International travel is a different experience than it used to be…
Back in the day, long-haul flight preparation would generally start with a visit to the Executive Lounge for a few stiff drinks – a quick start for an enjoyable flight. I didn’t worry too much about what time of day it was, the impact of changing time-zones would just be accelerated by an early buzz.
My arrival on the plane was celebrated with a glass of Champagne and some pleasantly warmed salted cashew nuts. A couple more pre-dinner drinks would help get me “in the zone”. Then I’d have a glass or two of wine to accompany my meal as I enjoyed a film.
A well-executed plan would result in me being overcome by waves of exhaustion as the film reached its climax – leaving me ready to sleep through the rest of the flight.
How things have changed!
Firstly, long-haul flights are a much rarer occurrence for me. I still travel a fair amount with work, but the locations I visit are much less exotic nowadays. As a result I no longer have a shiny Executive Club card; my pre-flight preparation therefore takes place with the masses.
Fortunately, not having access to the Executive Lounge is much less of an issue when you’re not looking to get “tanked up”. Since the Heart Attack I have severely reduced my alcohol intake. I still enjoy a drink when I have one but I only drink very occasionally – my last was in October.
As I write, I’m 37,000 ft. in the air above the North Atlantic on my way to Houston for a few days on business. I’ve just enjoyed the low fat meal option, I’m keeping myself well hydrated and I’ll stay active to keep the blood flowing.
The excitement of international travel has subsided somewhat for me, and the flights don’t pass in quite the same way as they used to, however, I’m sure I’ll arrive in much better shape and it’s clearly more sustainable this way.
When I arrive I’ve got a hard week’s work to look forward to… perhaps I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine on the flight home!