I just had the privilege of spending the week traveling for work. Yes, you read that right, I had the privilege of spending my week traveling for work. Don’t get me wrong—just because I enjoy traveling, those words do not always come out of my mouth when it comes to business trips. This week, however, was different. I got to go to Monaco. A-ha—the lightbulb goes off!
I had never been to Monaco or anywhere along the Cotê d’Azur. Needless to say, I was very excited and did something that I have rarely done. I booked my return flight home for Sunday instead of Friday and gave myself two extra days to explore the area. It is something so simple, yet I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve taken advantage of opportunities like this before.
Why? I could give you so many reasons. In the early days, the kids were little and I didn’t want to be away from home that long. Family obligations on the weekend were pulling us in all different directions. Too much going on back at the office to stay away for an extra day. “I’m already going to be there for three days for work. I’ll see everything I need to see then.” “I really should be doing (fill in the blank) instead.” How many of these sound familiar?
None of these are bad reasons. There are always going to be times when genuine obligations prevent you from extending a business trip by a day or two. However, when I look back at all the times I’ve used these excuses, I realize many of them were limitations I put on myself. That makes me a little sad. How many wonderful experiences were never able to happen just because I gave into that nagging inner voice saying “you really should go home.”
What this week in Monaco helped me realize is that the world will not stop just because I take some time to expand my horizons and go off on a little adventure. Dad and the kids managed just fine and most likely created a few adventures of their own. The office did not come to a screeching halt because I didn’t check in. The team probably benefitted from getting a bit more responsibility, as someone kindly pointed out to me.
In the end, I know that taking this time was good for my soul and isn’t that what really matters? When I do these things then everyone around me — my family, coworkers, clients and friends — all benefit from a stronger me. As the airline safety video reminds us, we need to take care of ourselves before assisting others. These past few days were a great reminder!