No matter how much you love your job, traveling for work is hard. You miss birthdays, anniversaries and most importantly, the Tuesday nights at home that make life outside of work so amazing.
To make up for all the hours I spend away from home, one respite I still try to grant myself is using my time on plane rides, away from the constant ping of my inbox and buzzing cell phone, to write. Sometimes I write for work, sometimes I write for my wife, but I always write to remember that I love the sheer craft of stringing sentences together and expressing ideas.
There’s nothing better on a late flight, after you’ve nailed the presentation or finished the production, than ordering a glass of red wine, putting on your headphones, and writing like there is no arrival time in sight.
One morning in 2012, after I had a what I thought was a one night stand with my now wife, I flew out on a business trip to Portland. On the way home I couldn’t get her out of my head, and I wrote what would turn out to be the first of many stream of consciousness compositions about her and my gushing heart.
Over the next year, on nearly every plane ride, I wrote more. I didn’t have a plan or a purpose for what I was writing, it just felt good.
But when our one-year anniversary approached and I had no doubt I was going to marry this girl, I curated my year’s worth of writings in a book and presented them to her. She read every word like it was the last one on earth, amazed our journey had been documented for both of us to cherish.
So on our wedding day, it was only apropos that one of my vows was to continue to write for her on plane rides. And I do.
Unless there’s in-flight wifi.
Because one of our over-traveled married couple hacks for 2016 was buying an annual gogo wifi pass and sharing the login. Now that I have “free” wifi on every flight, my inbox is once again chirping in the background. And I don’t have half the sanity I had before when I could just write.
Sure you could say, well that’s simple, just don’t log on to wifi. But that’s like saying don’t check your email on vacation. The advertising business and shit, every business, moves so fast that a wifi-free flight is a luxury most of us can rarely afford.
So the next time your in-flight wifi is on the fritz, take it as a sign. Or better yet, resist the urge to see if it works in the first place. Instead open your notebook, a napkin or your laptop and just write.
Your wife will thank you.