Whew! I’m Back. That Was Tiring.

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I spent 6 hours in NY in October.

The conclusion: rapid travel is not for long-term travel.

My penchant for intense itineraries runs up to an endurance wall of 2-3 weeks. This stretch I had two weeks in southern Africa for business and pleasure, a weekend back to the US for the Chicago Seminars and immediately out to Dubai and the Horn of Africa for two more weeks of business and pleasure. I have spent the last week recovering and catching up on work.

The stats:

  • 11 UN countries, 9 new for me (plus 2 more Travelers Century Club countries)
  • First time traveling with friends in 8 years, and apparently none ended up hating me
  • 10 flight segments on South African, all in economy
  • 6 flight segments on Ethiopian, all in economy
  • 8 flight segments on Turkish, all in economy
  • 2 flight segments on TAAG Angola, 2 on Jubba Airways and 1 on American, you guessed it: economy
  • A lot of kms on the road in various Toyotas

End of the long road in Eritrea

Some quick airline observations for the blog posts that may or may not catch up:

  • South African Airways runs a good operation, plenty of room in economy made even the 16-hour JFK-JNB flights pleasant.
  • Ethiopian had a great showing, much better than my initial experience last December. (“Why are you here? We’re not flying to Kigali this week.”) Addis Ababa is now my preferred Africa hub, as much as one airport can be for such a huge continent.
  • Turkish might be my new favorite non-Asian airline. Good operation and they let you rest on flights, no incessant announcements or duty-free flogging. Only big demerit for the bus gates in Istanbul, especially the trick ones where you go on a jet bridge to go down to a waiting bus. And a bit confusing when the government arbitrarily delays the daylight saving time change.
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5 years ago

hmmm, my company is also ferociously trying to kill business class travel. We are still fighting it a bit though (if you arrive before noon and do a normal day’s work you can usually get the business class; I however hate going straight to work from a 15 hour flight even if it was in business). Has it been completely cut at your place?

5 years ago

Yah, Rick and Deb would be yelling to read this one. Still very funny and interesting to read your Ireland road trip especially the witty line ” Dunluce Castle is £5 to enter the castle, free to clamber down to the cave below, guess where everyone heads?? ” Time to do another year end clean up? 🙂

5 years ago

Welcome back! You are missed a lot. I hope you at least get some tans. So those are not your friend when you drove in Ireland? I like that post. That can not 8 years ago. Please don’t forget about Greenland and Denmark.

5 years ago

Thanks for the update. Interesting as always. I am surprised you like Addis, the airport that doesnt have the capacity to handle the scheduled flights. I also tried the IAD-ADD and JFK-JNB in coach this year in addition to DXB-BOS and surprisingly I survived! unlike IST-BOS which I did NOT! The seat pitch on Turkish was non-existent. On Ehtiopian, South African, and Emirates, it was surprisingly acceptable and the movies kept my brain numbed. These long flights were not nearly as bad as I worried they would be when compared to the eight hour flights back from Europe. Not that… Read more »

Caroline Lupini
5 years ago

Definitely feel you re: rapid travel is not for long term travel. I think I’ve burnt myself out a wee bit this year doing a little too much of that! Might need to talk to you about some tips for visiting some African countries sometime soon. Definitely would like to do more travel in the region, but I know it can be logistically (and visa) challenging as well as not cheap.

5 years ago

I’m tired just reading about it. Loved seeing your updates on FB and it really seems like you had an awesome time (though packed too much in).

5 years ago

You have a hefty backlog of blog material. Hope you’ll reveal all, especially your take on your trip with the other bloggers. I would imagine that it felt somewhat confining since you usually travel solo.

You seem to be in a unique position in that you can combine your business and personal travel. What percent of your time and travel budget is the business segment of your travel? If this question is too personal just ignore.

5 years ago

“The conclusion: rapid travel is not for long-term travel.” <— I learned that the hard way. My breaking point is about 2 weeks, but now that I've tried more moderately-paced travel, I prefer it even on shorter trips.

Sounds like you made the most of it regardless. Hope the rest of 2015 is the perfect blend of rapid travel and time at home for you.

5 years ago

Would love to hear more about the 16 hour JFK/JNB flight! I want to figure out a way to get to South Africa from DC and have looked at that flight with trepidation!