The “Red Eye” flight is brutal. For the unaware, a red eye flight is one that leaves the West Coast late at night and arrives the next morning on the East Coast (for example, last night I left Portland, OR at 10:15p and arrived in Charlotte, NC at 6:05a). It isn’t any fun, not one is happy to be on it, it is not easy to sleep in a plane for anyone (let alone a 6’4″ man), and you end up at your destination bleary-eyed and groggy.
So why do I red eye? I red eye because of the picture above. By taking the red eye last night, I walked through my front door in time to walk my son to the bus stop and see him off to school. We had a conversation about a news story he saw about the forest fire ash in Arizona leading to glacial melt in the Arctic, and I kissed my wife and daughter before they went to work and day care. I took a short nap and got back to the day’s work. It was TOTALLY worth it!
This is the second time in my life I’ve traveled a lot for work and I feel like I’m doing it better this time. When I make travel arrangements, I try to always take into consideration what is going to put the least stress on the family and still allow me to meet my business obligations. I try not to have too many back to back weeks of travel. And when I am home, I do everything I can to be present, available, and flexible with my schedule so that I can give more of my time to my family. On the road, I try to get good rest, get in a morning run, and not eat junk every single meal.
It still isn’t perfect. Business travel is a tough part of life for a lot of people today. I have learned a lot in my life through travel and most recently, I’ve started to learn to treat business travel like any other commute and do the best to get where I’m going safely and on time for the important things in life like walking to the bus stop.