Our Dads in Motion blog series highlights Austin Adventures staff dads each week. These fathers have been raising young children in the midst of a pandemic, an era when work and home life has been blurred significantly. These blogs also pay homage to all parents in similar situations and to intrepid parents who have lost access to their traditional travel plans, where family memories are specially made.
At Austin Adventures, family is the backbone of all we do. The hallmark of being completely family-owned and operated continues to drive the ethos of Austin Adventures.
Austin Adventures staff, guides, and guests thrive in a culture that emulates that of a family: Empathetic, supportive, attentive to detail and concerns, and inclusive.
By Rachel Helgeson
5 minute read
Which values have you come to prioritize this last year?
For Jorge Martinez, our B2B/B2C Adventure Travel Consultant, having a flexible support system and more time with his kids has taken top priority in his life.
When the pandemic debuted in the United States around March of 2020, Jorge’s youngest son, Leo, was born — a “COVID baby” who has only known life during a pandemic. Now with three kids under the age of five (including Logan, 5, and Lily, 4), Jorge and his wife rely on help from family to take care of the kids.
“Both my wife and I are working from home and she’s a full-time high school English teacher. Our parents help with the baby and my in-laws live just next door! We have a support system which makes everything a lot easier.”
Jorge has found a similar support system in his newer position with us at Austin Adventures. He works full-time from home in New Jersey as a B2B/B2C Adventure Travel Consultant.
“Austin Adventures has stood by being family-central. They’ve made it known if you have to handle something they’re fine letting you take care of it. It’s good to know that your boss is like that,” Jorge added.
Before Jorge joined the team in January 2021, he was out of work since July when he was let go from another travel industry job. During that time, he inevitably had more time to spend with his kids, especially his youngest. Even while working full-time again now, Jorge loves to prioritize spending time with his kids.
“I’ve never spent this much time with my older kids when they were babies than I did with my newborn Leo. It usually falls on mothers to stay home (from work) especially in our country, and I’ve really enjoyed having this one year because it’s something I didn’t get with the other two kids.”
While we are a Billings, Montana-based tour operator, having Jorge work at home from across the country has been beneficial for both parties. Jorge gets more time with his kids by eliminating the commute and we enjoy having Jorge’s unique talents as a part of our family.
“It helps with the talent pool, Dan’s been able to hire all over the country and gives companies a chance to expand the talent pool and look somewhere else. Austin Adventures is a great example and I think working from home is around to stay,” Jorge said.
But of course, it comes with its challenges. Jorge said he does wish he could join his coworkers in the office for the camaraderie and he has worked to find the right work-family balance.
“The line gets blurry but I don’t mind it. My last job was very demanding, and it became a norm for me. I have a good balance now and make effort to disconnect, though I might log on to work at night after the kids’ bedtime.”
Of all the things the pandemic has changed for the world, affording hard-working parents the opportunity to spend more time with their family is one outcome Austin Adventures is happy to accommodate.