If I sound a little off, it is for good reason. The day job has sent me to Asia for the week which is twelve hours different from my home time zone and a sixteen hour flight. I am thrilled to still be sitting upright at this point.
My last visit was several years ago, before I had any children. At that time I had been wedged into a seat in economy class, or cattle class as we like to call it. I remain convinced that the bed in my hotel room was actually just a cloth covered sheet of plywood, and communication at home was either a spotty phone call or by instant messenger. I had entertained myself to the best of my ability, but there had been an element of homesickness throughout my entire stay.
Knowing the extent of my previous homesickness prior to having children, I was more than a little hesitant to return after the children were born. But you can only put off necessary journeys for so long.
Thankfully technology has come a long way since my last extended trip to Asia. Tools like Skype and Face Time are helping me do everything but reach out a touch my loved ones. Explaining the time change to my boys was easy. If they are eating breakfast, I am eating dinner. If they are getting ready for bed, I am on my way to work. I told them I was going to opposite land. While they miss me, they think this is a pretty cool, but it is probably a good thing my computer’s camera isn’t set up for high definition. It’s hard to look your best after such a long flight coupled with an extreme case of jet lag. Al Gore said it best, “Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.”
I can’t change the fact that I had to travel away from my family for a few days. I miss them terribly. I wish that they were here with me, or that society was further along in development of teleportation technology. But it is pointless to bemoan what I don’t have. Instead I need to make the most of this experience. I have to think about what I do have, and be happy. It’s already shaping up to be better than the last time I was here. No one sat next to me on the plane allowing some extra elbow room, and the hotel I am staying at understands the importance of a softer mattress. Additionally, I now have something I haven’t had in years. Spare time.