Personal Development

Time Apart

When you google for the term “time apart” you straight away get bombarded with headlines such as “Can time apart strengthen your relationship?” and “Reasons why you and your partner need time apart”.

Tomorrow I’m going to catch the train from Valencia to Barcelona for a 3-day trip apart from the family.

On Wednesday and Thursday evening I’m going to attend events for the entrepreneurial community in Barcelona. The Thursday event will be hosted by the private entrepreneurs club I’m a member of since the beginning of last year.

While the Thursday evening event was the initial reason for me going to Barcelona, I decided to extend my trip there by an additional day (Wednesday) to not only attend one more event that evening, but to also do some planning and deep work there.

I talked about the decision fatigue of choosing the train and hotel a few days ago. In the end I opted for first class travel and a suite in a central 4-star business hotel. Since my plan is to spend a lot of time by myself (except for the two evening events) to work on myself and my businesses, I wanted the extra space and comfort a suite in a good hotel can offer.

So why extend an evening event into a 3-day trip?

Well, in any case it would have been an overnight trip. So I technically only added one night to it. But I think having all of Wednesday and Thursday by myself, without family and interruptions will give me the mental headspace to crack a few big things in my mind, personal life and businesses.

Additionally, I do like change and new environments from time to time as it helps me to get the mind buzzing and creative.

Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of not being able to see my wife and kids for 3 days. Last year in July I’ve had several business events as well as personal trips to sort out our new Homebase in Valencia all within a few weeks. This meant that in July I only spent about half the month with my family. On one occasion I came back from Budapest at 1am on a Sunday and left again to Valencia at 6am on a Monday, giving me just about 24 hours with my family. It was tough, but I managed and in the end I believe that it helped me to grow as a person.

It also makes me realise that whenever I do have a chance to spend with my family, I don’t want to waste it on my phone, scrolling mindlessly.

I’ve already deleted popular apps such as Instagram and Facebook and recently deleted the last of my news apps. I’ve also set my phone to automatically go into evening / do-not-disturb mode from 8pm until 9am. However, I normally come up with new ideas how to improve my family time/life after every trip apart from them as I miss them a lot.

In the end, on average I probably spend way much more time with my family than the average father/husband due to my flexible work-life schedule. So actually going on these sort of mini-trips by myself sometimes makes me feel more “normal” and I quickly realise how “lucky” I am that me and my family were able to create such a fantastic life for ourselves.

It’s all about positivity today!

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