I fell in love with travelling from my first time I flew as a 21-year-old. This first experience was to shape the rest of my life…
Strangely, the person next to me on this first flight was a nun, it was obvious that I’d never flown before by the way white knuckles gripped the seat rest on either side of me.
All I remember is that she was very kind to me and talked to me to take my mind off what was happening on take-off and landing.
From that very first time I was hooked on the possibilities and I couldn’t wait to save enough money for my next flight. As a child I’d dreamed of travelling the world and seeking adventures, and now here I was with the way to fulfil this dream.
As I sit here on my trans-Pacific flight from Singapore to Vancouver I tried to count the number of times I’d crossed the Pacific between Australia and North America.
Lots of different routes over the years, but I’d been looking forward to my first time flying from Singapore. Nothing quite as exotic in my mind as leaving the steamy heat of Singapore that sits adjacent to the equator, and landing in an icy and cold North American winter.
During my first major trip back in the mid 1980’s I met an elderly Belgian diamond dealer on a train from Gothenburg to Stockholm.
He regaled me with stories from his time buying and selling diamonds around the world. One thing that he told me always stuck in my memory, and that was that he only flew in one direction around the world.
Perhaps it was a superstition, but he reasoned that he would gain an extra day of life if he flew backwards in time…
Now, you may think he was a bit of a crackpot, but nevertheless this stuck with me.
My travels have never allowed me for one reason or another to follow his advice, but it certainly made me think differently about travelling.
Now here I am, all these decades later crossing the broad Pacific Ocean again, lets hazard a guess and estimate it at least 30 crossings to date…
This time it’s with Singapore Airlines.
I was more than underwhelmed with my flight from Brisbane to Singapore. Over the years I’ve become accustomed to an outstanding experience with Singapore Airlines, and this was so-so at best…
Fortunately I’m flying business class, but the plane was old, provided zero amenities and the food was only average.
Seriously I could have been flying with any average airline…
My current leg from Singapore to Vancouver is excellent both in terms of the seating configuration (so important on flights of 15 hours), but the food is delicious and the service more like I expected – outstanding!
It’s staggering to even try and calculate how much money I’ve spent on travel over the years. Not all of them out of my pocket.
In fact, far more than 50% of my travel expenses have been for companies that I’ve worked for over the years.
During my time at Accenture, I was on the road for 7.5 years and in a different city, sometimes globally every week.
My current employer has a large design and fabric printing operation in both Los Angeles and NYC so as Head of Global Infrastructure nipping over to work with the local teams.
This trip takes me from Brisbane, to Singapore, then Vancouver before making my way down to Los Angeles then onto New York City before retracing my steps.
All up I’ll be gone 18 days.
The best part is that I’m able to spend time with my daughter Sam who’s flying in from Toronto to spend the weekend with me exploring Los Angeles. I can’t wait!!!!
Another cool aspect is that when I’m in New York City I’ll be spending a night with Judy’s family in Long Island. I know she’s bitterly disappointed at not being able to accompany me on this trip but with her new job it’s impossible.
Don’t worry I have other big travel plans for us later in the year which will more than compensate.
There are two things about travelling that I learned early on.
The first is that you must have a flexible and open mindset as sometimes your travel plans change at the drop of a hat. As an example, if a flight is delayed or cancelled, or you’re re-routed for one reason or another, or perhaps your bags are lost…
Don’t sweat it – roll with it and breath! It is what it is, no point worrying or being upset about it.
The second is to gain the most from your travel experiences. This means joining the Frequent Flyer program of the airlines you fly, and the hotel chains that you stay with.
Over the years I accumulated well over two million frequent flyer miles only to redeem these points for my personal use later. ❤️
In fact, over the years Zach, Sam and myself have travelled the world on these points and they’re still being used today (i.e., Sam’s flight to LA). I still have over 400,000 miles with Air Canada alone ready to be used.
As I said I have plans… for Judy and me. Mu-ha-ha 😈
Until next week