Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doctor Wife Travels


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In the bright, shiny, exciting, early years of our relationship, I traveled everywhere with Doc H. Anywhere he went, I went. I can recall a specific morning when I woke up alone in a luxurious hotel suite thinking we may be the Paul and Linda McCartney of our generation, never spending a night separate from one another.

That was then. 

Today, I am staring at the calendar trying to manipulate the calendar to no avail. Until I married a doctor, I never realized they travel so much. Advisory Meetings, Department Conference, Society Conference, Regional Conference, Board Meetings... it's really too much. Yet, here we are trying to find time on the calendar to celebrate one of our kid's birthdays as a family during the month of September. 

I'm pretty certain I'll be celebrating with the kids and my extended family. While we party, Doc H will be conferencing. 

Early on, I found accompanying Doc H to conferences exciting. Impressive hotels and resorts. Luxury, 1000 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets. Spa worthy, marble bathrooms. Rooms with a view. Spa services. Maid service. Room Service. Heaven on earth, right?

Should be and is for the first few years until the absurdity of such extravagances is able to penetrate through the skull, into your mind and your more logical senses.

The bottle of water you use to make the "free" pot of coffee: $15

The in-room rom-com movie you watch during the conference: $19.99

Continental Breakfast Room Service for one: 45 freaking dollars! If you're going to slap me at least toast my buns, please!

Spa services: At least $150 plus your right nipple.

In room wi-fi: $29.99 per day (and you know this gal needs her wi-fi!)

Breathing: FREE! At least for now. I'm under no false pretenses. I'm sure they'll find a way to charge for this before I finish writing this post. The same goes with peeing. 

The term "Medical Conference" must be the equivalent of a wet dream for hotel and resort directors. I would not find it shocking, should it ever be revealed, the resorts and hotels raise prices across the board the precise moment the doctors and their wives (or husbands) begin pulling up to the valet.

Inevitably, hanging out alone all day in a hotel (no matter how beautiful) becomes boring. Or worse, you start to spin into a whoa-is-me depression as you meander through the hotel or resort alone. As hand-in-hand couples pass by, you become increasingly aware of your solitary state and strolling as half of a whole can plummet even the toughest to the brink of a maudlin state.

Therefore, I have become particularly selective in my Doc Wife travels. I have created trip criteria...

Destination and time of year- You won't find me in Milwaukee in January.

Length of trip- Must be longer than 2 nights. (I hate flying. I find flying with only a one day break torturous.)

Ratio of conference time vs. free time- Must be no more than 50% (Sleeping hours excluded)

Kid management and schedule- No need to explain, right?

There are a few variables which may make me forgo the aforementioned criteria.

Any tropical destination may warrant a quick trip.Ditto any water front room.Luxury Suite over luxury room? Anytime, any day.

Likewise, there are a few trips I will never accompany Doc H on. Specifically, you will never find me in South or Central America for a round of human trials in an effort to appease the FDA. Even if the trip is over a week or two in duration, I will not travel. Such lengthy airline travel requires margaritas, Zoloft, an Ambien (possibly even two), and a luggage cart for Doc H to cart my unconscious self across third world airport terminals to our connecting flights.

Now, there's a pretty sight.



19 comments:

  1. Ok, so you made me laugh. I am not married to a Dr. but a businessman, and I totally can relate to your post. So glad we have finally snapped out of our insanities and know how to put the right criteria into our trips. (have to admit, it has been quite a few years since I went on any "business" trips.) I think it is a right of passage kinda thing :)

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    1. Strict criteria is needed. I enjoy the if it's just a couple times a year. More than that and it becomes monotonous and boring. :(

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  2. This made me laugh and hits home for a couple of reasons. First, I have a PhD and spent many a day at conferences and we always used to talk about how the Docs had the BEST locations for their conferences, at least the smaller ones (ASCO and the like can only be in big cities, not greek islands). Second, now that I am "retired" it's my husband that is living the high life and I find myself in your position except I can't manage to get away! Kudos to you for going on the great ones!

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    1. Stacie! Find a way to go the great ones! If I ever come across a conference in the Greek Islands, I'm SO there!!!

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  3. Aww how come you don't wanna come to wisconsin in January? lol. I'm in Green Bay, not Milwaukee so you couldn't even come hang out with me lol

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    1. Oh, my!!! I am cold blooded by nature! My hair can't even do snow! A chunk of it once broke off in a storm. No joke!

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  4. At least there's still some humour! I know how tiring travelling can be. Although I may not travel as frequent as a doctor, I used to fly every 3 months and I had a hard time coming back to reality :P lol

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    1. Sounds like you enjoyed it! I could never travel so much. I guess I'm too much of a homebody. That doesn't sound so glamorous, does it? Darn.

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  5. LOL! Hotels will *totally* find a way to charge you for breathing and peeing. I bet their national committee is working on that right now...

    At least you get the opportunity to go to some kick ass places. Fun post!

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    1. Definitely get to go to some wonderful places. Some have been duds, too. Must choose carefully. ;)

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  6. I once had the chance to spend a week in Hawaii while my husband did a six week rotation there in medical school. Fun, but the loneliness you mentioned got to me, even among all the interesting things to do. Snorkeling, even if it is pretty, just loses something when you go alone.

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    1. I've swam in the ocean by myself. Dined by myself. Explored by myself. So much more fun when you can share the experiences with your spouse!

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  7. I hope I get to go on at least one! I am sure it won't happen very often so I'll try to remember to be particular about the destination so I don't end up in Milwaukee in January!

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  8. When my husband got a job in Austin we felt like we were living in a resort-we were in our mid-20s, living in a fancy(ish) apartment building. It was so great. Except for the fact that I had no car and no job, so I used to walk to the Bed, Bath and Beyond to be around people during the day. Not to talk to them, just to see other humans. Then my husband started traveling every week. He flew me out one week when I told him I was tired of talking to the plant, but even then it was lonely during the day. It's interesting how even the 'good' things can get us down sometimes.

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    1. HA! OMG, wandering the aisles of BB&B! I hear you... glad I'm not alone.

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  9. Dead on description of the "Dr." conference. I went on a few of those, as my ex-wife is a physician. Since I had my own career (and my own conferences), I found it fascinating when I became the "insignificant other". ;)
    The is my second visit and I am enjoying your writing style. Nice job.

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    1. Thank you! "Insignificant Other"! Well, you hit THAT nail on the head!

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  10. Oh how I love your rules for traveling. I could not agree more. I would be over the moon to even be able to travel more. I have to say while I get your reasoning behind not traveling more it does sound so cool to be able to lounge around in a hotel and soak up all the luxury. Boy I need a kid free vacation. Oh and I second and third the traveling to a third world country... nooooo way!

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