So Long, Sweetheart
As travelers we are accustomed to saying goodbye to friends and loved ones. It’s just part of the deal when living this lifestyle. As the person doing the traveling, we have much to look forward to. It’s exciting. It’s what we love, and there’s so much ahead of us that we often don’t think about looking back at what we’re leaving behind. But, what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? What happens when we’re the ones being told goodbye?
Today I sent my husband off to the land of China for one or two months. Normally I would be excited because my bags would be sitting right next to his. This is not the case anymore since I am working again. For some reason, unlimited vacation time is frowned upon. We work for the same oil and gas company, in the same office. Problem? Nah. Because HE’S NEVER THERE!
“Where’s he this time?”
“How long is he going to be gone?”
“Is it hard to have him gone all the time?”
I get this all the time. I don’t get tired of answering the questions; it’s just that the average person can’t relate to the answers. We lived in different cities for probably five of the eight years we dated. (Yes, we dated for eight years. Just had to make sure it would stick, I guess.) We got used to time apart, which made the time together all that more special. As a result of being alone, now we’re both independent-minded.
With Skype and instant messenger, things are much easier now. We make dates to “see” each other and talk at least once a day. The only difference, besides not being in the same time zone and the whole touching stuff, is that I take care of the dogs and things around the house by myself. I’m not silly enough to think this arrangement could last long term, but he’s doing what he needs to do in order to help us reach our goals.
“How do y’all handle all the time apart?”
My answer is, “We just do.”
Is it the most desirable situation? Nope.
He gets to go to unbelievably awesome places, but by no means is his travel glamorous. Oftentimes he gets less than 24 hours notice and he always works at least 12 hours a day. I call him Superman, because he’s always flying in to save the day. He thinks nothing of a trip from Houston to China, and then three days later, flying from China to Paris to Rio. He’s actually flown around the world in seven days! Being gone 250 days per year is pretty much standard.
We tell each other that it’s worth it. Because in a decade we’ll be kayaking the bays of the Philippines, living as millionaires (albeit in Philippine Pesos), and laying on the beach. We’re not going to be thinking about how badly it sucked not being together for that six weeks in 2011. But until then, we’ll enjoy our time when he’s in town and make sure our Webcams are working.
How do you handle a loved one being gone due to travel?
Featured Photo: hjl via Flickr