Did someone say Flight? You know those silly surveys that crunch numbers about our daily lives like we spend $x on coffee a year or did you know we spend 25 years of our lives sleeping? Well if I did that with the amount of time I spent flying, catching a train, using a bus or just any form of travelling I think it would be a few years’ worth by the end of it too.
A fundamental part of the job and let’s be honest it’s not fun to be stuck on a plane or left in transit for numerous hours somewhere however it is the ‘norm’. People say ‘oh think about the great destination at the end’ etc. etc., I’m not going to lie to you long haul flights aren’t pleasant! There is no way to make them ‘enjoyable’ it’s purely about passing the time.
The word on the street is flying east you should avoid morning light but afternoon sun is good; if you travel west, get as much light exposure as you can right before sunset. Personally it’s doesn’t matter you just sleep when you can, however you can! You hop on, sit down, try to sleep and deal with it until you disembark at the other end. Occasionally you can get a dream run like I had heading to the UK, a row four seats to myself Brisbane to Dubai, and then row three seats to myself Dubai to London. I couldn’t believe how lucky that turned out, unlikely to ever happen again!
Once you’re at the other end you can kick the shoes off and take a quick selfie out the window of your Parisian hotel or for me, the incredible Edinburgh Castle view from my street. Yes, that’s the glamour part of the job, the part people see with envy forgetting the torture you went through to get there.
Sport is the perfect way to do what you love and travel the world. I’m lucky, I’ve seen a lot of places so far but there’s plenty more to come. I started a dream destination wish list and realised it’s a possibility that I could make it there. Considered Europe? Check! How about Canada? Check! and the fancy places like Cayman Islands, Paris or even Mexico, Hong Kong and its all check! Will be a full passport soon enough..
From a performance perspective the long flights are killers so you need to give yourself at least a few days to get those land legs, rehydrate and the body functioning again. The overnight flights that sound perfect as you hop on, sleep and arrive at the other end, they are the worst. You don’t sleep, it’s not real sleeping, it’s half sleeping where your still awake and can hear the surroundings, making sure that when the smell of food starts wafting down the aisles your awake to avoid missing that meal or it’s another 6 hours for food! I highly recommend taking snacks in this case.
The best things I like to do when I arrive at my destination is head straight to the courts and have a bash, it gets the blood flowing, body adjusting and you play like a donkey, so best to get that out of the way too.. There’s no way you can play worse than that afterwards, it’s only up from here. Generally a solid week to be feeling really good again, hydration back to normal and your body has adjusted to sleep patterns and weather etc.
The frequent flyer miles start to add up over time (highly recommended actually claiming those points) but I wouldn’t change the amount of travel I do because there’s going to be a day I can stand in my room at home, look at a map of the world and put pins on all the places I’ve been to and hopefully it will be pretty cluttered.
& that’s My Athlete Mind…