You know what’s fun? Not long haul flights.
Before we get started, let me just say I know how blatantly that comment displays an inherent privelege and feverish arrogance and I am lucky to have the agency and socioeconomic status and financial means (ish) to travel internationally. I acknowledge that. And I acknowledge that on the scale of 1-100 of bad things humans have to endure ‘taking a long flight’ hovers at about minus four million.
1. Be half-grateful
- flights suck AND
- flights are incredible
2. Interact with people (yes, really)
3. Move, move, move.
Mate, move. The day before your flight, move so much you wear yourself out. Surf. Run. Dance. Do a stupid amount of squats. Appreciate the feeling of actually having legs, then, once you have entered past the gates of hell (bag drop and check in) keep moving. If you have hours to kill, put a Podcast in your ears and walk laps of the entire departure gate. Do it. Trust me.
4. Make space for the transition
Someone smarter and with more patience than me once said to me ‘transition is a journey in itself’ and that is never truer than in that weird 2-3 day transit where you are suspended in nowheresville. It’s actually a perfect opportunity to detach from where you are leaving and prepare for where you are going next. Use that time to journal, reflect, be in your own company, catch up and check in with yourself, and just revel in the fact you have no responsibility by now beyond being at your numbered gate on time. Bonus points for staying off social media.
Seriously, there is nothing like watching the outside world go on without you to give you anxiety and restlessness. You already have to disconnect from social media for the flights, so why not commit and disconnect for the whole transit? Give into being a resident of the weird anonymous ecosystem that is airport departure gates for a little while. Just float. Reality awaits you on the other side anyway.