As much as most of my travel is to advance VineSleuth, it still feels odd saying ‘work’ there. Work implies that it is forced, but my work is my choice. I’m building this business and every trip is a decision. Do I stay or do I go?
Is it worth the total cost of the trip to go?
By cost, it’s not solely the money it takes. The cost also means time away from my family, time in airports, taxis, coming and going, sitting and waiting, weak wifi, potentially awkward conversations with strangers, meeting prep and follow up. Are all these things worth it for every trip? Will my luggage make it if I am forced to check it? Do I pack exercise clothes this time? Will I get enough sleep? Will I miss a critical email amid the flurry of emails that might arrive while in the air?
Every trip I take also has promise.
Whom will I meet? Whom will I be presenting to? Will they be dazzled enough by my presentation that they will want to know more? Will that land us a deal or a partnership? What stories will I hear? What new relationships and inspirations will come of the trip, both personal and business? What sights will I see, interesting foods will I eat and new wines will I try? Every trip holds so much promise or else I wouldn’t bother to book it, prepare for it, and then, of course, take it.
Yes, it’s odd to be away from home so much. But I have a great husband and teammate who is incredible at juggling our children’s schedules and needs with his own. And he’s great at sending me fun and supportive messages when I’m away from home.
I get to go to a lot of places. One day this journey of life will take another turn. Who knows how long I’ll keep up this travel schedule or how it may change? While I’m on this chapter though, I feel I should get what I can from it. I explore the cities where I land as best I can. I try to talk with the locals and visit a mix of restaurants if I can. I walk more when I travel, listening to accents and languages around me, taking in art and construction and local architecture to its own soundtrack.
There are times though, when I’m too exhausted to explore much.
Last Summer at my last destination of a four-country whirlwind trip, I arrived in Madrid energized before my meeting and then exhausted once it ended. I tried to explore the city but I just could not. I was beat and ready to get home and I didn’t feel like working my way through another language to get a meal. After spending only 20 minutes walking the bustling streets I turned around walked back to my hotel and opted for the hotel’s rooftop bar for a snack and some sangria. Fortunately, I was still offered a gorgeous view. My self-imposed guilt for not exploring the city vanished.
That evening really made me think about my travel philosophy, which I think is a lot like my life philosophy:
Each adventure happens only once. Put a little extra in and explore all you can while you’re there, but don’t wear yourself out in the process or live someone else’s agenda.
Some days and trips are for adventure and exploration, and some are for recharging. Combining the two when possible is a sure win. I miss my family when I travel for VineSleuth. I miss performances and smiles and hugs and kisses. But I try each time to bring back stories and the promise of a growing business which will provide more adventures for our family together, later. And so I travel.
…..written from 24,000 feet over Canada and New York.