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:
- It opens up doors for career opportunities that you hope will allow you to increase your family's standard of living.
- It causes no end of stress to everyone you leave behind.
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?