One of the things about working corporate is the amount of time that one needs to spend on the road. I am having it easy and only travel 5-6 times per year. I have peers that are perpetually on the road.
So this post is not about going off FROM work (which I prefer), but going off TO work.
There has been a lot of thought and research into the perceived impact of too much business travel. There has been some contradictory ones too that suggest that some amount of travel does boost a person. Frankly like all things, moderation is key. There are those who relish being on the road and do the utmost for the duration of the journey (aside from work that is).
To be honest this was my life prior to re-joining the big G in late 2012. For nearly 18 months prior, it was an incredibly hectic schedule covering 10 countries in Asia. Sometimes I wonder if these kinds of job roles are designed wrong. Without sufficient support, it is more than a stretch!
But then when I was working in the big G, something happened. Then you are suddenly thrown from a wonderer’s life to one of dreary drudgery in an open concept office. Where the only fun thing seems to be constantly hounded by people asking you why things aren’t the way they are expected to be, and being an annoyance at that. It dawned on me that that’s not the kind of corporate life I wanted either.
So the search begun for a goldilocks environment, one where there is a touch of travel on the occasional side, and enough time to ‘deliver something of value’ to the corporate masters that send me my pay check every month end.
Well I think I have found it. A smaller outfit, less people, less complexity. Aah, heavenly. Quiet. Let’s call the place where I work now little C.
Yeah, here in little C the usual office politics are still there. But you know? At this point in my life I don’t give a hoot. The only thing I now care about is how I can finish the work in a satisfactory manner and get back to my own life – such as writing and posting this post. Where else would you think I can find the time to do all these writing anyway?
So I travel a little and spend a good amount of time at the office in the home country. Which means I have time to consider where our next journeys will be. It is quite securely funded from the job, we have no mortgage. Perfect timing to accelerate that travel handprinting. I also spend time with the missus too.
But lest you think little C is an easy place to work, let me reassure you that it takes quite some effort to be in this position. And that is to work smart. Then you can have your work-life balance that so many people apparently crave but then do not know what to do with it. Sorry I digressed, let’s brings me back to the topic of travel handprinting.
We believe that only things you can bring along with you are memories and not your worldly possessions when you expire. And I read an article recently that reminded me that memories are made when you experience the moment – eg the first kiss, getting on your knees to say “let’s apply for a HDB flat” etc (it is a very Singapore thing). If you create memories you are hallucinating or worse, having a neurological disorder.
Travel handprinting is our ‘childless’ way of building memories in our lives. Sprinkle in friends and family, the melange is attractively sweet and contenting. And contentness weeds out stress. Stress appears to be the source of many maladies. Thus we acknowledge that we have been fortunate to be found in this position, despite our humble beginnings. No stress, live every day as if it was your last. How time flies. Its’s almost the end of 3 months into 2016. It seems just days ago that Christmas was celebrated. Now it’s Easter chocolates that are making the rounds!
It’s a Sunday morning. And I am here at the airport lounge.
Bided farewell to the missus early in the morning and slept on the taxi as it ambered ~42km from the west end of the tiny red dot to the other. Soon I shall be on a flying piece of aluminium arriving Tokyo 7 hours later. The start of a week to memories from the business travel which I will write about, but it will not be the same memories I wish for – that the missus is here with me to make them.