Only Carry what will make you Happy
The season has started. So that means I made my first journey over the mainland and landed on the most isolated land mass on earth, Hawaii. I enjoy flying on airplanes. I like the uninterrupted time to myself. My flight time this week was 10 1/2 hours. In the past, when I have struggled with long flights, it's because I didn't have a plan on how to pass the time. I think of my time in the air as a luxury. It's my time. I get to sit in a decently comfortable seat, I don't have to talk to anybody. I can watch movies, tv shows, read, sleep, listen to music, do a meditation, take short walks, look out the window at a landscape I don't see on a day to day basis, eat almost whatever I want, and if I really have to, I can do some work. Most people will read this and think I'm crazy for having these thoughts. This is how I make flying fun for me!
For every flight I take, I have a plan for how I want my time spent. That starts from how much time I want to spend at the airport. I don't like to spend anymore time than I have to. That means getting to the airport just under an hour before the plane is going to board. For me, that is enough time for security, walk to the gate, fill up my water bottle and maybe pick up a bag of popcorn or small snack that I may be really happy I have in 10 hours. Two things that take up too much time for me are checking a bag and security. So about 90% of the time I don't check a bag. If you forget something, you can always buy it at your destination. And I have TSA pre-check which about 95% of the time I am through security in 5 minutes. If I have a last minute delay or a little bit more time to kill at the airport, I go to the chapel/meditation/yoga room. It's the quietest spot in the airport and I do a little yoga there before I'm going to sit for a 10-11 hour flight. I find airline lounges hit or miss. Sometimes they are lovely and relaxing. Other times they are packed with people making phone calls, or the occasional loud, small child. It all depends on the time of day and what airport you are at.
Once I get on the plane, I look at my destination's time. If I would normally sleep at that time, I go to sleep. When I fly to Honolulu, it is the middle of the night there when I get on the plane in New York, so I take a melatonin, some cbd oil, and put on my sleep playlist on my iPod and I am usually falling asleep as we are taking off. Yes, I made a playlist of music that is very calm and not complicated. I put it on whenever I want to fall asleep on an airplane. And it works.
When we get to a suitable time that I would realistically wake up at my destination, I get up and eat breakfast. Typically I eat breakfast over Nevada. Yes, I carry all of my own food when I travel. This way I am never disappointed with what options an airplane or airport offer. I never liked airplane food and I didn't care when most carriers discontinued it. It's important to me to control what I'm consuming. If I am sedentary for all of that time I don't need an excess of carbs, sugar and mystery sauces that accompany most airline food when you do receive it. Your body is not expelling much energy so I eat just what I need. Hard boiled eggs, an apple and a handful of a leafy green for breakfast. Then an hour and a half before landing, chicken and vegetables. After I land, a good solid lunch so I have enough energy to keep awake and go to work in my new time zone of 6 hours behind New York. So I have to stay up 6 hours later than my body is going to want to.
In between eating my two meals, I still have about 5 1/2 hours to account for. I sleep about the first 4 hours. Since I have nowhere to be, the next phase lasts about 2 1/2-3 hours.I get up and get some coffee, walk a little bit. Then start a movie, after taking way too long to decide, and eat breakfast. If I have a window seat, I pause to watch the last bit of land we fly over of the mainland before we fly over the ocean for five ours. Then I like to read a book and have a cup of coffee, maybe I write some in my journal or look over some music I'm working on. Take another walk, start another movie or tv show, eat my second meal then get ready to land. Get up, walk around, brush my teeth, put my contact lenses in, fill out my Agriculture Form for Hawaii, then we are ready to land. Everyone fills out a landing card in Hawaii. The state wants to know if you are bringing in any agriculture or live things. The ecosystem is very protected in Hawaii and they try to keep it that way.
We land and I just walk out of the airport. No checked bag, no waiting. Just walking outside in the humidity feeling as great as I can after sitting on a plane for 11 hours and traveling 5000 miles.
Kind of a long post but it's kind of a long day! The most obvious thing I didn't mention, I drink a lot of water. I don't know how much but it's a good amount. I hope this post helps for the next time you have a long flight ahead. Just make a plan and have a relaxing time. General rule of thumb, only carry what will make you happy!