In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Phoenix in Days!

There was a day, some years ago, when both my other half and I traveled for work. In fact, he traveled quite a bit of the time. At it's peak, he would be gone for five days, and then be home for two and have to leave again. That sort of work environment becomes stressful after a while. He wasn't enjoying it, and was thinking of quitting...when he was layed off.

I used for work for a place that did about 10-15 conferences per year. I would travel along as the conference salesperson. We sold all sorts of books, and I would set up the display and be the cashier. Sometimes, I could offer workshops at these events, which was good for my presenting skills. Then, due to a major change, I was no longer employed there, but they did retain me as the sales person...for a few months. There are many details to this story, and I won't go into it here. However, during those few months, I would be paid by the conference. Well, this meant that I wanted to work as many conferences as I could. The only roadblock in my schedule was the fact that I was a student at Luther Seminary at the time. I tried to schedule around this new source of income, but it was a little difficult. Thankfully, understanding professors abound at Luther, so I was able to make it through with relatively few difficulties.

Even after a few months, I started to understand the difficulty of traveling all the time. My back was sore from the plane ride. I wasn't eating all that healthy. I was often tired when I would go to class. It was wearing on me.

That arrangment ended 2.5 years ago. Since then, I've done relatively little travelling for work. We do go to Seattle twice a year to visit my other half's family. I attneded an academic conference on student services in November of 2004. We've also been able to take some travel classes.

As I write this, I realize that for some people, that's a lot of travel! But I've noticed that both of us are home quite a bit more than we were 3-5 years ago. In a way, I miss traveling for work. There was something sort of exciting about going to cities and getting to color in the states on a map by my desk.

Well, one annual event that I've been able to attend for the last two years is the ELCA Youth Minsistry Extravaganza. The Extravaganza is an opportunity for networking and continuing education for those who work in youth ministry in the ELCA. Convientaly enough, it's always in a nice, sunny vacation destination in the dead of winter. Huh...

Two years ago, it was in New Orleans. That was a city I had never visited before, and I fell in love with it. Last year, it was in Los Angeles. I've gone for the past two years representing both the college where I work, and The Naming Project. Often times, the progran is forgetable (at least for me), but the networking makes it all worth while. I've been able to schmooze quite a bit at these events. We have presented workshops on working with GLBTQA youth every year that I've attended. We garnered support for TNP in a great way.

This years Extravaganza is going to be in Phoenix. It begins on Friday. I'm leaving Minneapolis on Thursday with J. We are going to have a table, and do a lot of schmoozing (I really like that word!). It's my opportunity to travel for work. I'm still a traveling employee! Yea!

I'm not leaving for a few days, so I'm sure I'll have a post between now and then.


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