In life, we always want to get somewhere, to that destination that gives us the most success or joy in life. But when traveling it can be different. I am a great believer in enjoying the journey as much as the destination, in fact, I could go as far as saying sometimes the journey would be the ultimate for me. Then again I am different in that respect. I love to travel, the flying, the airport experience, the plane food, the window views and everything else that goes with air travel.
I hear a lot of people complain about the journey and how they either hate flying or they just want to get there. I flew to Canada a year ago which to me is a 13-hour flight and quite honestly I loved the whole experience. From the check-in to the lovely Koru Lounge it was all an amazing adventure.
If you are a lounge member then the benefits really make traveling more enjoyable and bearable for those that don't like to travel. A lounge membership allows you to relax, take a shower, eat and drink, get last minute work done, people watch or take in the views if the lounge is right by the tarmac. For plane enthusiasts, it is the ultimate. Getting close up access to all the aircraft coming and going is entertainment enough for me.
If lounge access isn't in your budget you can still enjoy that airport experience. Striking up a conversation with the person next to you can make the time go faster if you have to wait in the airport and you are alone. It is always interesting to hear other peoples stories of why they are traveling and where they are going. I've actually made business contacts this way and ended up keeping in contact with people I've met through air travel. It is a good way to network as you never know who you might be talking to and what connections they have.
I'm On The Plane, Now What?
Once you are on the plane and strapped into your tiny seat you may feel you are confined to it. Make sure to take a walk every few hours if you are on a long haul flight. If you strike up a conversation with the person next to you or you take a walk down the aisle you may find others willing to chat to you. Everyone has a story and sometimes they just want to tell you.
Cancel That Noise
If you take a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones with you this can help you sleep and block out the cabin noise and the baby crying in row 57!! Yes, there is always a baby onboard and this is all part of air travel. Instead of complaining about the crying baby take a walk and offer to give Mum or Dad a break if they are up for it. If that is not your thing put a movie on and lose yourself in a blockbuster.
To Eat Or Not To Eat?
I always look forward to my mini-meal in the sky. Some people hate plane food but I actually enjoy getting my meal and drink. I was lucky enough to fly Premium Economy on Air New Zealand back from Canada and it was such a fantastic experience. The food is a grade up from economy and you are regularly offered top ups with drinks. Even the cutlery and mugs are different. I had a crockery mug for my coffee which just kept getting refilled. I was sitting next to some teenagers on my flight and the girl next to me slept the whole journey home. No food for 13 hours even though she was in Premium Economy. She missed the whole inflight experience. Once you have flown Premium Economy you don't want to go back!!
Aisle Or Window?
Some people just have to have an aisle seat so they can move around the cabin, others opt for the window. Personally, it's window all the way for me. I love to have that view, even if it is dark I really enjoy looking outside at the wing or engine and I daydream about the physics of flight. The whole flight experience fascinates me.
In the days of smoking, you could choose to sit in a non-smoking or smoking area on the plane. It used to amuse me that this was even allowed. Whoever decided that smoking and non-smoking would work and one row behind non-smoking the smoke wouldn't waft into the non-smoking area just baffles me.
I went as far as picking a smoking seat many years ago as I was desperate to have a window seat and it was the only one available. What a big mistake, a non-smoker sitting in smoking for the sake of a window was such a bad move on my part. Never again, and luckily it was never again as it was banned thank goodness.
Inflight Entertainment & Wifi
Make use of inflight entertainment. There are so many movies, music and flight progress reports to keep up with. I like looking at the maps and distance we have traveled. Some may find this laborious as it just reinforces how far they have to go, however, a glass half full person says 'look how far we have come'!!
If you are lucky enough to travel on an aircraft with wifi you have even more entertainment at your fingertips and you can watch live sports games, go on Facebook and Instagram and pretty much feel like you are still at home. Most times it will probably cost you to hook up to the wifi, but it can be entertaining if you are bored.
So next time you are traveling try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Travel will be more enjoyable and less stressful if you look at it with a glass half full attitude. Enjoy your journey then you will be rewarded with your destination.
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