I’m Drew Bennett and I’m a new Traveling Dad writer. You’ll learn more about me in the months to come. In what feels like a past life I was a stellar traveler. I never missed a flight, flew through security and visited new and exciting places every other week. Each time I went to these places I would discover fun things to go and see like, the World’s Largest Cast Iron Skillet in Brandon, Iowa.
When I started the job a friend of mine told me that I should always have a camera with me. So, I bought a camera that shot video and took stills, this was before every single camera out there did this standardly. I actively sought out places like National Parks, roadside attractions and places off the beaten path. I’ve spent time in Yosemite getting to know the buffalo and wondering if my rental car was going to take a hit
I also went to a buffalo farm in Kansas where I wondered if we could swing the money to buy one for food or to breed.Everywhere I went I took photos and posted them online. This grew into a full fledged blog documenting my travel experiences.
I’ve basically been all over. I am four states away from being to every single one. But, when the kids came along I got off the road to spend more time with the family. Whatever travel I do now is because of my blog, BenSpark.com and I do get to go to some interesting places. These blogger engagement tours or press tours are great opportunities for me to boost the exposure of my blog.
Rarely do I get to take the family, though, and that is tough.
It is tough because the places I go often revolve around a fun and exciting product or brand or company that I am working with and these press tours are filled with fun, food and free stuff.
It is tough because my wife is home with the kids taking care of everything around the house while I’m out having a great time, tweeting, instagraming and facebooking all the cool things I’m doing, great food I’m eating and fun people I’m meeting.
My most recent trip was to a resort in Miami. I was there for the PBS Annual Meeting because I am a PBS VIP (Very Involved Parent). I went to a couple of high end restaurants with amazing food and drinks. I hung out at the beach one afternoon and enjoyed the perfect water and Florida sun. I got to meet a Muppet as well as Wilmer Valderrama. I shared all the experiences on my social media outlets, which is what you do on trips like these. I feel guilty having all this fun when my wife is putting my daughter back to bed for the umpteenth time or my son is wailing and screaming through the teething process.
Traveling without the family for work brought its own kind of guilt but traveling for social media work, which is often fun and exciting, well, the guilt just doesn’t compare.
I work weekend nights and that means from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon I’m pretty much gone. I do make sure to eat dinner with the family and go to church as a family each weekend but all other times I’m either sleeping or working. For the weekend my wife is essentially a single parent with two kids under 6. For the rest of the week I’m a stay at home dad. Except, when I travel.
When I travel I generally work the weekend and then leave on Monday for an event and I am home again by Wednesday or Thursday. This means an even longer time where my wife takes care of everything while I’m off “playing”. It make for a difficult strain on the family even though it is helping us in the long run have fun family opportunities and experiences. The more exposure, the more opportunities. I’m just hoping for more where I can take the family with me.
To minimize the difficulty of daddy being gone I take lots of photos to send home so the kids can see what I am doing. We use FaceTime or Skype so that the kids can see me each night. We just do the best that we can to keep good communication when I’m away.
Oh and I do try and bring them home some fun stuff that they will enjoy.
What do you do to minimize the impact of dad traveling without the family? Let us know in the comments section.