Mark Zokle

Mark Zokle | Managing Life from the Road

Mark Zokle has spent the better part of the last two decades traveling for his job. It hasn’t always been easy, but he says it is possible to raise a family and maintain a healthy relationship with your significant other – even if you can’t be with him or her every day. Here, Mark Zokle offers advice on managing life from the road.

Q: How do you keep up with the type of schedule that involves weekly travel?

Mark Zokle: Update your calendar every day and plan your travel around the times you can communicate with your family.

Q: You’re married, does your wife keep up with your schedule?

Mark Zokle: She is actually paramount in helping me manage my daily plans.

Q: How do you handle being away from your family?

Mark Zokle: It’s very difficult, of that there is no doubt. However, technology over the last decade has made it much easier to be away and still maintain a close relationship with both my spouse and kids.

Q: Technology such as…?

Mark Zokle: One of the greatest tools a traveling father can have is FaceTime!

Q: When do you find time to chat with your kids?

Mark Zokle: I try to block off some time every day. But, the hours after the kids come in from school are critical.

Q: Does that fill a void?

Mark Zokle: It does. Of course, it’s not like having their arms around you, but it helps when you can’t be there.

Q: Do you feel that video chatting with the kids helps your wife?

Mark Zokle: Absolutely. Especially in the area of discipline; mom doesn’t always have to be the “bad” guy.

Q: It has to be hard on her, putting the kids to bed alone?

Mark Zokle: I know it is, but I do get to read a story to the younger ones while she’s tending to other things. I think that helps take at least a little worry off her plate.

Q: How do you keep your relationship with your spouse “alive?”

Mark Zokle: For us, blocking out quality alone time when I am home keeps us connected.

Q: Isn’t that tough?

Mark Zokle: Well, it can be, but nothing worth having is every really easy, is it?

Q: Let’s talk about staying healthy. How do you do that eating out all the time?

Mark Zokle: That’s actually one of the hardest aspects of my job. I keep healthy snacks (raw nuts, fruits) on hand. And I try to avoid fried foods.

Q: And exercise?

Mark Zokle: Most hotels have fitness centers on-site.

Q: Is it hard falling asleep in a new place all the time?

Mark Zokle: It’s really more adjusting to the mattresses and room ambiance. But, you do adjust and sleeping becomes much easier.

Q: Does moving around all the time affect your quality of work?

Mark Zokle: No, but I am used to it. It can if you let it, however.

Q: What would you say is the best piece of advice you can give to someone just entering a career that involves constant travel?

Mark Zokle: Pray. Every day, every night. Keep an open line of communication with God. I have found that He’ll give you the strength to keep going during those times when you want to quit.

Mark Zokle is the National Sales Director for BCI Acrylics, Inc., a bath remodeling products manufacturer.