Travelin’ woes

I’m writing this from New York, at the end of an incredible 8-day streak of being home. Believe it or not, that’s a huge accomplishment right now.

Between work, and conferences, and traveling back to Florida to spend time with my dad, I’m racking up the miles… But this also means that we have to cancel something we were really excited about.

It all started three weeks ago when I visited Charlotte for an Employee Network meeting my company was holding. From there, I came home on a Sunday night and turned around the next day to fly to Seattle, where I was a featured panelist at an external summit of Employee Resource Group leaders. I took the red-eye home overnight (having barely adjusted to the time zone difference the way out, never mind the way back) and then enjoyed four whole days home before boarding a plane to Orlando for work and to see my dad.

man-sleeping-at-airport

I’m like this… only older and fatter.

After three weeks of traveling, this last week home has been nice, but that’s about to come to a screeching halt. I leave tomorrow for the Forum on Inclusion, where I’ll be presenting about Employee Resource Groups (similar to the presentations I did last year). I get home, enjoy a couple of days with some Charlotte friends visiting, then I head down to Florida for another few days with my father.

This next trip to Florida will be especially meaningful for two reasons. First, I’m connecting my dad with some of my employer’s financial advisors and attorneys in Merritt Island, so we’ll be able to start making progress on a few areas that my dad’s been stressing about. And second, Sal will be joining for the last couple of days of the trip. I nearly wept when he said that he wanted to be sure to visit my father while Dad was feeling well enough to enjoy the time together.

We get home, and a couple of days later I head out to the Society for Industrial/ Organizational Psychology (SIOP) annual conference, where I’ll be leading a discussion on what it means to be an “ally” in a Diversity & Inclusion sense. I’ll have an evening home in New York before going back to Florida. (There’s a trend here, over the next couple of months: if I’m not traveling for work or school, I’ll be in Florida a lot.)

All of this, unfortunately, has come with a cost: we’ve decided to cancel our planned trip to Italy at the end of May. It was supposed to be a “celebrate Kevin finishing his Ph.D.” adventure, with some other friends, but we’ve concluded that we just shouldn’t do it. I’m traveling enough as it is, and am reluctant to add such a long trip right now… I’ll be in the last few weeks of the class I’m teaching, and hopefully will be in the final stretch of finishing my dissertation, both of which are time commitments that I’d rather not have to worry about while vacationing in Europe.

And of course, there’s also the possibility that my father’s health may be at a critical point by then, and I may need to get back to Florida on short notice.

So yes, for now we’re postponing our celebratory trip to Italy. We got our frequent flyer miles and hotels.com credits back, so we’ll be able to do the trip at another time instead… This Spring will be more focused on dealing with other professional, academic, and family commitments.

Priorities, though, right? Several of these other commitments are time sensitive and more important than vacation. Besides, Italy will be there, and yes, we’re already starting to scheme about Spring 2017.

 

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