After my previous series, I didn’t want to seem completely insufferable. Feel free to indulge in a case of schadenfreude. I deserve it.
A week or so out from a trip (ie about now) I start dreading the flight. Unless it is a short hop to Aussie or an island, or even better, one of the very rare occasions when we have travelled business class, courtesy of frequent flyer miles or a special occasion. Then I will look forward to the flight, the hours of relaxation, good food, champagne, movies, music and a good lie-flat sleep. Sigh. This is not how I feel if we’re saving thousands of dollars and travelling in the back of the bus (Airbus most likely). I’ve already gone through the misery of booking the cheap seats, but try to put that aside when I’m organising the rest of the trip. But the torture looms, and about a week or so out, it looms large. It’s sad, because I used to love it. Back when economy class seats had several more inches between the rows of seats. Back when my bum had several fewer inches. Back when flying was a little bit glamorous, even in economy class. Back when we didn’t have to use plastic cutlery. Back when I could sleep sitting up.
About a week or so out from a trip, I start anticipating not only the joys – after all, they’re the reason we’re going – but also the horrors of the trip. The other passengers. The hours in transit in crowded and uncomfortable airports. The endless queues at customs and immigration. When I sink into my bed at night, I remember what it is like to be sitting bolt upright in economy class, in the middle of a 12 hour leg, perhaps in the second of two back-to-back 12 hour legs. At that time, I would sell my soul to be able to lie down and go to sleep.
About a week or so out from a trip, all I can see is the flight. I’ve done the arrangements; I don’t need to think about the balloon trip or the day tours I’ve booked. My friends know I’m coming; my family have my contact emergency details. And so, a week or so out from a trip, I really start wondering if it is all worth it.
I think I need to re-read my own advice – my Travelalphablog tips on how to survive economy class. I need to remember that I will have 30 or so hours when I don’t have to run around organising anything, when I can watch whatever trashy movies or TV I want to, when I can read whatever I want, where I’ll be blissfully anonymous (well, apart from my husband next to me). I need to take that time and breathe, so I can hit the ground running. I’ll smile then. When I’m there. I promise, I’ll take appropriate delight (that’s a small hint) in my destination.