I recently spent a week in Texas, and while I have certainly had more exciting and exotic trips to such far flung places as Australia, Japan, and Iceland, this particular trip reminded me of the importance of taking every opportunity to enjoy travel and connect with others.
I had a business trip in Houston coming up, and my employer allowed me to combine that with a trip to Dallas the weekend before. The Dallas leg was the family leg. I stayed with my sister and her family to enjoy the weekend, work remotely for a few days, and then take a short flight to Houston for the professional conference.
While in Dallas, we did not do Dallas-y things. Rather, we did family things. I was able to attend my ten-year-old niece’s dance recital and we all went out for celebratory sushi afterwards. We had a lazy Sunday reading, cooking on the barbecue, and playing bocce in the backyard, a particular luxury since I was getting reports of snow at home in New England. In Texas, I was wearing shorts. God bless Texas.
After enjoying some good family time and a little Dallas sun, I tried to make the most of Houston. This was tough, because I still had to work remotely part of the time, I tried to fit in some good conference sessions, and I tried to enjoy at least a little bit of Houston while I was there. I found a great little Italian bistro, discovered how hard it can be to find good restaurant service when dining along (grr) and did manage to visit the local aquarium where I saw, inexplicably, white tigers. I was treated to a beautiful view of the skyline while waiting for my ride back to the hotel.
I realize this may not sound like the most group-breaking vacation in the history of vacations, but the truth is that I loved the time away from the routine and from my otherwise quiet life. I spent time with friends and family, I ate good food, I met some new colleagues, I learned a few things, and I returned home refreshed.