Archive for Travel Man

Back on the Road with Travel Man

suitcase picI’m on the road with Travel Man this week.  Yesterday we took a short flight to the Sacramento airport.  Only a little over an hour in the air (we call these up/downs).  Everything went fine. Flight was good, got in just a tad late, walked through the terminal to get ourselves to baggage claim.

Oh wait, and  before we mosied over to baggage claim Travel Man had to make a mad dash back on the plane.  He left his Nexxus tablet in the seat back (this never, ever  happens to him).  He tried to claim I distracted his “normal” flight check routine.  The nerve!!

Now we’re at the baggage claim waiting for our suitcases.  Travel Man  tells me a little story he read about suitcases being stolen right from the baggage carousel.  We’re still waiting for our bags.  Finally here comes the big Travel Man bag, his tool box, and we spot my bag with the pink luggage tag at the top of the carousel.  Travel Man’s bags come around the carousel no problem, and then we’re waiting for my bag.  Waiting, waiting and no bag.  So,  Travel Man booked it into high gear around the other side of the carousel. I’m watching the people leaving to make sure my bag with the pink tag is not rolling out the door without me.  Travel Man gets to the other side of the carousel, and my bag was just sitting on the floor, off of the carousel.  The nerve of some people.  Someone took my bag off of the carousel, realized it was not their bag, and just left it sitting there.  Luckily we were pay attention, and my Super Traveler rescued my bag from the perils of some other fate.

Thought for the day – always pay attention to your belongings when you are on the road. Oh and don’t leave home with out a Travel Man!!

The Travel is Becoming Commonplace-

1-IMG_0692I did not think this would happen to me, but it seems that Travel Man’s hectic, crazy travel schedule is becoming commonplace for me.  Is it because I am more accepting of his crazy schedule?  Is it because I have come to expect his travels to be randomly scheduled?  Or is it because I am finally able to accept the travel/work schedule as our “normal”?  I’ve been asking myself these questions over the past few weeks.

On one hand I feel slightly worried about letting the “normal” become too commonplace for myself.  On the other hand it is a good thing for me to be more accepting of the situation, because I am actually able to be relaxed when my husband tells me he’s going to Bangkok, or Brazil, or a rather remote location in Canada.

This is probably a good place to give you all a little back story about Travel Man’s job.  I don’t think I have ever explained why he travels so much.  My Travel Man is a Field Service Technician for a company called F.R. Drake, based in Virginia.  Drake manufactures the machines that orient and load the hot dogs into the packages that we all buy in our local grocery stores.  Their machine is a small portion of the entire hot dog/sausage making process, but it is also a very necessary one.  When Travel Man is out on assignment he is either installing new equipment for a production line, retrofitting a machine, or fixing a problem with a machine.  He works out of our house here in California, but can be dispatched anywhere in the world.  His first assignment with Drake,  almost two years ago now, took him to South Africa.

Now, back to my story- When Travel Man initially took this position I stressed and worried about him being in so many places, and on back to back assignments.  It was particularly stressful for me when he travelled out of the country.  What would I do if he got sick, or something happened to him, and I could not get there?  I don’t have a passport yet.  I’m getting one this year, it’s at the top of my to-do list.

Then something strange happened to me this week.  When I took my Travel Man to the airport this past Monday morning I said to myself, “Hey I’m dropping my husband off at work.”  I’ve never really thought this to myself before.  His mode of commuting to and from work just happens to be an airplane.  And it’s not like he owns an airplane or anything, it just happens to be his mode of transportation!

What has been amazing this week is from the moment that I had this revelation a sense of calm came over me that is difficult to describe.   I felt less stressed, a teeny-weeny bit less worried (because I’m a worrier by trade), and a whole lot more accepting of this situation.  Previous to this week I always knew that this is what my husband needed to do to make a living, but I would always resist and stress at the notion that he had to travel about 80-85% out of the month.  Now, I am finally able to accept our “normal”.

My hope with my newly found revelation is that it will allow me to be the most supportive “Road Warrior” wifey that I can be.  That I won’t feel so lonely if I’m home by myself a little bit more.  It’s quite easy to have a little pity party for yourself when you’re all alone.  And most of all that I am able to easily and whole-heartedly let my Travel Man know that he is my hero for what he does, and the way that he works to take care of our family.

It’s Our Turn to Pay it Forward

While travelling from one city to the next with Travel Man last week we lost his Bluetooth.  It got left in the rental car when we were making a mad dash for the door to the terminal to escape the chilly Chicago “spring” weather.  Unfortunately, we did not realize this had happened until we got into the rental car at our destination airport.  The Bluetooth was brand new, it’s a pretty cool model, and Travel Man was bummed.   After a few attempts to reach the rental car agency Travel Man finally got through to someone who could help him.  The representative patched him through to the Chicago Midway terminal, and they checked to see if the car was still there, but it had already left the building.  Travel Man left his phone numbers and asked the agent to contact him if they found the Bluetooth when the car was returned.

We were not holding out much hope that we would see the Bluetooth again.  And a tiny, little side note; this entire phone calling phase of our day was going on while we were driving to Demopolis, AL from Birmingham.  We were exhausted from the days’ travel, and locating the right phone number (me), and then getting through to the right person (Travel Man) was nearly like a navigational “discussion”.    It was not pretty for a few minutes there, but we got through it.  Let’s see that was on a Friday.

Travel Man had to work Saturday morning, and would you believe he got a phone call from the rental car representative.  They let him know that his Bluetooth had been returned that morning, by the person who rented the car after us.  This special person made a special trip back to the airport to return Travel Man’s Bluetooth. Awesome!  The rental car agency shipped the Bluetooth back to our house, and it arrived a day after we got home from this trip.

If you’re a positive sort of person like Travel Man and I tend to be this is the kind of act that gives you a glimmer of hope.  Yes there are good people out there in the world.  Those people do kind things for one another on a regular basis; it’s a habit for them.  So if the person who returned a Bluetooth to Chicago’s Midway terminal is reading this post, we thank you.

And now it’s our turn – to Pay It Forward.  The kindness of a stranger goes a long way, probably even longer, when you’re travelling and away from home.  We always try to go out of our way to be helpful to others, and when given the opportunity we both lend a helping hand.  We are always happy to Pay It Forward.  That kind of opportunity usually happens when you least expect it.

Have you had a chance to Pay It Forward recently?

Top Ten Reasons It’s Great to Travel with a Road Warrior

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As I told you all last week I had occasion to take a working road trip with my Travel Guy.  It occurred to me on the way home that there are quite a few perks to having an experienced, seasoned traveller by your side.

10) He’s the ultimate suitcase packer.  He knows how to fit EVERYTHING he (or should I say I) want to take into one suitcase.  This is especially important for me because I ALWAYS like to travel with an extra outfit, just in case.  I have gotten so much better at packing a suitcase over the years, but he remains the expert.

9) He always gets to the airport in plenty of time.  He always leaves himself enough time so there’s no frantic rushing through the security check point or through the airport, ever.

8) He travels a lot.  He accumulates tons and tons of reward points and perks for various airlines, hotels, and car rental venues.  We are especially lucky in this regard.  Nothing makes my Road Warrior happier than being able to share the reward points with a family member who needs to take a flight somewhere, or get a hotel room for a weekend trip.

7) All of the points he accumulates on a regular basis allow this gal to travel with him for mere pennies.  I am one lucky, lucky gal.

6) Check-in at the airport is an event, possibly even close to a marathon.  We always have bags to check, no dealing with carry-ons for these travelers.  Since the Road Warrior is a frequent traveler we most often avoid the long line for baggage check-in,  with the A-lister’s line (a Southwest Airlines perk).  People definitely give us dirty looks for going to the head of the line.  I just think to myself (a little selfishly), “That’s right people, I’m with this guy, and yep we got to go the head of the line”.  And then I think to myself, if other people travelled as many air miles as my Road Warrior does they would want to go to the front of the A-list line too!

5) Getting through the security line is our second event of the day. We have by-passed the baggage check-in line, and if it’s available we take the by-pass line for the security line.  Once again, exasperated stares from the “normal” passengers waiting in the “normal” line.  The Road Warrior does a little personal cheer on the inside when he gets to do this.  Oh,  and just a side note from the Road Warrior’s wife.  He carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his pocket.  It’s his way of protecting his rights while travelling through the security check point.

4) He’s so familiar with most of the airports in the U.S., he can recommend places to eat, places to plug-in your electronics, the best bathrooms, and the most comfortable seats to park in while you are waiting.

3) He loves to people watch,  and so do I.  We’ll try to guess people’s back stories, or the reasons they are travelling through the airport.  Sometimes, we just simply make up stories about the people we see.  It’s a good way to pass the time.

2) He travels with all of the necessities;  Kleenex, Tums, Clorox wipes,  for those sometimes yucky airline trays (he stays healthy this way!), aspirin, free drink coupons, a good movie to watch, and magazines.  The backpack he takes on the plane with him holds a ton of stuff (that’s a story for another day).

1)  For me the most important reason that it is so great to travel with my Road Warrior is it means that we are together.  We spend lots of time apart, so our time together is quite precious.  I would not want to travel with anyone else.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.

Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go.

On the Road with Travel Man

airplane

Our first flight at 30,000 ft.- somewhere over the Midwest.

This past week has been quite a week.  I have been on the road with my Travel Guy while he has been working. How did this happen you ask?  Well, the stars were aligned, the timing was just right, the destinations were workable, and there was an opportunity for me to say, yes I would like to go with you. So I did.

This trip has been a whirlwind of travel for me, totally the norm for Travel Man.  We left California last Tuesday morning for our first destination; Quincy, MI.  We flew into Chicago’s Midway Airport, and drove to our Michigan location.  Travel Man worked there for two days, and then on Friday we headed to Demopolis, Alabama via Chicago, again. He worked the weekend on his second assignment  in Alabama, and then we headed for home yesterday morning.  That is a story all on its own.

It has been quite a while since I travelled out on a job assignment with my hubby, and it just reminds me of how unique his work-a-day world is.  He really does not live in the Monday through Friday world at all.  He lives in the job assignment to job assignment world.  Many of his assignments require him to travel over the weekend, so his Monday’s and Friday’s come and go with little or no fanfare.  Not a lot of TGIF’s in his work world.

Now, I realize that the “Road Warrior” schedule is not for everyone, but my Travel Guy, he just puts his nose to the grindstone and gets the job done.  He does not always get to sleep in.  He is not always able to be home for Sunday breakfasts and the like, but this is his job.  It’s what he does, it’s how he rolls, and how we pay the bills.

We had some crazy weather while we were in Michigan.  We saw lots of lightning, heard some awesome thunder, and on our way back to the airport on Friday there were a few snow flurries.  Isn’t this April already?  What happened to Springtime?

We, or I should say I,  had some serious issues on Friday figuring out what time zone we were in.  I was insistent that we would be on East Coast time in Alabama, Travel Man was not convinced.  Thank goodness for the automatic updates on the cell phones. I totally relied on my cell phone for that update, and readily admitted I was wrong.   We were on Central time.

Now that I have experienced this work-a-day travel first hand again, it is much easier for me to relate to the fact that my guy can feel like a total zombie when he gets home.   And it usually takes a few days for him to feel “normal” again.   The time changes can really mess with your brain and your body clock.

All in all this has been somewhat of a relaxing time for both of us.  We have gotten to spend some much-needed time together, gotten caught up on some missed conversations, and gotten to eat more than a few meals together.  Over the next week I will have a few adventures and tales to share with all of you about my week on the road.  Stay tuned for more of my tales,  “On the Road with Travel Man”.

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