Caught by surprise by business travel bluesBy
I usually really like business trips. I like to go to new places, I love it when a trip allows me to meet an old friend or a family member that I don’t usually get to see, and I enjoy the time alone. While I know all too well the difficulties a trip can pose – both at home and at the office – I’ve always had a positive attitude about them. This helps not only me, but also my family.
But I have a trip coming up that I must admit, I’m not looking forward to. There’s a lot going on with my family right now and I don’t want to be far away from them, yet this trip is to Singapore and Indonesia. The thought of being more than a day away if I have to get back in a hurry is stabbing me in the heart – constantly.
So how do I wrap my head around this and leave my kids and officemates blissfully unaware of any emotional struggle I may be facing? It’s not easy. Here’s what I’ve done so far – any suggestion are more than welcome!
1. Establishing my support system – I’m flying my parents in from out of town to help my husband take care of the kids. My trip is a 10 day trip and we’re in a new town as of August and don’t have the babysitters lined up that I could confidently rely on. Most importantly, as one of my kids needs special care at the moment, I felt it was just too much to put all this on hubbie’s shoulders, even if he could handle it.
2. Researching activities that will be fun for the family to do while I’m gone. I’m also going ahead and purchasing the tickets, getting it on the Outlook calendar, even printing out directions so that getting to these activities will be easy, and more likely to happen. I know it’s a bit overboard, but it makes me feel good to do so.
3. Setting the expectation with the office that I will have limited availability. I’m not planning on working all day, having late night evenings with the team I’m visiting, and then getting back online at 11 PM or Midnight to answer emails. I’ve done that before, and it’s not pretty! Instead, I plan to use this time to work hard, but also rest as much as I can so I don’t get run down.
4. Shortly before the trip, I’ll share with my 7 yr old where I’m going and a little about the cultures of each place. My 3 year old will be confused, but I’ll do my best to stay connected to him while I’m gone. Here are some tips I’ll be utilizing to keep that connection close.
What else am I missing? While I think I’ve got most of my bases covered, if you have any additional ideas for how to prepare, or on how to get my head/heart in the game and not worry so much, please share!