you might be around people, but once you are in your room, there is only you. When you are home, you might be around people and you might have things to do during the day, but once you are in your house, there is only you. We are married over 25 years. We know each other almost 27 years. You get used to each other, having each other around and the comfort knowing that someone else being there, even if you are in different parts of the house.
Best part? Coming home and within a few days being able to be together, the four of us. It might have been for a short time before the girls went back to school and we drove home, but precious time nonetheless.