Tomorrow I am off again to the USA. A 90 minute flight followed by a 90 minute stop over and then a 14 hour flight. Throw in checking in time, waiting at gates, immigration and collecting baggage means about a 24 hour ‘transiting’ period.
I have done over 100 flights in my life, plus a 28 day bus tour, 10 overnight trains, 3 all day train trips, a 7 day bus tour, 2 overnight buses and a few daytime commuting bus trips.
All that equates to a lot of sitting around time. I learnt early on in my first overseas backpacking adventure that transiting and waiting is a huge part of travel (well until we can invent apparition a la Harry Potter).
Not to mention the extra waiting around that occurs when planes are late, trains are cancelled, buses break down.
It is absolutely pointless stressing or getting upset with the waiting around time. I have accepted that it is a necessary part of travel and the only way to get through it is to be patient and mellow. Its even harder when you are alone and have to spend this wait time solo.
Grab a magazine, a coffee, your iPad, a crossword, have a snooze, knit, draw, read a book, type an email, write in your travel journal, view and edit your photos, window shop, stretch, do a sudoku, play a card game… there are many ways to keep busy while waiting around in trains, airports and bus stations.
I have found that all these transiting, commuting, waiting around moments (usually alone) have enabled me to be more patient and accepting of things in my life in general. Especially things outside of my control. Because what can you do? Pacing, stressing and complaining won’t make the train go any faster. Better off to rest up and enjoy the down time.