Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day in the Air

The most common question I get about moving to China is "How many hours is the flight?" Well, in fact, it takes four flights, but the total in-air time is looking like it'll be about twenty-one hours this time. 

I leave Nashville at 5:30 am Thursday morning--so of course I have the be at the airport a couple of hours before that.  Right now we're planning to go to my brothers' place in Nashville Wednesday evening, and then go from there, instead of going from here at two in the morning. 

My first flight is to Atlanta--yes, going the wrong direction.  I find it quite entertaining to search for flights sometimes; sometimes the routes seem so nonsensical.  The flight to Atlanta takes just over an hour, and then from Atlanta I fly to L.A. (about five hours), then from L.A. to Beijing (thirteen hours), then from Beijing to Wuhan (two and ten minutes, if I remember correctly).  None of my layovers are too long, so really we're making pretty good time.  I'll be meeting up with some of the other American teachers who I met in June in Nashville and L.A. 

When I arrive in Wuhan, it will be 9:00 pm Friday night.  This schedule may seem a bit crazy, but really it's pretty well designed--I won't get much if any sleep Wednesday night, so I should be able to sleep on the flight to L.A.  Therefore, I'll be awake flying into China, but tired and ready to sleep when I finally get to my apartment sometime Friday night.  I have to flip-flop my day and night due to the time zones anyhow, and it's easiest to do it in route like this. 

When I do tell people the flight plan, I get a lot of grimaces.  Twenty-one hours in the air?  You poor thing!  Why do people hate flying so much?  I love traveling and every part of it--I don't think I've eer been bored in an airport.  There's shops, restaurants, and of course endless people watching.  Besides, you have books, magazines, other travelers to talk to, and the view out the window of planes taking off and landing. On the long flight, there's usually so many movies I haven't seen yet that I can't fit them all in.  Even after all the flying I've done, air travel has not lost its magic.  I just love being on the move.   Now, if only airlines had a better record of getting luggage to the same place at the same time, flying would be perfect.  Please pray for my luggage. 

Flying over the lakes of Wuhan, February 2010

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