How traveling by myself made me appreciate my husband

Johnathan, kitten rescuer
Photo ©
Ralph Rosenbauer 
That's my husband. He's juggling my water bottle because...he's Johnathan and that's what Johnathan's do best. 

Another thing he does really well? 


I've talk about him traveling before. I've talked about how it never gets easy or how it's hard for me to wrap my brain around the places he goes. I have trouble reconciling the guy who I have to explain facebook to with the guy who flies into countries no one has heard of and deploys software. I've written about my love/hate relationship with his travelling. On one hand yay life experience and presents! On the other, being left alone and getting sick of cereal for dinner.

When I call him an airport lounge expert I'm only half joking. And if you need to know about the amenities in random airports, he's your guy. He found the butterfly sanctuary in the Singapore airport particularly charming and if you need a restaurant recommendation in the Johannesburg airport he'll point you in the right direction.

This boy from a town of 200 has seen the world in a way most people bucket list about. And he's crazy good at it. I know though all the travel takes a toll on him and on me. I know it's the epitome of first world problems but sometimes the thought of yet another trip to Africa is just, blech. Sure it's lovely having a glass of pinotage on the hotel terrace overlooking the beach in Durban. The thing is I also know that John would much prefer to be sitting on our balcony, with the afternoon sun glinting off his chiseled jawline, drinking pinotage. But he soldiers on. Gets on another plane. Sleeps in another hotel room. Instagrams me another office building or parking lot. 

It's what you have to do when you have a job like his. And he loves his job.

I recently traveled to the UK by myself and during that trip not only did I learn a crazy amount of roller derby stuff but I learned to really appreciate what Johnathan does. 

My travel day started at 5 am and consisted on 1 plane, 4 trains and a 30 minute walk to my hotel with all my luggage. Once I checked-in I sat on the bed and wondered how the hell does he do this all the time? I was exhausted and alone. That sucked!!

I experienced so many many cool, awesome, amazing things without him. I saw one of the best roller derby games ever in life and he wasn't there. I met some of my roller derby heroes and all I could do was instagram him a photo. He didn't live any of it with me. Just through me. That was so weird. 

Then it hit me. This is what he does ALL THE TIME! Fed lemurs in Madagascar. Alone. Cuddled baby lions. Alone. Got bitten by a lion cub. Alone.  Had a Singapore Sling at Raffles. Alone. Sang karaoke with Asian business men in Laos. Alone...well mostly alone.  

I should be clear that Johnathan and I aren't the kind of couple that can be together all the time. Someone would die. Or get seriously maimed. Our marriage would not survive if he didn't go away occasionally. It's not easy and it sucks but it's actually what makes our marriage work.

But this trip the the UK I was hit with a profound sense of this is what he does all the time and I really need to quit complaining about about being left being. Some of the stuff he does is fun, super fun, and I love that he takes advantage of the opportunities but I realized last weekend while this stuff IS fun, it's not as fun as it could be because you're not having a shared experience.

So I came home and hugged him. Not just because I missed his stupid face but because I got a very very very small taste of what he does over and over and over. I asked him how he does it the night I got home. All he said was, "well, I know you're going to be here when I get back so that helps."