Flying business

20 Sep

As I mentioned before, I have traveled a lot in the last four months.  I’ve been all over – the States three times, South Korea three times, the UK (Britain and Scotland), Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.  All told I was traveling over two thirds of the time from May through the end of August.

Blue skies

Blue skies

With that much travel, I spent a lot of time in airports – on planes, in lounges and in the duty free shops.  I also saw many, many more blue skies than if I had stayed in China.  My status on Delta and its alliance partners has ticked up to the top and I must admit that I’m getting a little spoiled from not standing in line, cutting security queues and having first access to the plane.

In London I got to explore the Virgin Clubhouse lounge which has waiter service, a hair salon, a music studio and a pool table inside.  In San Francisco, Korean Air uses the British Airways lounge where I was the only person in the highest lounge for nearly an hour with a full buffet to myself.  In Shanghai I now know which lounges let you access the plane directly and avoid the scramble around the gate above.  Sydney’s lounges have a full barista set up where I could get a fresh cup of chai and homemade scone.

A buffet for one

A buffet for one

I bought English breakfast tea and Winston Churchill’s caramels in London, kangaroo jerky in Sydney and my ultimate foot lotion socks in Seoul, plus lots of candy and other small gifts as I made my way through the airports.  I completed a survey on the Seoul airport and got a free toothbrush.

The best way to pamper your feet - only found in Korea.  Single use lotion socks that are incredible!

The best way to pamper your feet – only found in Korea. Single use lotion socks that are incredible!

I spent a weekend exploring the area near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, I ate traditional Korean food in Seoul and caught up with old friends in Singapore.  My boss bravely tried haggis in Scotland where I marveled that there was whisky on the breakfast buffet.  I met up with a former colleague for a weekend in San Francisco where we had sourdough bread and met people I haven’t seen in nearly 10 years at an actuarial conference.

My visit to Jakarta was punctuated with a breakfast with one of my first friends from Shanghai who was in my Chinese class way back when I was teaching English.  She’s Indonesian and had moved back with her husband a couple of years ago.  One visit to the States I had a rental car and enjoyed driving again with the windows down.

Of course I also met with clients and colleagues and had conference calls at odd hours.  I struggled through jet lag and time differences and not remembering which room was mine at the hotel because I had three different room numbers in a week and none of them stuck in my head.

Will my carry-on fit?  Of course... I am flying business!

Will my carry-on fit? Of course… I am flying business!

It was fun and invigorating and exhausting.

In short, it was business travel.

I’m ready for a break.

Have you ever traveled a lot for business?  What are your favorite memories?


16 Responses to “Flying business”

  1. thirdeyemom September 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Sounds amazing! What do you do for your work? I know you’ve been in China for quite awhile now. Pretty awesome!

    • gkm2011 September 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      I manage global accounts for my employer – so since clients are all over – so am I! It’s a great way to meet other colleagues and key decision makers. Prior to this role I worked in the consulting industry – so also a lot of travel, but more in Asia Pacific. I celebrate my 7 year anniversary in China later this year. 🙂

      • glen van alkemade September 22, 2014 at 11:51 am #

        “Global accounts”…”employer”…”key decision makers”…”consulting industry”… could be anything! I think she deals stolen antiquities.

      • thirdeyemom September 27, 2014 at 2:18 am #

        Wow, seven years!!! That is fantastic!

  2. Anne September 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Love Love Love those foot masks 🙂

    • gkm2011 September 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      I know – was thinking of you when I put up the photo!

  3. CrazyChineseFamily September 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Amazing. Usually I am already annoyed enough by one 8h flight to china so I don’t want to travel atall anymore for a few months :p

    • gkm2011 September 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Flying business helps – much more space, ability to sleep better – but I have to admit it’s more of a frame of mind than anything. Looking forward to a bit of a break now. This last stint was longer and more intense than anything I’ve done before.

  4. Sarah M September 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    yeah it’s amazing how differently you can feel when you travel business class and get to wait in a nice comfortable lounge. Not that I’d know. I live in hope of one day getting an upgrade, but never happens.

    • gkm2011 September 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Yes – skipping the queuing and having a nice quiet place to sit makes a huge difference. Given the amount of travel I do – as long as it is on one of Delta or China Eastern’s partner airlines – it doesn’t matter if I fly business at this point!

  5. jennysdiaries September 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Sounds exhausting😋 but it is nice to travel around the world

    • gkm2011 September 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

      Yes – I have seen many amazing and wonderful things and am lucky I enjoy traveling! It is nice to have some time in one place though. If your eyes are not fresh, it can be difficult to enjoy.

  6. ladyofthecakes September 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Actuarial conference…?! My envy died right there 😉

    • gkm2011 September 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      It was actually a blast!

  7. Giovannoni Claudine September 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    What a treat! I’ve spent thirteen years traveling the world for work … and now you do not know how much I miss it!
    I always return to your “house” with pleasure to read your posts… Hugs & serenity Claudine

    • gkm2011 September 21, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      It is a different lifestyle, the bouncing and adapting – multiple currencies in your wallet and a few key phrases on your lips. I will look forward to starting again once I finish this period of respite! But… When traveling that much it is pretty difficult to blog, so catch 22!

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