In the last post, I left off by jumping in a taxi to go catch a plane. But truth be told, I still had a fair few hours left in KL, albeit without much ‘freedom’ at all. Something about being location independent suggests you might be, gasp, independent of any location.
There is, of course, a major exception.
Yes, the airport.
Source of so much excitement as you head to new climes.
Source of extreme joy as you bask in the glory of luxury duty free. (Unless you go somewhere with a grim airport like Toulouse. I won’t go into how many hours I’ve lost waiting for the 10.55pm flight to Gatwick, but I can tell you there are only so many times you can look at a jar of confit de canard before you sodding well buy it.)
And of course, source of excessive frustration and stress for so many.
I sympathise not. Airport haters, you gotta chill.
Here are the next few days of my journey, infused with tips for reducing moments of panic and despair.
Thursday, 30 May 2013 continued…
- Check-in and find the lounge.
- Okay, this is tip numero uno. Find the lounge. Most large international airports have pay-as-you-go lounges at least (normally ~£25 for a few hours) if you’re not a member. These are essential if you’re having a short layover, as you can shower and relax. They’re even more essential if, like me, you need to plug in, log on, and get working. Plus, they’re great for getting as much fluid into your body as possible (and I’m not talking wine and coffee, but those can be pretty essential too!) ahead of the dehydrating flight.
- And tip number two is a tip within a tip. Stay hydrated. I’m pretty sure it helps keep your sanity.
- 2 hours of editing, then a glass of sauvignon blanc.
- Send finalised edited document to client.
- Board plane for night flight to Amsterdam.
- Seated next to an interesting guy who actually wants to chat.
- Oblige. (I highly rate new connections, even at 2am local time with limited leg room.)
- This is tip number three. Travel is the obvious and much-overlooked time to network. You could be sitting next to anyone and you have the perfect excuse to strike up a conversation. Even those who aren’t small-talk fans can easily conjure up a question about why they’re headed where they’re headed.
- Actually get some sleep. Woo-freaking-hoooo!
- And tip number four. Sleep when you can!
Friday, 31 May 2013
- ‘Day off’
- 5 hours stopover, which I spend shopping, drinking coffee and emailing.
- Emailing? Damn it! Okay, not a complete day off.
- Buy plug adapter for Europe and succumb to the fact I probably will use my laptop over the next 10 days, despite my upcoming holiday week in Italy. I had promised myself I wouldn’t work, given how long it had been since I had time properly off work. Well… I’m in Italy quite yet, am I?
- At departure gate, follow up on a client prospect and send recommendations to another client prospect following our Ebook Discovery Session.
- Fly to Rome.
- Definitely, definitely taking the rest of the day off now.
- Check into gorgeous hotel, my window overlooking something very Romey.
- Take a nap. Yessss.
- Tip number five. Sleep more when you can!
- Explore local streets and have a late lunch, the most divine anchovy and olive pizza in the whole wide world bar none. Or maybe it’s just because I’m in Italy. And drinking a small carafe of chianti. Whatever.
- Go back to the hotel for another most awesome nap.
- Tip number six, dream up a way to get paid for sleeping. No, seriously. The best way to travel is well-rested.
- Out for a few drinks in the evening.
Not a bad view from my Rome room…
Saturday, 1 June 2013
- Holiday officially starts today. My first in… I don’t remember.
- Breakfast in Rome, the most divine caffé latte in the whole wide world bar none, opposite something else very Romey.
- At 11am, catch the train to Certaldo, via a dodgy experience in Florence.
- Tip number seven, don’t accept travel tips from anyone! (Long story!)
- Taxi to the villa in Tuscany. 2 hours taking in breathtaking scenery, while overlooking our rose-bordered swimming pool, herb garden and on-site vineyard. Yes, I think I’m definitely on holiday.
- Fight the urge to ask for the wifi code.
- Greet friends at 4pm at the villa and dig into the local store for supplies.
- Let smartphone battery die on purpose!
- Tip number eight, once in a while, disconnect completely. Especially if you’ve just spent 5 days running around looking for reliable wifi!
- Realise I haven’t checked my email all day or written a single word. Feels weird, a bit disconcerting, but I’m convinced it’s a good thing.
- Long night of sipping prosecco and chatting catching up with great people arriving from Vancouver and London.
- Crash into bed at 4am.
Take that jetlag! I win!
Catch the next leg of my journey and find out what it really takes to write on the road in Part 3.