Tag Archive for road warrior

On a Road Warrior Trip

2015-08-021

Last week I made a trip to the Denver area with my favorite Travel Man.  It was a quick work trip, but we got to spend some much-needed time together.  His work schedule has been a little crazy recently.  We were celebrating our anniversary and a certain Travel Man’s birthday during this week.  It was a lot of fun to be together to celebrate, and do some travelling together.  This trip I dropped Travel Man off at work and took the rental car to do a little exploring.  While I was cruising around by myself for a few hours I noticed that a few things were a little different in Colorado.

1) The grass here is so green. I’m very jealous. At home in Southern California we are in a Stage 3 drought alert. In our neighborhood we are restricted to watering our lawns just three times per week. Our front yard is surviving ok, the backyard not so much.

2) I drove around by myself with the rental car while Travel Man was at work. This is the first trip that I have done this.  I realized I should have been doing this much more often over the past couple of years. I have a fairly good sense of direction and got around town just fine.  And of course there was shopping involved.

4) I’m reminded that my Travel Man’s work life is constantly in a state of flux. The customer he was taking care of here needs parts to repair their machine.  Receipt of those parts will delay finishing the job. Travel Man’s schedule does not allow him to stay here and finish this one! He’s back on a plane in two days heading overseas.  This means we’re going home a day early and he’ll have an extra day to relax and pack his suitcase.

5) There are “Help Wanted” signs everywhere!  The hiring signs were definitely in abundance.  Every store I went into had a hiring sign posted! It was nice to see that for a change.  We haven’t seen that as often in Southern California.

6) I am blessed to be in this place right at this moment.  I can pack my bags at a moments notice and head off with my hubby to his next work destination. How many people get to do that every week? I’m a lucky gal.

Have you had a Road Warrior in your life?   Did you get to travel together much?  Or maybe you were a Road Warrior yourself.  I’d love to hear some of your best travel stories.

This post shared at the MidLifeLuv Linky party.

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A State of Waiting

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We all spend tons and tons of time waiting over the course of our busy days; the doctors’ office, waiting for medical test results, in line at any store, the bank (oh wait I cannot remember the last time I stepped foot IN the bank!), the gas station, etc.  Waiting can be stressful, and sometimes make a person somewhat wary.  I have a little bit different twist on the word waiting today that I wanted to share with you.

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If you’re significant other is a Road Warrior (aka Travel Man) like mine do you feel like you’re always waiting?  If you’re not familiar with the term Road Warrior this is my definition.  A Road Warrior is a significant other that has a job that requires them to travel away from home on a regular basis.  Your Road Warrior might be gone for a few days, or a few weeks.  They must travel to wherever the job takes them on a moments notice. In our case my Road Warrior’s mode of travel is almost always an airplane.  He likes to say he commutes in a tube.

So, when your significant other works away from the house almost every week it always seems like you’re waiting for one thing or another.

Waiting for the next time you will see them.

Waiting to hear how their day went.  Sometimes waiting a long, long time for this one.

Waiting to talk to them if you have something important to say but it’s not an emergency (if things start to pile up I always have to make a list for myself).  I have also been known to e-mail a list to my favorite Road Warrior if he is having a super busy week.

Waiting for the day they are coming home to arrive.

Waiting to go the airport to pick them up

Waiting at the airport for your favorite Road Warrior to get there.

Waiting to have a nice dinner together (spaghetti is the go-to, first night, home cooked meal at my house )  If we are going out to eat on the night that he gets home I have to choose the place.  This is because the Road Warrior has been eating in restaurants all week, and he’s tired, tired, tired of choosing where to go.

Waiting can sometimes seem like an eternity.  Waiting can test your patience, and put such a strain on your relationship, if you allow that to happen.  When your Road Warrior calls you to say he has had a bad day or is missing you, be a good listener. Always be encouraging, and tell him you cannot wait to see him.  Those are the things a Road Warrior needs to hear.

Waiting can be the pits, for both of us.  Probably the worst form of waiting is when the Road Warrior is on his way home, and then there is some sort of travel delay.  Ugh, those are times you need to have your patience in check.  You are waiting, he’s waiting. You’re both waiting.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  But then comes the best part of waiting, when the wait is over.  That’s when I am relieved that my Road Warrior is home safe and sound.  That’s when we are able to relax together, and just reconnect.  There’s no more waiting until the next trip.

Connecting on the WiFi from 30,000 feet

Event-WiFi-My-Meeting-ProfessionalMy Travel Man has a crazy work schedule. He’s home, he’s gone, and then he’s home again.  Sometimes his trips turn around so fast it makes your head spin, and that’s no joke, for him and for me.  In the last few weeks I have realized that his travel communication has taken a new turn.   Whenever my Travel Guy is gone for a few days we always make sure we get in some video chatting time.   This is really important for him and for me too, to have the personal connection time.  Normally we chat on either Facetime or Google Hangouts.  Google Hangouts usually has a fairly decent connection either domestically or internationally.  We have used it in both instances, and had fairly good video success.  Just a little long distance relationship advice.

Now back to my original story – the airlines (in our family meaning Southwest Airlines) have recently updated their WiFi service and it is now available on most flights across the country.  What this means for my Road Warrior of a husband is that he can stay connected to home and chat with me while he is 30,000 feet above wherever he is flying to or from.  It’s a great techie tool for him to stay a little more connected with me at home, and keep up on all of the latest news with the kids and grand-kids.  For instance, we have recently had a rash of a certain cat in the house (who shall remain nameless) bringing in his latest catch for me to see. So I’m able to chat with my hubby and let him know we have yet another mouse or lizard in the house.  I’m sure on the other end he has a little chuckle as he knows how much I hate to have anything crawling around on the floor that does not belong there.

And you know it’s more than just a little mind-boggling to realize that we can chat with each other the whole time he is in the air.  I’m still completely amazed by this fact. You realize my mind-boggling won’t even register with our grand-kids.  They will be growing up thinking this is “par for the course”.  Nothing out of the ordinary for them.

Also there have been occasions recently where I will have the grand-kids here with me and I allow Evan to type a few chat messages to his Papa.  He always takes a “Selfie” to send along too with a sweet loving message.

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So here is the way my Travel Guy’s flights go these days with his new-found WiFi connection while he is in a big metal tube in the air.  He has a nice tablet computer that goes along with him wherever he goes.  He is normally able to watch a movie, or a TV show via the airline connection, chat with his wife, and check his email messages.  That’s a ton of multi-tasking while on a travel assignment.   I suppose it could be a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because we are able to stay more connected than before, and a curse because he doesn’t really get any time off from his work e-mail.  A fine line and a tightrope that a lot of people walk these days I’m sure. 

My Travel Man really likes to geek out since he’s on the road so much, and I’m truly glad he’s got all the techie do-dads he needs to make his travels just a little bit easier. The added bonus of the WiFi in so many places makes our connection with one another all the more convenient, and we definitely like it that way.  Being able to stay connected like we do is what makes the distance between us just a teenie bit more tolerable.  

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.

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.

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