Tomorrow, I'm leaving for a business trip to Vietnam.
This is the first long business trip I've taken since the Peanut was born and I can't really say that I'm looking forward to it. For starters, I haven't even left yet but I already miss her and the BossLady. I'm dreading the 23-hour transit time. I'm convinced that I'm either going to get malaria or the Avian flu. And I'm definitely not looking forward to the insufferable heat and humidity. According to Accuweather, it's going to be over 119 degrees while I'm there! My balls start dripping with sweat just THINKING about it! (Nice mental image, eh?)
However, I will admit that there's a small part of me that's looking forward to the trip. Over the course of my life, I've visited over 38 countries. Every place is uniquely different and I love immersing myself in the culture of new locales. Vietnam, in particular, is an amazingly beautiful place and photos don't even begin to do it justice. If you ever get the chance to journey around SE Asia, take it. The scenery can be absolutely breathtaking.
I'm also looking forward to flying First Class. I've upgraded with miles in the belief that if you're going to fly for 23 hours, it's imperative to have a small team of Vietnamese men massaging your feet as long-legged female flight attendants hand-feed you caviar and pour champagne down your throat. (I'm kidding. They don't really pour champagne down your throat. It's actually non-vintage sparkling wine. Cheap-asses!)
Anyway...before I got married five years ago, I used to spend about 20% of the year living out of my suitcase. I'd fly from New York to London to India to Korea to Hong Kong to Thailand to Shanghai...and then reverse course and do it again. Often times, my head would be spinning and I'd reach a point where I'd forget what city I was in or where I was even staying. I'd dig into my pocket to find a hotel key card, only to find about 10 of them. I'd go to Room #1020 in one city, forgetting that was the room I was booked in 5 days and 2 continents ago. It might sound chaotic but I loved every second of it.
After I got married, I began traveling a lot less. I'd do everything possible to shorten the time that I was away from BossLady. Once, I even travelled to Asia for 2 days of meetings and then rushed back home to be with my lovely wife. I didn't think it was physically possible but I actually spent more time in the air than I did on the ground.
When the Peanut was born? Forget about it. I haven't gone overseas for work since the day she arrived. The last thing I wanted to do is be away from her because of business. For the first year of her life, I was only semi-joking when I'd tell people that if I was gone for even a single day, the Peanut would completely forget what I looked like and wouldn't remember me when I came home.
You never hear much about the feelings that fathers have about traveling and being away from their families. You hear about the moms being left alone at home to manage the household by themselves. You hear about working moms being forced to go on business trips. And you hear about working moms engaged in the struggle between careers and parenting. But the travails of working fathers having to leave their families at home is rarely ever discussed. As my buddy Brian has astutely discussed, this seems to be another arena in which the "family vs. work" balances of the working father tend to be dismissed. I'd bitch and complain too but, really, who would listen? Besides, as the Peanut's Godfather likes to say to everyone, "stop bitching with your high-class problems!"
As for all of you readers out there? Strangely enough, I'm really going to miss all of you and your blogs too! You know I love corresponding with all of you and visiting your sites on a regular basis. It totally bums me out that we won't be able to "keep in touch."
But, in my absence, I've got a few surprises for you that I think you'll enjoy...
(1) The infamous and beautiful BossLady has finally agreed to do her long-awaited guest post while I'm away. Many of you have been leaving comments for the past year, hounding her to make a cameo appearance. Stay tuned to read her debut.
(2) The brilliant filmmaker and hilarious writer, MetroBro, will also be making a short cameo at some point next week. He's currently shooting a documentary series for CourtTV but, since he's a functional insomniac, he figures he'll write something in his sleep and throw it up here next week.
(3) We'll also have a guest post by a famous celebrity. I'm not going to say who it's going to be. Just make sure to come back here and check.
Finally, in passing, I'm going to take a page out of my buddy Chris' blog (aka Rude Cactus) and open up my comments for questions---anything you want to ask, anything you want to know. Ask me anything! Personal, trivial, insightful or meme-licious? I'll try to post all the answers up here at some point during my trip. It's going to be a really long fucking plane ride. Let's try and get to know each other a little better, ok?
And as my good friend, The Doctor, likes to say..."Later, bitches! I'll miss you!"