When I was about 28, I had a revelation that I want to travel more for my job. At the time, I lived in New Jersey and worked in New York City. I changed from being a "normal" software developer to working for a company where my job was "professional services" - I would go to the customer sites to help them install and adopt our software. That job took me to many states of the United States, to Canada, and, eventually, to 18 months of living in Paris where I traveled extensively across Western Europe. The same job also eventually brought me to the West Coast where I "settled down" - got married, had a child, and bought a house. With several job changes, my job-related travel trickled to almost nothing, but I was really happy about that, because that allowed me to spend more time with Smarty.
Now an opportunity to come on a business trip to China presented itself, and I "jumped" on it. I extended my stay to include weekend, because I also wanted to see some sights. However, after I had booked everything, I started having second thoughts. I realized that I lost "the travel itch" if this travel did not include my family. I was considering to change my flights to come home on Friday to spend more time with Smarty.
Interestingly, Smarty proved to be a thoughtful voice of reason here. She told me firmly that I should stay and enjoy Beijing. In fact, she said, "How would you like it if I came back from the summer camp early because I was homesick? You don't go to China all the time. You should try to have as much fun as you can."
This wise insight really helped me to reframe this trip. So far it's going really well. The hotel is very nice (this first photo is taken from my room on the 11th floor), our China team is welcoming, and I already booked the tours to the Great Wall and to the Forbidden City. I am appreciating an opportunity that I might not have again for a while, and I fully intend to make the best of it. I do miss home and hope that the flight back will be as smooth and uneventful as the flight to Beijing.