Gentle readers, please forgive me for my tardiness to post, as well this all-text post. Just over three months ago, I returned to the United States, and I must say that there are both good and, well, challenging points to address in my repatriation process. I moved back into the Atlanta area, but my new job includes a great deal of travel. Being close to a major airport is a real bonus, even if the airport is about two hours away sometimes due to traffic and distance.
I hope your holiday season has been bright. I know mine has been excellent so far, and I am looking forward to the new year ahead!
One of the things that makes my travel more enjoyable is listening to podcasts (basically online radio shows) that keep me entertained for hours. A favorite podcast is Sowerby and Luff’s Big Thing, developed by a British couple and is filled with funny news articles and keeps my heart light with their categorization of things that are “good things” and “bad things”. So, in homage to their idea, please see the following:
- The Atlanta airport. Yes, it may be big and a bit gnarly, but the ATL Hartsfield-Jackson airport serves up lots and lots of direct flights to most of my destinations. Definitely a good thing.
- The job. I like what I do, which is working for a large educational publisher as a curriculum specialist. My travel supports both sales and training activities, and I work with a great team of folks. Our territory? Thirty-seven states… more on that, later. Usually, I fly in, spend the night, work with the client, and then fly out afterward. There’s not usually time for sightseeing, although that would be a nice treat.
- Family. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to see my family. I was even able to connect with my daughter who lives in New York during a recent trip there. Spending time with my daughters and my parents is so, so important.
- Friends. As you might expect, coming back to the US and traveling 3-5 days a week makes spending quality time with friends a bit of a challenge. You would be right. But for those folks who have taken the time to hang out with me, whether on the phone or in person, according to my crazy schedule, I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate that.
- Location. I am really, really lucky in that I live with a dear friend and rent a room in his place. When I am not in Atlanta, I am pretty much anywhere in our territory. So far, I have been to the following airports and the surrounding communities for different work activities: Detroit, Columbus, Providence, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Hartford, Richmond, Denver, Pueblo, Newark, New York, Pittsburgh, Sioux Falls, Madison, Coeur D’Alene, Spokane, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Houston, and Marshall, Minnesota.
- Books and podcasts. Whether I am waiting in a line at the airport, driving a couple of hours to a destination, or in a restaurant, books and podcasts keep me company and make the time fly by.
- The holidays. I am very, very thankful to be here during the holiday season. In addition to catching up on my sleep, the time at home has allowed me to relax and enjoy the holiday season.
Bad things Not so good things:
- Eating out. I know, eating out is supposed to be something fun. Not when it is every meal… and while I do the best I can, it is very hard to eat properly on the road. I am getting better about eating the right things, but I still miss cooking and making healthier meals.
- Ridiculous traveling experiences. The idiots having a pre-flight picnic on the floor in front of the gate desk. The crabby people who feel such a burden when I get up to go the bathroom on the plane… trust me, I didn’t choose a middle seat for fun on a six-hour flight. The car rental company that couldn’t find the car they rented me that did not work the following morning and after they had it towed to their repair facility… that’s about three hours of time on the phone that I will never get back. The Minneapolis and Newark airports. The woman complaining that her favorite brand of coffee was not available in the airport like it used to be (but kudos to the guy behind the counter who only smiled and did the best he could). The delayed flights that I only find out about when I am already in the airport to take off.
- Time alone when I could use a friendly face. I am rarely shy about calling friends when I need to hear a friendly voice. There are times, though, when a few moments with a friend would be welcome, especially when a flight has been delayed or I arrive at a destination much later than I expect. Being lonely occasionally is to be expected, but it still isn’t a nice feeling.
- Missing Valencia. This is probably the most significant of all. I really, really miss Valencia and my friends there. There have been some pretty black days when my heart was breaking and I was homesick for my adopted city. Never having experienced this before, I guess this is normal. That doesn’t make it any easier.
So, gentle readers, that brings me to the next question: What next? I want to continue blogging, but need some ideas about what would be the most meaningful to you. Let me know… send me a comment and give me some ideas!
Nosotros también te echamos de menos.
Juan, y yooooooo…. mi corazón está un poco roto. Besitos a todos allí, y quiero una cerveza (o cinco) contigo en el barrio. El Sauce? Sí!
Sorry for reading you so late. You’d know our hart is also broken but there’re lots of things for being happy as you’d said. However, I’d read the most important thing you should miss is our verduras, such as berenjenas, pimientos, calabacín, and so on 😉
El Sauce es una buena opción for having a glass of wine with you.
PD: Hoy es el día de los Inocentes, espero que no te gasten muchas bromas ^_^
Ay, Guapa! Sí, yo quiero comer las verduras que tú sabes me gustan mucho! Y Dulce de Leche y desayunos. Y mis amigos en Valencia…
Love your bolg sweetie!!! We miss you so much here in Valencia. I think it would be a great idea for your blog to be about your travels: airport situations, eating out, etc. Love you and miss you
Thanks, Natalia. I am thinking of something along those lines and had a bit of a brainstorm last night… should be fun! Love you and miss you, too!!!!
Thanks so much for the update Chris! Glad things overall sound like they are going well! Miss you lots and hope to talk to you soon! Xxxooo
Hey! Called and left you a message yesterday! I hope to see you soon! xxoo
I have tired to email you but it wouldn’t go through!! Would love to be in touch. Please email, call or text me. Glad you are back but wow what a busy schedule!
Hey, Carolyn, I just sent you an email. Hope all is well, and Happy New Year!!!
How about reviews on the books and podcasts you listen to. I would enjoy that, and I’m sure you would be fair and thorough in you assessment.
Sharon, that is an excellent idea, and I am working on some ideas, including this one, for the next iteration of this blog. Nothing will be going away, but I may be adding some things! Hope all is well!
Anything you have to say is worth reading. Just keep being yourself.
Awww thanks, Al! I hope you are having a great holiday season! Miss you bunches!
What a wonderful feeling to see a post from you tonight! I admire you and would love to see you again soon. Nice to see an update, friend.
You. Me. Breakfast / lunch dinner date. Soon!
As always, I love your blog and catching up on all your endeavors… But it’s nothing compared to seeing you in person! I hope you get to come in to Atlanta for a “breather” soon! Love,Kim
Oh, Kim, I really do want to see you and Melody sometime soon! xxoo
Anything you write is good. Just like to hear about what you are doing.
Thanks, Barb! I hope you have had a good holiday season!
Hi Chris, Happy New Year!
My suggestion is to get a very nice small camera (now that you’re making the big $) and photograph your experiences traveling like a madman. If you are at all interested in candid people photography – you have an ideal job (airports, small towns, etc). Tie your good photos into the blog, and give your international readership a taste of true Americana. I would think you’re bound to encounter some interesting situations traveling as much as you are.
Good luck with it all and hope to see you back in Spain soon!
Chris, that is an excellent suggestion, and I plan on doing something very much like that with my new blog idea! I’m glad are thinking along the same lines. This is a great idea! Happy New Year and I hope to see y’all sometime soon! Let me know if either of you are coming back to the states… maybe we could meet up if we happen to be in the same country! -c
I love to read about your adventures wherever they take you! And all the tidbits along the way whether those be little techie bits or cultural bits or amusing anecdotes of your travels. All are welcome!
Happy New Year, Jill! I hope I get to see you sometime soon! I’m slowly forming my ideas… but I have high hopes my future adventures will be worth reading!
I totally just saw this and loved reading it! You’re such an interesting writer and person! I miss you and would love to get together!