Work Travel: The New Long-Distance Relationship

Since my last post, which was admittedly eons ago, I got a new job. Thankfully it happened within two weeks of my NY job ending, because I was getting bored. That’s what happens when you leave behind everything and everyone you know and move to the other side of the country. Now I spend my free time nagging Shaun and exploring SoCal, usually at the same time especially if we’re in the car.

Another side effect of moving out of a top 10 DMA and getting new jobs, is that both Shaun and I travel for work, him much more than me. We started our relationship doing the long distance thing between New York and Philly, so traveling a few nights a month shouldn’t be too bad. Except for the past year, we’ve lived together and hadn’t spent more than a night, maybe two, apart until now. The first week in our new apartment, Shaun was in Indianapolis for most of it. So I had to find my way around and get used to new city noises at night all alone (instead of cars going over pot holes the size of Rhode Island right outside our Jersey City window, now we have homeless crackheads yelling at the wind).

I got into the habit of having a glass of wine with dinner every night Shaun was away. Not just because wine is really cheap in CA. But because if I didn’t, I would spend the night listening for an intruder to either break in through the door that doesn’t have a dead bolt, or climb in over the 27th floor balcony (I’m not sure how said intruder would do this, but still). I tried to install a dead bolt myself with a drill, then realized the door and frame is made of metal. Fail. I probably should’ve lived alone at some point in life before moving in with Shaun, but too late now.

Eventually (after 2-5 days) Shaun comes home, usually jet-lagged, and we’ll have a few weeks together again and I can sleep with the bedroom door unlocked and don’t have to look in all the closets and under the bed every time I come home.

Just when I’m about to punch him in the face for obliviously spraying the bathroom mirrors with toothpaste mist twice a day and putting the iced tea back in the fridge empty, I get an itinerary myself.

I’m in Chicago right now. It’s my first time staying in a hotel room alone, I think. For my last few jobs, the furthest I traveled was probably Princeton, New Jersey or uptown Manhattan from downtown. I got all sad when I had to leave Shaun. Who’s going to yell at him to take the garbage out and wake him up at 2AM so he doesn’t sleep on the couch all night with Chappelle’s Show blaring in the background? I’m sure he’ll be fine, and I know I will be too. But seriously, when did I become adult enough to have a Starwood Preferred Guest Membership? For the record, the best part of my day was when they gave me gummy bears with my room service dinner. I wonder if that’s because they thought I was a child or if they do that for all the suit-clad weary business travelers?

Of course, absence makes the heart grow fonder. The time apart is probably good for both of us. Although I think I’d rather be the traveler than the one left at home. The traveler doesn’t have to do laundry, dishes or take out the trash. Hmm, maybe I’d just rather be Shaun at home or away. Ha ha kidding. Only not really. We’re still working on that divided and shared chore chart. On that note, time for a Skype date to make sure he’s staying out of trouble.

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