I can count myself lucky in that my job keeps me home for the most part. There are some that are not as lucky. There are parents out there who are forced to travel 50% or more of the time.

Personally, I don’t even know how I could travel one week a month and be away from my family even that much. Ever since I took my job at PBS, traveling to Arizona the first week of January has become an annual trip. Not that I will complain about going to Arizona in the middle of winter.

I look forward to this trip because I get an opportunity to talk with colleagues around the PBS system. I come back so energized and ready to tackle some of the ideas that we shared.

That is the point of a business conference though right? To energize you and give you new ideas.

When in fact, it taxes you more than you realize. You spend days away from the family, left only to video chatting (thanks technology), text messages, and calling.

At some point the walls of the hotel room that you are staying in begin to close in on you. Even though you said you would sprawl out on the queen-sized bed, you look at the sheets and realize that you stayed on your side of the bed and the other half is still as neatly tucked in as the housekeeping staff left it when you checked in.

Those 4 pages of notes that you have taken, start to become a way to just occupy your mind so that you are not dreaming of the day that you get to go home.

It never fails, no matter where we go in life, we always seem to find a way back home. All of the excitement over leaving home fades into wanting to go back home. There is something about the familiarity of the 4 walls of our home.

We may say that we love spontaneity, but we are in fact creatures of habit. Traveling disrupts that routine that we have worked so hard to build. In the same breath, that routine needs to be disrupted.

I recently shared on Facebook as I was on my way back from Phoenix, “Only so many notes can be taken, only so many ideas can be shared, and only so many days can be spent away from the place you call home.”

And it is true. Despite the pages of notes that I have taken, despite the ideas that were shared, you can only spend so much time away from the place that you call home.