Monday, 19 September 2016

It sometimes surprises me how stressful travel, particularly air travel, can be.

It also amazes me that I voluntarily put both myself and my wife through the stress of doing it in the name of relaxation and fun – that I don’t learn from my previous behaviour – calling it a mistake is incorrect, both because it’s deliberate and has also sometimes resulted in highly beneficial moments.

Of course, it’s not always so bad.

Travel in countries where the language is somewhat familiar, at least sufficient to take a stab at, hasn’t always been difficult. Flying back from Frankfurt at Christmas last year was fine. Likewise Seville the previous summer and various other holidays & trips. Geneva was slightly hard going, simply because the budget-tourist part of the airport is thoroughly unpleasant, so even though all travel arrangements were looked after by the Crystal Ski people, it was still a crappy experience beyond their control.

This year has been one of our steepest challenges yet.

We did pick up a few works of Turkish, a very few, so when the online check-in website was in Turkish only I could recognise the words for hello, Exit and please. After that we fell into the loving embrace of Google translate (did an amazingly good job) and I literally sweated my way through putting in the various details for us to check in and download boarding passes (however Turkish Airlines always print boarding passes anyway when we bag-dropped) to put on phone and tablet.

A week or so before we flew I got a notification from Tripcase (travel management app) that our flight times had changed, but the change seemed minor and I didn’t worry any further. This did, however, cause enormous anxiety when my head still remembered the original times for both journey legs, despite reading the new times repeatedly, and I had waking nightmares about missing our connection in Istanbul.

It’s going to be fine.

I’m writing this sat in the domestic departure hall of Bodrum airport with almost an hour before we board the first flight to Istanbul. Of course it will all be fine, but I won’t be able to post this until we’re back home, so will also be able to confirm the flight was, in fact, fine.

I wrote that Saturday morning – we made it back fine, with the greatest stress occurring at Heathrow airport . Now I’m ‘looking forward’ to my first day back at work, travelling to Bristol & trying to sort the kitchen refit out.

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