Last week I celebrated a birthday.
I wasn’t home. Not even close. I spent it watching Italy play Uruguay in a Czech bar with 14 strangers from the United Kingdom who are customers of the company I work for. Then, as I flew home over the weekend, I passed over the Alps in the morning, over Greenland by noon and then over NYC and the Jersey shore by midday.
I didn’t spend this birthday with family or friends, but my trip embodied the balance I’ve been fortunate to have in my life so far. In just one week, I was able to experience parts of the world many people will never have the opportunity to see.
I’m not trying to brag. I’ve actually been blessed to have the people I know around me. My parents made sacrifices that afforded me the chance to get a good education, which supplemented the teaching they gave me away from school.
My family makes sacrifices to handle the extra burdens of my frequent absences, which gives me the ability to travel. The companies and bosses I’ve worked for have made choices that have worked out for all involved. But no matter how qualified people are, it isn’t always easy to get a job, so I thank them for their support.
I guess the biggest thing I’ve taken away from life so far is that it is an exercise in balance. And keeping everything that way takes work but is very rewarding when it can be done. Travel hasn’t made me rich, but it hasn’t destroyed my life, either. I haven’t missed much in my children’s lives; and recently, their travels have taken me places, instead of the other way around.
I’m still able to take my wife out for dinners and dates, which works against my waistline but in favor of my heart. I have the same excitement seeing my son play lacrosse or watching my daughter do gymnastics that I do when scaling Victoria Peak in Hong Kong or seeing a medieval castle in Germany.
A lot of people reached out to say “happy birthday” to me, but in reality I was just thinking, “Thank You!” to them.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to wonder why Greenland is white.