- Photo Essays
This blog is about finding inspiration in faraway places. It’s about off-the-beaten-path destinations and extraordinary journeys. It’s about the moments in those places that make you stop and catch your breath.
It’s musings and stories and ideas and photography of some of the world’s most beautiful places....
I am going to be upfront with you: long-haul flights suck. A lot.
Profound, I know.
You thought you were in for some philosophical musing on the art of air travel, didn’t you? And now this! I apologise sincerely.
Allow me walk you through my logic…
Unless you are flying to Asia or the South Pacific, travelling overseas from Australia usually means spending the better part of 24 hours in-transit. Similarly, transiting between Europe and North America will set you back almost an entire day.
When I flew from Perth to Alaska last year, I lost track of the transit time once it reached about oh, 35 hours, at which point I was about ready to plunge the plastic airline cutlery into my eyes and end it all.
I’m not kidding.
Alternating between a claustrophobic cylindrical tube a gazillion feet above the earth; and a somewhat larger, fluorescent-lit capsule with shops, hard liquor and huge windows where you can watch the aforementioned cylindrical tubes whilst waiting for your next flight.
Sounds positively blissful, I know.
I have been travelling for over 13 years and every time I fly I think:
“This time it will be different. This time I will sleep. This time……”
But I think I need to face the truth:
And yet I choose to do it. Over and over.
I love that quote that talks about the journey being what matters most when you travel, not the destination.
It’s poetic and insightful and true in almost all cases…
I have had my face 3 inches from someone else’s sweaty armpit for longer than I care to think about;
I have lost all feeling in my swollen legs and am surely well on my way to developing deep vein thrombosis;
The smell of the re-hydrated goop the airline staff delight in feeding us is making me feel nauseous;
I can hear the bloke behind me snoring, and the drunk rum-and-coke-lady in front of me cackling at reruns of Friends, over the music on my noise-reduction headphones; and
Everyone else around me is in blissful slumber, and despite my taking two (yes TWO) sleeping tablets I am still stupidly awake, yet so insanely tired that I can’t even remember my own name….
In my humble opinion.
Naturally, I am talking about economy class. Business and First class is a different story entirely.
In case you hadn’t gathered from my previous post, I am at my happiest when I am travelling. It is what I am most passionate about.
I will travel for as long as I am physically and financially able.
But after over 25 long-haul flights and God knows how many more in my future, I think it is fair for me to pass judgment:
They officially suck. (I may have mentioned that already.)
So now for the million dollar question….Is it all worth it?
Well yes, of course it is.
That’s why I continue to do it. Sweaty armpits, re-hydrated goop and all.
Is childbirth worth it? It’s the exactly same thing.
Okay, okay it’s not exactly the same thing but…close…
All photographs and text copyright © Quiet Wanderings 2012. All rights reserved.