Headed back to Manila!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am headed back to Manila this summer!  In an earlier post, I mentioned being overwhelmed about my upcoming travel schedule, and Manila plays a part in that.  So far, my summer/fall travel is as follows:

May 31st - June 2nd - Road trip*
July 9th - August 17th - Manila, Philippines 
August 26th - September 7th - Augusta, Georgia 
September 23rd - 27th - Augusta, Georgia 
September 28th - 30th - Las Vegas, Nevada* 
September 30th - October 10th - Augusta, Georgia
(*personal trips)

I am beyond thrilled to get the chance to go back to Manila, especially to see all of my friends there; but it is difficult to stomach the reality of being away from home for so long.  This trip (6 weeks) will be a little over half of my first visit (10 weeks), but I think it is more overwhelming because I now have a better understanding what I'm in for; working long hours, staying up late to enjoy the weekends, and missing friends and family.

When I first heard about the Manila project, I was eager to go and had very few reservations about being gone for so long.  I had been in a casual dating relationship that ended months before I left so when I left the states I was single and eager for an adventure.

My personal life has changed greatly since then; I'm now in a relationship with my best friend and my personal goals have evolved as well.  I've always prided myself on my independence and I've felt kinda guilty for missing people; I viewed it as being co-dependent and needy.  In the last year or so, I've had the realization that missing someone or wanting to be with them isn't co-dependence, it is simply preferring to be with them than not.  So I realize that I'm not co-dependent, but I'm afraid six weeks will seem longer than ten weeks did before.   

Professionally, I'm now working in a consultative role to support the department where I started at my employer.  It is such a joy to work with a group who values my role and contributions as an expert on their business.  I know that these trips are of huge value to the organization and this somewhat hectic schedule is based both on business needs and their trust in me.

I mean it when I say I feel lucky getting to travel for work; we all know I've had my share of run-ins with the TSA, but overall, I really do enjoy traveling.  I feel incredibly lucky to be headed back to Manila.  While there, I'll once again get the opportunity to work with an amazing, high performing team with a zest and energy for our employer that is unmatched.  

I also feel very lucky to be traveling internationally in 2011/2012 - communication technology has increased rapidly while the cost is next to nothing.  Between VOIP calls and video chatting, it really didn't feel like I was far from home.  My mom even joked that when I called from work it was a 770 (Atlanta) area code on her caller ID, so she would just pretend I was in Atlanta instead of halfway around the world.  Ten years ago, I would have been limited to email and probably only phone calls on Sunday because international calls are so cost prohibitive.  Heck - my first trip to Manila, I could BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) any friend stateside and it was like I was just around the corner.

On a positive note, this schedule will give me lots of stuff to write about!  I am determined to do a better job documenting this trip than the last!

1 comment

  1. July CANNOT wait Lauren! We all can't wait to see you again! :)


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