As winter approached Beijing, we made the hard decision to stay put so that we could bank the money instead. The idea of taking off for a couple of weeks to someplace sunny and warm or simply with dependable breathable air sounded great, but we all agreed to postpone such a holiday until summer. Nobody felt the weight of that decision more than myself.
Yet despite our collective sacrifice, fate, or in this case my wife’s employer, had a different notion. Despite assurances that her travels were over for awhile, she got an invitation to attend yet another conference to provide some training. This didn’t faze me until she told me the location: Phuket, Thailand. The news dangled like forbidden fruit in front of me. My wife had five days at a 5 star luxury resort on a long stretch of secluded sandy beach; beach that she might not even have time to enjoy. I could help her pack and count the days until her return or I could toss in a change of clothes and a swimsuit and join her.
I’d like to say that I agonized over the decision about whether to go and that I felt guilty for the kids staying home, but that’s not true. When she uttered the word Phuket, I knew in my heart that I would accompany her. She could have probably said any other place where the company holds meetings in Asia and I would have taken a pass, but there are some things in the midst of winter that are too good to pass up. Besides, smoothies taste so much sweeter when you’re sitting poolside under the tropical sun.
Photo: Christopher Lay