Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I am poised at the SAS London Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 3, having just launched mega-trip 2012, a 26-day odyssey around the world. Well, that’s not totally true – in the end, I’m not actually travelling all the way around, but I will be going a greater distance.
The trip will certainly be multimodal – 8 flights (totaling nearly 29,000 miles), one Amtrak journey (plus several urban rail trips), and even a rental car for a few days. No doubt, there will be buses as well, as a lot of the work stuff revolves around them – but just like in the movie, I’m not really mentioning them!
This is by far the longest I’ve ever been away, and was a consequence of timing – two major meetings plus three other odds and ends all coming together. In some ways, as the majority of the time will be in the Pacific Northwest of the US, it won’t be too new or foreign – but the first week is in Bangkok, which is certainly a new city and country (and without a doubt a hot and steamy one…by some accounts the overall hottest big city in the world).
The first (and last) parts of the voyage are on Thai Airways, a new airline for me – so its time to head to the gate for the non-stop overnight flight to Bangkok, on the A340-600, which until the very recent introduction of the new extended 747-800 was the longest aircraft in the world. It is longer than the double-decker A380 and the classic 747 or modern 777, but with four engines in the modern era of high jet fuel prices it is not generally too long for the skies.
I’ll try to check in along the way, and hope you are all settling in for autumn (I’m trying to stop saying fall, as the Brits get really upset), at least in the Northern Hemisphere. More on my recent trip to Australia is still due sometime too!