May 19th, 2011
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen all the way 40,000 miles in the air currently over Berlin. Yes I am in the final 69 mins of my 26 hours of travelling (including stop-overs) and I couldn’t feel better. That is a lie, travelling is physically demanding and I will feel so much better this time tomorrow morning, but compared to how I have handled other long haul flights, I am feeling great which brings me to the 2nd part of a 2-part episode:
Trains Planes and Automobiles – I can’t be just about the miles
Last week we chatted about how a lot of things regarding travelling are unfair. I have to add one little one to it. Why in the world do they take your headset off you 40 mins before you land??? That is the same time your ipod must go off, and whatever you are playing on and you are left with nothing!!!! The funny thing is I have not realised this in the past and I checked how long I had to land then started a movie. I still to this day have not seen the last 5 mins of Leatherheads (watched 3 years ago) and also Glory Days (watched 6 years ago). I got wise this trip, that is why I am blogging until they tell me to put it away, and place my bag under my seat…. and place my tray table up…….and put up my foot rest up ……… and place my seat in the full upright position. It is funny that on the last leg I got told to do all these things one by one by different flight attendants. They were popping up from nowhere.
Now last week I wrote that it took me two days to drive 1100km (700 miles) to go on a holiday and then had to drive two days back after it. I loved every second of that car ride because I unlocked the secret of travelling on holidays. The holiday starts the second you start travelling.
I personally hate travelling for the sake of travelling. I would gladly pay 2 even 3 times the amount to avoid travelling. I will drive instead of walk, I will pay tolls instead of going the long way, I will fly instead of drive. I can’t get away from the maths of travelling. Let me explain.
I had a friend who lived in Sydney and she started dating a guy in Melbourne. Melbourne is a good 869 km (539 miles) away so most people would fly. There are dozens of flights to Melbourne everyday on one particular airline during the morning and afternoons have a flight every 30 mins. Now my friend used to catch the train down because it was the cheapest way to get there. A ticket was about $70. Now a discount flight would range from about $70 special (sometimes cheaper but rare) to $100 -$150 tops. I have never paid more than $120 to go to Melbourne. Now she is getting the train trip for $70 so the difference to the most expensive fare is $130. Now the flight is 90 mins so that is 3 hours travel total with check in and travel to the airport. However the train in 12 hrs. Therefore the difference is 9 hours travel just to save $90. That is $8.80/hr she has saved. That is $6.20 lower than the minimum wage in Australia. Just work an extra shift and catch a plane!!!!! That kind of travel I hate.
So when I did the maths of how much it would cost to fly on our holiday or to drive, they came in roughly about the same. The car ride would give us 4 days on the sunshine coast with family and with the choice of available flights flying would also give us 4 days. But we chose to drive for the main reason that it would double our holiday from 4 days to 8. The holiday started the moment we got up at 4am to get in the car to beat the Good Friday traffic and finished when we opened the door to our unit upon our return. There was not much travel time, most of it was a journey.
This concept is new to me but it seemed to work on the car ride so I thought I would really put it to the test. The dreaded long haul plane ride. I have now landed, been picked up by the Groom-to-be, Spronky (the reason I am in Amsterdam), had some breakfast and had the all important shower. I tried to enjoy the flight and the journey and the overall verdict is….. it worked. Sure sleep is not comfortable, sure a little bit of the plane food came back up, sure I had a headache and incredible thirst each time I woke up because of the air conditioning; but I have really enjoyed it.
So I am going to keep exploring this concept and see where it takes me. All I know is where ever it takes me I am going to enjoy the journey.