It would have to be one of the longest flights in the world, 15 and a half hours from Manilla to London non stop. Worse still was that it was a day flight, departing Manilla at around seven in the morning and arriving in London mid afternoon the same day, needless to say neither of us where overly excited about the flight.
For most people there are a few things that you need to make sure the journey goes nice and smoothly. A great selection of movies always helps wile away the hours, a gripping book for when you can no longer squint at that tiny screen is also an ideal back up. Ensuring your iPod, smartphone or tablet is fully charged helps, however on this flight we had USB points in every seat which was fantastic. Perhaps some magazines, or even games of some sort.
The thought of such a long time cramped in a seat creates a sense of dread for most flyers (unless of course you fly Business or First Class, something we are yet to do). Not me however, I love long flights. I have the super human ability to sleep anywhere any time almost on demand. I can be asleep on a plane before it even takes off and usually do. In fact it is not uncommon for me to sleep for the best part of 18 hours on a flight from London Melbourne. To be totally honest I think the best I ever sleep is actually on a plane. Call it a super power if you like but my uncanny gift to sleep almost instantaneously on any moving vehicle also has the ability to drive Natalie crazy!
Natalie is the complete opposite and does not really sleep that much on flights so I am sure you can see how annoying it can be. As Natalie will often say I am quite possibly the worst travel companion when it comes to flying. So good am I at sleeping on moving objects, I thought I may miss most of our train adventures because I would be asleep! Thankfully I didn’t!
Natalie takes great pleasure at poking and prodding to wake me up just to say ‘hi’ or tell me she can’t sleep. If one half of The Smart Way Round can’t sleep why should the other half right?
With only a couple of hours sleep the night before and a 4am wake up, I was expecting that heavenly mist of sleepiness to descend upon me very early on into the flight. This flight was different. As if the Philippines Airline 777 was made of kryptonite my super power abandoned me and I couldn’t sleep. For the first time ever I think Natalie actually slept longer than I did. I exhausted the movie list, played games on my phone played my best playlists to sleep to and ….. Nothing!
For once I was forced to endure a mammoth flight like a normal traveller. I’m sure I Iooked at the clock a few times only to see it start to tick backwards! Finally to add insult to injury, when we arrived over London we had missed our scheduled landing time due to sitting on the runway in Manilla for 40 minutes and had to circle around a few times before landing.
Despite the incredibly long flight time and having my gift almost entirely disappear on me, the flight went relatively quick, or as quick as 16 hours can go. It was slightly bittersweet landing back home in London, the end of quite possibly the most amazing, life changing five month adventure we could possibly have imagined.
We still have the Philippines to fill you all in about and living and working in Europe means there is plenty for us to keep writing about. Arriving back home is not the end of The Smart Way Round but just the beginning!
Ps I am currently writing this blog at 30,000ft using free wifi on Norwegian Air. If only they had it yesterday! Sadly I also must report my super power is yet to return….