I’ve slept in quite a few airports in my time, and not in the Tom Hanks “hiding among the baggage, seeking political asylum” way.
More in the “I live at the end of the galaxy and every flight is so LONG” way.
(Also in the “I didn’t finish packing till 2 am” way.)
Here is a review of my Top 3.
3. Auckland, New Zealand – Sweet as
(Brisbane to Canada and Alaska)
Auckland is a sentimental favourite, due to being the only time for decades that I’ve flown internationally in company. Beloved company. My mother. A journey rendered more tender by the looming backstory that it was the trip she’d always meant to take with Dad.
If you customarily travel solo, you’ll know the swift agility of it. Like a confident peak-hour driver you can anticipate signals, change directions with ease, adapt to opportunities.
With an older loved one, your focus shifts to protecting them, extracting them from the barging tumult of elsewhere-looking travellers.
Accommodation: A blessedly vacant departure lounge, with padded, cloth-covered benches.
Ambiance: The delightfully relaxed Kiwi outlook… “Welcome, bro. Do whatever.”
5 stars – a solid two-hour transit nap.
2. Frankfurt, Germany – None shall sleep
(Brisbane to Russia)
Frankfurt makes it into the Top 3 as a test of endurance. If you’ve ever wanted to star on Survivor or I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Frankfurt is the transit-nap airport for you. I’ve trekked New Zealand’s Milford Track for fun and book research, so you know I’m up for a challenge.
Frankfurt airport possibly has two postcodes, it’s that big. You’ll spend roughly two of your six transit hours getting from your arrival gate to your departure gate. If you’ve already been travelling 23 hours before transit even begins, lots of trudging helps deepen the despair element of exhaustion, leading to better chances of sleeping through what’s about to come.
Accommodation: Hard plastic seating firmly segmented by hard plastic armrests. The designers probably reckoned this would stop people napping in airport corridors. They didn’t reckon on me. Backside on one seat, knees bent up, feet on the next, small items of cabin baggage wedged around me to stop me cascading onto the floor.
Ambiance: Décor reminiscent of a public emergency department – except the hospital wouldn’t have a smoker’s zone ten metres up-corridor. Hard, echoing walls. Hard vinyl flooring featuring raised non-slip discs, so that each one of the thirteen thousand cabin bags wheeled past during the next several hours will sing gadunk-gadunk-GADUNK-GADUNK-GADUNK-gadunk-gadunk.
5 stars – creates great transit-nap-stories to tell at parties.
1. Singapore – Make yourself at home
(Brisbane to UK)
Singapore has apparently heard that travellers will be tired, and instead of looking for ways to stop them napping, they encourage it.
This is so revolutionary it probably needs restating: They HELP you loll about.
Accommodation: The ‘quiet zone’, dimly-lit, offers recliners. When even that wasn’t quite horizontal enough for me, I lay on dimly-lit clean carpet, feet elevated on my cabin bag. Even better was the time I splurged on the transit hotel. It’s actually part of the airport, above the transit lounge, no customs processing etc. I booked for 6 hours, took a hot shower, slipped between crisp white sheets with a sigh, and received a wake-up call to ensure I made my connecting flight.
Ambiance: When you’ve had enough napping, wander carpeted corridors, duty-free shops and a range of restaurants. Listen to a maestro on the grand piano. Watch enormous goldfish swim in a limpid landscaped pond.
Possible hazard: Travellers may not want to leave transit and continue the journey.
5 stars – Xanadu.
Favourite pics from March
These are a few of my favourite images I posted to Instagram this month… a searchlight-sky for the first day of autumn; me in full wet-weather kit, heading out to greet all the other people who claim to love “long walks in the rain” (spoiler: there were none); and some astonishingly bright zinnias I enjoyed on my walk (no filter used).
Other things I’ve been creating this month
- Simple Website Setup for Editors and Authors over at smallbluedog.com
- Author Platform: Do I need a website for the Gracewriters Podcast
- Author Platform: Email lists – Why do they matter? for the Gracewriters Podcast
- I was interviewed by coach Malini Devadas of the Edit Boost Podcast on the topic of dealing with a full email Inbox. She gave me great tips that I am working on putting into practice.
What about you?
How has your March been? Have you ever slept in an airport? Do you have any travel memories that come to mind, during this time when we can’t go many places?