Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I don't want to know the number

About two or three weeks ago I asked Johnathan to add up all the travel he has done for work this year in kilometers. I wanted it as a little factoid for our annual Christmas letter (oh yes friends and family there will be a Christmas letter again this year.) What I got in reply to my request was a spread sheet.

Yeah, a spreadsheet. He's traveled enough to require a spreadsheet. Also, he's just like that.

We've traveled together this year to a degree, we went to London, Florence, Milan and home to Canada. On his own though, for work he's been to 5 different cities in 4 different countries. I was going to be 6 cities in 5 different countries but his last trip for the year got canceled while he was in Bangladesh. Phew!

Although in the first quarter of 2013 (first three months) the possibility of him going to 4 different countries is INCREDIBLY high. When he sent me that spreadsheet for a moment I considered counting up how many days he has been away this year. I started counting. Then I stopped. I didn't want to know. Not because I wasn't curious but because I don't think I wanted to really know how much time he's spent away from home.

Fun fact: He's become a bit of an expert on airport lounges around the world.

I've posted here previously about being a trailing spouse and how it's truly unique situation for every trailing spouse. It calls for you to let go of everything that once defined you and relearn how to navigate life with this new title and role. In my situation I'm the trailing spouse and the one who holds down the fort when Johnathan's job sends him to far flung places.

He has always had jobs that required travel to an extend. But never to the international extend this job requires and never this frequency. I also have a father who travels a lot of work therefore this is not a situation I'm unfamiliar with. If anything I've been training for this for years. Does that make it easier when he's away. No. But it means I handle it much different then most people expect.

I miss him when he's gone. I'm excited when comes home. I love hearing about his adventures and his experiences and thoughts on the places he's been. He went to a wedding reception in Bangladesh, had timbits in Dubai, learned about vodka in Kyrgyzstan and fell in love with tom yum goong in Malaysia.  On Saturday night we sat on the living room floor regaling each other with our travel adventures. Mine involved yelling at a guy on a train for hitting my laptop screen with his bag. His involved horrifyingly amazing traffic.

I'm asked a lot if I travel with him. The answer is ALWAYS no. The follow up is always "Why not?" Because I don't is the short answer. The longer answer is because he's there to work not be a tourist. Also he travels to countries where wandering off on my own as a young white blue eyed woman is not the safest thing to do. Previously he's traveled to a country where "wife stealing" (or what the rest of the world calls kidnapping of women off the street) is still an issue. Also, he travels to countries that require visas which can take a while to get if you're not working for a department of the United Nations like he is. So I hang out in Switzerland...or Germany as was the case for his last two trips and create my own memories and my own adventures at home.

And really, someone really needs to stay behind to make sure the latest episode of Qi gets PVR'd.


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