Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thoughts on long distance air travel

Normally when we take to the air we travel from our home town of Perth in Western Australia and head West towards Dubai and Europe. This time we're going in the other direction and I'm actually typing these words, whilst I sit on the beach at Coogee NSW (and yes it's beautiful!). But tomorrow we continue our eastern adventure by taking wing to Los Angeles, a distance of 12,065 Kms or 13 hours flying time!

The biggest challenge for me is boredom. Flying tends to make one dozy anyway (and they keep turning down the lights to simulate nighttime) so actually being productive is always difficult. Once you've watched 3 movies in a row, the thrill of it beings to pall rapidly.

So I shall be taking a good book which I intend to at least open if not actually finish. I will take a notebook with me to record all those quirky things that happen when you're locked in with 350 total strangers (the good wife excluded of course)  in a metal tube at 37,000 feet, and I will get up and walk around as much as I can to stop the joints seizing up completely.

I usually start prepare for long distance travel some weeks before by working on my overall fitness and in the final week I try and do a little extra so that when I get on the plane my body will be craving sleep more than usual - despite the often cramped conditions back in "Stowage". Don't try and use alcohol as a means of getting to sleep, it will only make you feel lousy when you wake and will dehydrate you more too.

On the day of the flight I will put on my knee-length compression socks and wear them until I get into the shower at my destination. This is to reduce the risks of DVT's on such long haul flights. Because the air is drier at high altitudes I will take some lubricating drops for my eyes and some sesame seed oil to spray into my nose to keep those membranes protected to.

Once we're up, up and away then I'll drink plenty of water at regular intervals, get up and march up and down the aisles, and finally I do some stretches at the back of the aircraft - always designed to get some mystified looks from unsuspecting fellow travellers, or start up great conversations with fellow contortionists!

I also try to identify "coughers" - both in airports and on board - who may be infected with any contagious disease, by covering my face if they are near. I have also taken to wearing disposable plastic gloves when I use the communal toilet as the hygiene of others can sometimes be less than ideal.

After arrival and the obligatory shower, we go for a long walk before we go to bed and promise ourselves to be patient with each other for the next few days as the jet lag wears off.

But most of all I intend to have a ball in Seattle!

Ampersands & angle brackets need to be encoded.