Time Away. For Me.

I am travelling to the wonderful city of Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, for a week of HR training.

My reaction? Ecstatic! I am simply delighted. What’s not to like? I look forward to the simple pleasures of life like getting a full night’s sleep without the persistent interruptions from my lovely toddler. I get to eat unhurried, uninterrupted meals cooked for me but not by me – a luxury that I can scarcely remember when last I enjoyed.

It gets better. For six glorious days, I will be able to return to my hotel room from work and unwind in the truest sense of the word as opposed to rapidly trading my work hat for my housework hat as is the norm for me 5 days a week.

To say the least, I am very delighted. For me, this could qualify as an exotic vacation. Best of all, I am packing for one instead of four and no chasing around bored children at the airport. This time around, I will retain my chic and professional poise as I read a book or a magazine. Pure bliss!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family deeply and I cherish time spent with my loved ones. It goes without saying that I will miss them dearly for the few days I am away from home, but I have come to realize that sometimes, a little time away can be a very welcome change. It can be a time to reflect, to center myself and recharge my batteries. I can then return refreshed, reinvigorated and excited to return to my loved ones.

Lest I forget, guilty pleasure number one has me smiling in the middle of the day and rubbing my knuckles in sheer delight . . . evening phone calls to my hubby.

Usually my hubby does the travelling so this is a role reversal for us – I like to think of it as payback time. The plan is to call him in the evenings just when he should be all worn out and weary from all that housework and settling bouts of sibling squabbles.  As he tries to multitask and balance the phone between his ears and shoulder blades, I will lean back into the comfort of my fluffy hotel pillows, take a sip of my cool drink and purr, “So dear, tell me all about your day with the kids.”

A very wise woman once said to me “It’s OK to be selfish – we’ve got to take care of ourselves and sometimes, time away from others is just what is called for.”

This is one of those sometimes for me.

Photo credit iStockPhoto

About the Author

Tamkara Adun

Tamkara Adun currently works as a Recruitment Consultant at Together Abroad in The Hague and she offers HR advice at www.togetherabroad.nl You can connect with her on twitter @tamkara or find out what she’s up to on her personal blog at www.naijaexpatinholland.com.


Tamkara Adun

Hello Krista,

Sounds like you have been having a great “Time Away”
I can identify with the freedom and sheer bliss of doing things when you feel the need to rather than keeping to the family “time table’`
Enjoy your time away, wishing you a warm and welcoming return home!


I’ve been traveling for over a week with no kids and it is a pleasure, though I miss them. I had three days at the beginning with my husband at the beach. The rest of the time I’ve been on my own. It is a luxurious delight to go to bed when I feel like it, to sleep without my husband’s insomniac tossing and turning, to pick a restaurant without compromising with others, to eat when *I* am hungry rather than when the clock says it’s time to start dinner, to turn off my alarm clock and wake when my body is ready, to adventure as an individual with my own identity on my own. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Tamkara Adun

Thanks Michelle….very true indeed!
I am already on the trip and having a marvelous time :))


Great post Tamkara! I too have come to cherish my occassional business trip. (Although I don’t go anywhere as glamorous as Cameroon.)

There is something to be said for enjoying a meal without having to get up a dozen times to fill a juice cup, pick something up off the floor or take someone to the bathroom. It is also nice to catch a movie on HBO that isn’t animated.

Have a wonderful time on your trip!


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