Despite the fact that we both work out of our home, we truly never tire of spending time with one another. Even after twenty five years of marriage, we prefer to go places together and aren’t the type of couple that has his and hers friends, we just have our friends. So when work sends us places, which happens more often that we’d probably like, we will often try to turn it into a joint trip. Obviously there are parts of a work trip that are simply work and we can’t be together, but when we can, we will add a couple of days to the trip so that we can explore together. Fortunately we have jobs that are willing to be flexible and let us do that on occasion, so we’ve been able to go to places like San Francisco, Dallas, and even to Chennai India, which is one of our fondest travelling memories (more about that another time). Last week we had another such opportunity when we traveled to Bozeman Montana, which is located very close to the north and west entrances to Yellowstone. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel there many times and we’ve visited the park at least a dozen times in the past several years, so when the opportunity arose to go again, we didn’t hesitate.
There are some obvious reasons why mixing work and pleasure makes complete sense, the most obvious being that it cuts down on costs. Work will pick up the cost of one airfare, the hotel room (at least the majority of it), and for the days that you’re working, some of the food. You might think that work would be against allowing us to take advantage of trips like this, but really it is a win/win for both sides. The spouse who is travelling for work is happier, more relaxed and therefore productive, and at end of the day, more willing to travel in the future knowing that they can reduce the stress that travelling can cause. The reality for us is that we don’t like being apart, so when one of us travels alone, it is very stressful for us and all we can think about is getting home to be together. Knowing that when we’re done with work, we’ll be together and able to go out and enjoy a nice meal together, see some new sites, and make some new memories takes the edge off of travelling for work.
For example, we’d both been to San Francisco and Dallas in the past, but because we weren’t together we didn’t see anything that the cities had to offer. Seeing sites without being together wouldn’t be a shared memory and it is the shared memories that are precious to us. So, when we traveled together to San Francisco, we went to Chinatown, to Fisherman’s Warf where we had our caricature drawn, and to a wonderful dinner at Scoma’s. For whatever reason, we always seem to find an Irish pub whenever we travel, as was the case on this trip as well. When in Dallas, we went to Dealy Plaza and to the 6th floor book repository museum and, of course, there is always the local food, we ate plenty of smoked barbeque. Chennai was even better because we were able to immerse ourselves into a foreign culture and one of the highlights of the trip was having dinner at the home of a coworker. There is too much to say about visiting India to describe here, so we’ll be devoting a future post to delve into the wonderful time that we spent there. Obviously our trip to Bozeman was all about going into Yellowstone to hike. No matter how many times we’ve gone to the park, every visit is new and exciting. July can be one of the busiest months in the park, but as soon as you step onto a trail and hike for a short while, it is as if you have the entire park to yourselves.
Needless to say, travelling for work can be less than ideal at times, but by travelling together and making time to see some of the sights that different locations have to offer, we’re able to make the most of those opportunities. Life is too short and we cherish our time together too much to let work separate us for too long, so we try to let our jobs work for us whenever we can.