So I just got back from a round the world trip, and wow am I exhausted. I still have to write about the trip, but, I’ll offer a bit of a sneak peak of the trip. Aside from my extended stay in the Emirates A380 Shower Spa, the trip was overall a bit of a reality check.
Baz Luhrman narrated a song called “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)” in 1998. Here he says (among other things):
Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. – Baz Luhrman
Well, this trip, prices did rise, I cannot speak to politicians philandering, but politics (even under the Thai Junta), were like that elephant in the room (except, the elephant was at the bar hitting on tourists).
But back to brass tacks. I am far from an expert on Thailand. I’ve been there more than half a dozen times, but just visiting a country for 3-6 days doesn’t make one an expert. I’d defer to either Adventurous Kate, or Richard Barrow, who in fact, I get most of my info from on Twitter. But, I can’t really say my last visit was inspiring. I had seen reports of cleaning up the beaches before I left. I suppose it didn’t occur to me that my favorite restaurant on the beach would be impacted.
Well, it turned out they were, so this is their new location:
I suppose it is for the better, but speaking with one of the more “senior” folks (I admit, I didn’t ask if he was the owner), this “clean-up” is making it harder for him to do business. To put things into perspective, there are not many options within a 10 or so minute walk of the J.W. Marriott Khao Lak, where we stayed, so making it harder for these businesses ultimately, in my opinion, increases costs for tourists aka hotel guests. For me, that’s good enough reason not to return.
Time away from home
My wife and I have done longer trips. This trip was 10 days. It felt like a long time. We have a dog that is as close to a son to us, and being away this long was really felt. More than that though, even though our trip was mostly spent at a beach resort, and our trip home didn’t include any overnights in hotels, we were exhausted when we got home. I think the travel time was roughly 36 hours – roughly. It included 2 regional flights (HKT-SIN, ATL-WAS), 1 mid-haul (SIN-ICN), and 1 long haul flight (ICN-ATL). But still, 10 days felt like a long time, even if it was traveling around the world.
Hard choices going forward
One of the things that my wife and I talked about while we were away, was exactly what I had just stated. We spent a lot of time away from home, and are on tap to spend even more time away. We are planning to visit the first week of Oktoberfest in a few short weeks. I was able to book Lufthansa First Class from MUC-YYZ-IAD a few months back when it was available, however the connection in YYZ has grown from 4 hours to I think 8 hours or so. I know I can change that, but I’ve also been trying to find an efficient way there. Right now I have a flight on American via DFW and CDG. Its starting to sound like no fun. I’m still holding out (much to my wife’s chagrin), for a way to change the flight to Munich as a direct or at least a one-stopper, and the flight home to a direct, preferably 1-2 days earlier. Only time will tell. But, if pushed, I’m at the point where I’d punt the idea of Oktoberfest to next year if I can’t find flights that will really work.
This post isn’t really the normal Sunday Editorial you’re used to. Rather, I wanted to offer some of my thoughts on how frequent travel ends up impacting the other aspects of life. I have talked in the past about an ideal optempo for travel, and I’m starting to think I might be getting a bit old for two months of biweekly travel.
What do you think? What’s the right tempo for your travel?