Sunday, October 30, 2005

Homeward bound glow


Thanks largely to my recent reintroduction to the world of business travel, I often find myself away from home wondering what the end game of the travel game should be.

Travelling for work presents an interesting dichotomy:
  1. It opens up doors for career opportunities that you hope will allow you to increase your family's standard of living.
  2. It causes no end of stress to everyone you leave behind.
Balancing those two has been an ongoing challenge ever since the first spouse/parent waved goodbye from the front door. I don't have the answers, but I hope talking it through here might help those of us who often find ourselves on the move.

Earlier in my career, I went through a period where I was away from home every other week. It was a brutal schedule, and I hated every minute of it.

I often thought of bringing my Nikon SLR along, but inevitably decided to leave it at home because coddling my beloved camera on a work-related trip just didn't seem all that prudent at the time. So those trips went unrecorded.

Today, I carry my little digicam with me pretty much everywhere. Although it's not as artistically evolved a tool as the Nikon, it allows me to share a glimpse of my newly-alien world with everyone back home. A wireless laptop, headset, instant messaging software and free hotel lobby wireless allow me to deliver the message instantaneously. It's no substitute for being away, but it does fill in the gaps until I return.

I took this picture at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport early in the morning as I was heading home last month. The trip home is always especially special because we know what lies at the end: a warm welcome from the people who matter most. I tend to linger a little longer on the return legs as I look for touchstones along the way that will allow me to tell the story of my trip. I'm not as much melancholy as I am pensive...I want to remember what it felt like to anticipate my homecoming.

This image jumped out at me just as I cleared security and made my way to the subway that takes passengers to the gate. An endless stream of travellers was making its way down the escalators. No one looked up or paid attention to the surroundings. But I was intrigued by the blue glow from the lovely stained glass windows that had been installed in this unlikeliest of places. So I stopped - to raised eyebrows and all - and took a few pictures so that I'd better remember how I felt.

Your turn: How do you bridge the miles when you're away from home?

24 comments:

ladydaria said...

Hi there! Michelle sent me! What a wonderful blog you have here.

Plumkrazzee said...

On the few very frequent times i've left home, I call continually. It's more annoying to them than anything, but I do it for my benefit, not theirs.

the frog princess said...

Hey, Michele sent me but I'll be back when I can poke around more!

Oh, and when I'm gone from home for more than a day my boyfriend is usually with me and wherever he is is where home is anyhow. I know; I'm corny. Thanks!

mar said...

My husband is the one who flies away and we talk on the phone...Now I will be gone early in December visiting family and friends in South America, I will take many pictures to share! Yours are always something else. Here via Michele's this time.

rashbre said...

Another great entry and a superb photo. You have a great eye for the photogenic. I also know that 'Homeward bound' feeling after a stint away.

Actually, I've been to Seattle a few times and found that as airports go, it gives off quite a friendly vibe - like the place, which I enjoy.

But I also have a special 'chill out in airports' mode where I switch on my psychic shield to repel awkward airport moments.

Best. And Michele sent me this time.

rashbre

November Rain said...

hi michelle sent me


how do I bridge the miles
emails and phone calls
on the holidays

mar said...

Michele sent me your way again to take another look at your great picture.

Beanhead said...

Great photo as usual. When I am away from home I shop for my kids so that I feel closer to them and when I get home they get a big fat treat!

Here from Michele's today

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Hi there
Michele sent me. I call a lot, I send text messages, I take pics with my phone to show the kids when I get back, I keep pics of them with me... the usual. Mostly these days I can send the Junior Burger anyway so that's made life a lot easier.

Veronika said...

Lot's of phone calls! Also, I communicate with my family in CA and MO by emails. Wow! I haven't been home to CA in over 10 years. It would be nice to see how much things have changed.
Michele sent me

Marisa said...

Hi Carmi. Michele sent me today.

Heart-warming post. Whenever I've been away from loved ones, I've called a lot from my cell phone. Too many text messages to count!

Kevin said...

I've only ever been away from my family once, and it was for only one night (thankfully). I don't know what I'd do to "bridge the miles," but I like the way you do it. Your writing is insightful and your pictures are way cool.

kenju said...

Interesting photo, Carmi. I don't travel without my husband (usually) so there's no problem in bridging a gap for me. When he travelled extensively for business, he called everyday, usually twice. The children hated it when he was gone and they still talk about how Daddy was never home when they were small.

WendyWings said...

I very rarely leave home, well I do run away to LA every so often but my family is glad I am gone HAH
Just kidding they love all the candy Mum brings back :)

PresentStorm said...

Luckily I am never away from my family.We both work locally and always travel together.Very cool shot :)

Plain Jane said...

We text message a lot. :)

Diva said...

That is a lovely picture, Carmi. I have never worried about leaving home and returning because it was to an empty house, but that has now become my past. It'll be interesting to see how my next business trip goes, now that I have someone at home waiting for me. :)

Jodie said...

I really like the picture. I'm a student and I just moved furthur away from my family. I'm in Eugene and my family is in Colorado. Although this isn't really the same because I'm out trying to create my own world and eventually my own little family unit.

Heather said...

My hubby is out of town right now. We talk on the phone A LOT and he is reading my blog while he is gone!

Aginoth said...

I spend any nights away from home reading, althoug I'm glad to say nights away are strategically palnned to be few and far between nowadays

Tangee said...

Right now I'm never far from home, because I'm doing the stay at home mommy job full time, but sometimes I get away on a weekend with girlfriends(very rare), but I always call home, okay at least 3 or 4 times a day. I find that it's harder to be away from them than I ever would have imagined. But when I get home, with tons of gifts to make up for the 24 or 48 hours I was away, I love those shouts of "Mom is home" "Mommy!" I'm waiting for the 4th voice amongst them to say the words, but his giggles are enough.

Thumper said...

Somewhere in that picture is the shade of blue I want to paint my car.

Seriously!

Suzanne said...

traveling can be difficult at times...we handle it by talking alot on the phone. I make sure to call the kids at bedtime, and Chase and I touch base several times during the day. text messages are always a nice surprise too.

Easy said...

I'm so seldom away from home that I can't answer that. I can't imagine traveling that much.