People complain about flying. I don’t mind flying. To paraphrase Louis C.K., flying is a miracle. It’s everything leading up to flying that is exhausting and irritating, sometimes infuriating. It’s the connections and the customs and the travel between airports that are brutal. The flying is easy. It’s everything else that is hard, especially when you try to do a trip as fast as possible.
I recently flew back to the U.S. from Egypt. The U.S. media that I had been following before my trip made Egypt seem like a dangerous place. Friends and family kept sending me links to a story about two Americans kidnapped off a tour bus by Bedouins. (They were released the next day). There were also reports of American NGO workers being detained trying to leave the country. As a travel blogger, I was sure I was fine. Until the night before I had to leave. Unable to fall asleep, I started dreaming up nightmare scenarios, largely based on my experiences being detained at Heathrow.
I flew from Sharm el Sheikh in the south to Cairo. I certainly didn’t have to worry about being kidnapped by anyone, Egyptian military police were everywhere. Security was tight. When I got to Cairo it was even crazier. I had a long layover there, but thank god I did because the security was nuts. There were many checkpoints before I even got the international terminal. Then there were three more security checks before I even got to the gate where I would catch my flight to the U.S. (It seems like flights to the U.S. had the most security checks). When I got to New York, hours later and totally exhausted, I then had to hop on a bus back home to Philly. Total travel time: almost 24 hours, including maybe half an hour of sleep.
That’s why people hate flying. I’ve decided, however, the key to enjoying flying is to relax along the way. How do you do that? Airport Hotels
. I should’ve stayed in Cairo and spent the night on the property. Or I should’ve spent the night in New York, right next to JFK. Or I should have broken the flight up more, because when you decide you can relax during a trip you don’t need to take straight shot from Egypt to the U.S. I would have stopped in England, avoiding the mess at Heathrow and staying in Gatwick hotels
. Too often we try to get to someplace quickly, end up destroying ourselves in the process, and are useless and tired for the same amount of time that we would have been traveling if we would have taken our time and tried to enjoy it.