Work Life Travel balance

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I thought about writing a post on juggling work commitments, travel with my job and time at home with children and family. And then I came across this post from community friend Robin Moffatt.

https://rmoff.net/2019/02/08/travelling-for-work-with-kids-at-home/

And … well … it’s exactly the thoughts, sentiments and motivation that I wanted to put in writing. Pretty much exactly. (Except the part about a spreadsheet – I’m a DBA, we don’t use spreadsheets…ever! Smile). Robin will propbably be pissed with me saying this (because he writes some great tech stuff) but I reckon this post is his best work. It captures so well the importance of … the important stuff. This quote in particular is spot on:

In ten years who will give two monkeys if you presented at SuperKool Konference 2008? Conferences come and go. Kids just go

So true.

Hence I don’t need to write a post, because Robin has captured it perfectly. The only augmentation I have is due to the differences in ages of our children. Robin’s are 5 and 7, and mine are now 12 and 14. I’ve never been a huge fan of getting children onto the tech gadget bandwagon too soon, but now that mine are both in secondary school, I’ve changed that tune a little and got them a phone each. Obviously that comes with risks and the drawbacks that all kids tend to exhibit once they have phone (I’m looking at you Instagram and Snapchat!). But (for me) the positives of being able to reach out to the boys at a moment’s notice when I’m away outweighs that. Now I can immediately share with them the experiences of overseas adventures, and hopefully pique their interest to one day travel and explore the world when they’re older. Or even if it’s just a “Hey, I’ve just landed in transit in Dubai” it’s a reminder to them that their Dad is thinking about them when he’s away. Similarly, if they’re concerned about something or even stuck on their Maths homework, a quick Whatsapp or Telegram and we’re hooked up at least academically albeit not geographically. My next plan is to get them to occasionally come to these work trips with me; such experiences I think will be more benefit than the smattering of school days they might miss.

So kudos to Robin. If you travel for work, or even if you just work long hours – that post is well worth your time.

One comment

  1. Hello Connor,
    I am probably the last person in the world who should express an opinion on these matters, though
    I do perfectly understand the “balance sheet” that is running in the head of each “super-traveler” like you.
    The IT world has many specialists, however, there are relatively very few super-stars that everyone desires to enjoy meeting and listening live 🙂
    I can only assure you that there will always be some people, maybe indeed not excessively many,
    who will definitely remember your having presented at one conference or another, even after many, many years 🙂
    The problem maybe relies in the fact that there are so many non-travelers and so few super-travelers … and the reasons for this are many …
    In an ideal world, there would be an equilibrium situation, one in which on some occasions you are the one who travel for presenting, while in other cases others will travel to hear you “on your home ground”.
    If the big tech conferences would be more accessible for more people, both geographically and financially, then maybe a different life-map could be drawn for the top-level presenters.

    Anyway, I am pretty sure that the time will come when you will certainly remember this top-intensive segment of your life with the satisfaction of having been recognized and appreciated practically by an entire planet, instead of having remained just another “anonymous little bee”, unknown by anyone.

    As long as you will keep living all this travel-rich life, we will always be delighted to welcome you and learn from you 🙂

    Thanks a lot & Best Regards,
    Iudith Mentzel

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