Going The Distance

By Anthony Adler

I love to travel, but I hate to fly. Glamour and excitement can no longer be associated with air travel. So when it was time to plan our family’s spring break trip, I had to ponder long and hard whether crossing an ocean or two was really worth the trouble. I decided we would finally take the Asia vacation we had discussed for years. It was a decision that I’m glad to say I don’t regret a bit!

Our nearly 18-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok had me quite nervous. I usually get a touch of cabin fever after just a few hours. This was different though. My doctor is a frequent international flyer and suggested we sleep for ten of those hours. I can’t sleep for ten hours when I’m at home; how could I possibly sleep that long on a plane? He prescribed Ambien, one tablet for my wife and me, and a half tablet each for our teenage sons. Taking pills is not something that generally appeals to me, but this doctor was pretty sure about his strategy.

We had the pleasure of flying in Business Class. The multi-course dinner began about 90 minutes after takeoff and didn’t end until we were more than three hours into the flight. We then spent an hour playing games and watching shows on their video system. Then, with a little hesitation, we took the pills. Within an hour we were all asleep. We missed one meal served about six hours later, but awoke to the smell of a hearty breakfast several hours after that. By the time we finished our morning meal, completed our customs forms and changed out of our pajamas, the plane began its descent. We arrived about an hour early at 5:30 AM Bangkok time. We were refreshed and ready to go. My fears of how we would withstand such a long flight were unfounded. It was easy and actually somewhat enjoyable. None of us had issues staying awake and we saw a lot of Thailand on that first day. Of course, we all were quite ready for bed at about 9:00 PM.

We now have a whole new perspective. We would not hesitate to explore parts of the world that seemed just too far away to us before. Our experience was both enlightening and invigorating.

Regardless of where you are going, remember the bottom line is that getting “there” doesn’t have to be so bad. A big part of it is having the right attitude. Certainly it helps a lot to fly Business Class or First Class, but even if you fly in Coach, the rewards of seeing far-off places with those you love make it all worthwhile.

By | Published in: Anthony Adler, Asia


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