A while ago, I was working in the Foreign Service. My job was to pick up a Federal Minister from the airport in Rio De Janeiro and get him to a Summit that Australia was involved with. Wracking my brains for small talk I said “how was your flight”?
“How was it?” he replied.
“Well I got on at one end, flew for a while and then got off at the other end”.
I thought this was hilarious, and it stuck with me.
I’ve unwittingly adopted it as my travel modus operandi. People bang on about long flights and transfers and the horrors, but really you get on at one end and then fly for a while and get off at the other end. The same for connections and transit airports – although airports do annoy me if they do it wrong. I hate a nation that can’t queue properly. Not in a racist way.
I have twice missed flights because I was too vague about allowing time to get to the airport, park etc. Once was terrible – a 05h00 flight, where I was going meet clients at the airport and fly with them to the outback of Australia, have a meeting with people on-site and then fly back the next day. So my clients were on the flight, I missed it and then pretty soon after that they weren’t my clients anymore.
So now very paranoid about getting to the airport on time, and not only that but getting through immigration in good time.
I have twice told people who were meeting me at midnight off a flight to meet me on the wrong day. There’s that thing where the flight lands at 10 minutes past midnight and so the date is the next day, but in fact it is still the same day. My niece rang me when I was transiting Heathrow, because she was the one picking me up in Perth, Australia. She said “are you at the airport?”.
“err, yes. How did you know. Oh. You mean Perth airport”. Sigh.
A few years ago I went to live in Japan, working for a Japanese company. I was never really sure until I got on the flight that I had the job, so I left work on Friday evening in Australia telling my colleagues that I may or may not be there for work on Monday. I stayed in Japan for three years, working in motorsport. But I was very conscious as I got off the plane in Hokkaido that I hadn’t even read a guide book, let alone learnt any of the language.
I’ve followed this pattern recently in India, and come to think of it in France where I am based now. My partner is French, we have been together for almost three years. Recently I read Sarah Turnbull’s ‘Almost French’ . What a revelation! He’s French! He cares about personal appearances and mixing food flavours.
But I think perhaps I should try to focus a bit more, and in fact this year I have become quite martial in my packing. This is because I went on a road trip through Argentina and Chile at the start of the year. A fifteen day road trip for about 2,000 people. My bag goes one way and I go another, and if I’m lucky I’ll see it again the same day. Each days starts in the dark at about 05h00, and you have to grope around in the dark to find the things that you left in dark the night before. The weak ones get left behind.
I’m so lucky to be able to have adventures and for me its all about the adventure. But I’m more than happy to get to the airport three hours before departure if it means I won’t miss a flight!
Don’t forget to link back to AroundTheWorldin80Shoes to find out more about ‘travel personalities
Oh gosh haha! I can’t believe you got your flight times so wrong, especially the Perth one! I’m always super paranoid about my flights to Perth as they’re so expensive, so I always make sure I’m at the airport 3 hours before. My Dad has always been obsessed with getting to the airport really early, and I think this has sort of rubbed off on me :/
C x | Lux Life
Hi Catherine, I KNOW! My Dad too, and I even remember my Grandmother waiting out the front of her house waiting to be picked up to go to the airport. Thanks for hosting the linkup. Sally
Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi says
Can I say a hell yeah – I’ve recently discovered the joy of longhaul – an almost unlimited set of hours in which to enjoy your favorite pursuits (mine, reading!)
I flew to India recently on British Airways and the collection of movies and TV shows was unbelievable! They had box sets of TV shows. I didn’t want the flight to end. Love your link up.
Oh wow, I can imagine missing that flight with your clients did not go down well at all! And the midnight flights too, oh no! I can imagine it’s such an easy mistake to make too.
It was terrible! I was at the airport, trying to get onto the flight. They wouldn’t let me on the flight, there was a bit of a scene. Awful. And now I sent people who are meeting me at the airport my actual itinerary, rather than relying on my interpretation :). Thanks for reading & commenting. 🙂
Frankie The Mayfairy says
You are so happy go lucky! You must have the most amazing adventures, just getting off planes with no language or guidebook knowledge 🙂
Haha, yes I do have good adventures. But it is not intentional – I just seem to have an aversion to getting prepared. Thanks for dropping by.
Anna parker says
Midday and midnight bring involved in travel plans worries me too, I haven’t ever had an issue but I can see it’s easy now!
Yes – I take special care now because it seems to happen a lot. But then there is the problem of communicating as well – ‘actually I am arriving on such and such a date, but really it is the day before. But it depends on which day you thought it was in the first place …’ and so on. Thanks for dropping by !