Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Travel Lessons Learned

I had the great pleasure of accompanying my husband on a work conference trip a few weeks ago. This event was only made possible by our choice to move near family who could watch our children for the three days we were gone. Reason #1 we live here.

The trip almost didn't happen. Medicine is unpredictable. This is the exchange my husband and I had in the hours before we were supposed to leave.

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He had been on call the prior evening and didn't get much sleep. His plan was to go check on his patients in the morning, sign off with his partner and then come home and help take care of loose ends before we left.  What is supposed to happen, and what actually happens are two different things. He finally did come home at 12:30 am the following morning, with just enough time to pack and get three hours of sleep before we needed to leave for the airport.

We had plenty to do to get ready. I am an excessive planner and had folders full of days activities to prepare, food to shop for and assemble, rooms to clean and laundry to do because I refuse to let my MIL believe I am not the perfection of cleanliness, important numbers and names to leave, directions on when/what for emergency contacts. I don't care of anyone actually uses my prep work, but it makes me feel better about leaving. And that is all that matters

A few big items on the list were my husbands. Like packing himself and the ski equipment, and getting the oil changed so his mom didn't have to worry about the warning light that was going off for the last week. I refuse to pack for a grown man, but I did drag four children to get the oil changed, and to the grocery store, and to the craft store, and everywhere. But it didn't matter. I was leaving town.

The best part about attending work conferences like this one is all the quiet time in the hotel room. They had meetings from 7 am - 10 am meaning I could sleep in and leisurely get ready. Then they had a break between 10 am - 4 pm so we could ski together. And then they met up again between 4 pm - 6 pm and ended for the day in time to have a nice dinner together. And repeated the whole schedule again the next day. It was lovely.

My husband gets me. My dream is to spend a weekend in a hotel all by myself with a good book and room service. I don't want to do anything.

So what is the lesson I will be sure to employ next time? While most  people would take a day off after their vacation to unwind before starting work again, a doctor should take the day before a trip off so he can be ready and rested, or worse miss the flight altogether.

I highly recommend attending with your spouse and, gasp, even taking your children. Where are your favorite locations to attend conferences?


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