web Musings of The Global Traveller

Friday, August 21, 2009

A day in my crazy life

Lots of my friends and family think that what I do is a bit odd or even disturbing. While I understand it is not for everyone I love it. Here's a summary of what I got up to yesterday as an example of a typical day, so you can be the judge.

3:30am Alarm goes off. !@#$ I just got to bed a few hours ago. I resist the temptation to sleep a little longer and go into autopilot mode to get ready.

4:00am Having showered, dressed & packed I'm out the door. I figure I just have enough time to take the bus to airport instead of a cab, so walk to the bus stop a mile away, weaving past the flocks of drunk teens along the way

5:35am Arrive at airport, bolt for check-in, pick up 4 boarding passes. Quickly through immigration, security and into the lounge. Enough time to spare to check messages and do a quick spot of work.

5:50am Board at final call for my first flight of the day. I try to sleep but the ride is rather bumpy today so instead I read some papers and mentally prepare some responses. I enjoy a quick chat with a flight attendant I've previously flown with on many flights.

9:00am (-2 hour time change) For some reason one immigration line is empty when there are queues at all the other lines. Yes! Use my "trick" to bypass the long customs queues and thus I'm landside in 5 minutes. A short walk to domestic terminal (I'd chosen this routing today for the ease of transfers). There are 2 lines at security - one has 20 people in wheelchairs. Naturally I take the other line.

9:10am In the lounge. Catch up on some messages, do some blogging and some research while waiting for my friend to arrive.

10:50am Friend arrives. We have brunch in the lounge. I check the upcoming flights are on track (last week I'd been held up for 5 hours due to fog - such a delay today would be disastrous). When his flight departs I then talked with another friend on another continent before it was time for me too to leave.

12:40pm Second flight of the day. A relatively short flight so I grab some work out of my bag and set to it, snatching looks out the window from time to time. The sun is shining brightly onto late season snow on the top of the ranges. The valleys are mostly obscured by cloud.

2:30pm A short transit so I bolted for the lounge. Caught up on messages, chat with another person to resolve a couple of issues. Progress is good. The tiredness is creeping in so I'm relieved when boarding is called.

2:45pm Third flight of the day. No work this time as I just try to sleep. Keeping papers in my bag also means I can disembark quickly as I have a lot to do on the next transit. The power nap on this flight refreshes me but I know it is only temporary relief.

4:00pm We arrive early but then have to wait for the airbridge. I speed walk out and across to the international terminal. My mood is soured at immigration when the officer stamps a valuable blank page in my passport. I hate this with a vengeance, for my passport gets filled so fast that pages suitable for visas are like gold. Unlike USA I cannot add pages. Pass through security. On the walk to the lounge I remonstrate myself for letting it get to me. Tiredness is not an excuse for being grumpy.

4:10pm Another lounge (the fourth of the day). I do some research and blogging, and have a couple of drinks. It has been a highly productive day, but it isn't over yet.

5:00pm Just enough time for a quick shower and dinner. I like to take dinner in the lounge before evening / night flights. That way I can maximise sleep onboard. Tonight I feel this is essential, for I have another night of little sleep ahead of me.

5:20pm Board the fourth flight of the day, and the second international flight. A very light load with just 22 passengers. Service is great, especially with another friendly, familiar flight attendant.

I started watching a movie while having a nightcap or two but soon realised I was dozing so gave up and got a proper sleep. This was shortlived as the flight time was 30 minutes quicker than normal due to strong tailwinds.

11:00pm (+2 hour time change) We pull into the furthest gate from immigration. Do some shopping at duty free en route. Long queues at customs and x-ray, but no secondary for me this time.

midnight Reach landside and head for sleeper's corner. The crowd is less than normal tonight. Catch up on the thrilling end of the big game. Chat with a friend for a bit and plan out my next day.

1:30am Find a bench to lie on (you didn't think my day was going to be glamorous did you?) and grab a couple of hours of much needed sleep.

3:30am Awakened by travellers on the first flights in and out of the day. There is still some time before domestic terminal opens so I move somewhere with better light and get some work done while I wait.

5:00am Walk to domestic terminal. The brisk early morning air feels good. Another travel day begins.

This was a fairly average day. Some days are more hectic, and others more surreal (the times when I fly longhaul first or business class I can't help but feel I'm in a dream). I do appreciate I'm lucky to have this life and so take the crazy days together with the more sane ones.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

fascinating! But where'd you go? And what did you eat? So important. Seems like you are very travel-resilient, which must be very convenient given your line of work!