We all love to travel, to see new places, to experience new things, to reach your destination and breathe a big sigh of relief after that long flight. But what about the journey? It can be a bit daunting, being crammed into a tiny space to spend for the next 6-11hours. No fresh air, no fresh food. It can be a long, draining experience, but we all do it, because we know what waits for us at the other side is completely worth it!
On my travels from Hawaii to home, a friendly face I met along the way took the time to make me an airplane care package. There was plenty of things in the little bag, some sweets, a pen and paper, cards, but the thing that caught my attention most was the words written in a note. 'It's not about the destination, it's about the journey and the people you meet along the way.' And, just like that, the journey changed. I spent every minute loving it.
That plane home was delayed by 4 hours, but I spent every moment smiling and enjoying myself. I did yoga, I read, I spoke to strangers next to me. I started to realise how many faces in the airport, looked grumpy, bored, inpatient. And I thought to myself, what are you all doing? You've paid for this experience and you can't even smile! So now, every car ride, long plane flight, tuk tuk ride, bus trip, train, I think, this is my journey, I'm going to enjoy it.
So here's my tips on how to survive the journey...
1. Have a good book.
Going away gives you time to read, make the most of it. Some great favourites are Shantaram - Gregory Roberts, The Power Of Now - Ekhart Tolle, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini. Or look at Waterstone's Best Sellers.
2. Make a good playlists, and remember the headphones!
Having a few different playlists can help keep you entertained. I always like to make an upbeat, exciting playlist to keep the good vibes up, and to keep the excitement for my trip. The other one I always make sure I have is a sleepy playlist, one that will send me straight off despite all the noise around. It works every time!
3. Smile and talk to your neighbour.
You never know who's sitting next to you or what interesting stories they have. It's the best place to meet someone, and usually the most interesting place. And if by bad luck your neighbour is that one that snores, invades your personal space, doesn't stop talking, then use it for a time to test your patience. The Dalai Lama writes “Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.” Or put your headphones in...
4. Healthy snacks
There's nothing worse than feeling a little low on planes, and eating all the processed rubbish they give you to make you even more lethargic. Pack your own snacks, natural sugars, fresh fruit. It can change your mood in an instant! Our favourite snacks are Pip & Nut and Eat Natural.
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