Around the World (Literally) – Another Throwback Thursday

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I’ve been going back through my old blog looking to see if there is anything there I feel like salvaging for here – it feels weird that Jetsetter’s Homestead is a “clean slate” when I have five years of prior content (2005-2009) out there on a locked-down website.

But then I read a paragraph like this one (written about an ex-boyfriend and his drama bomb ex) and I realize that maybe my writing style has evolved:

I don’t have patience when you are at a family member’s funeral and you leave in the middle of the services to go buy her feminine hygiene products for her “female emergency”. Okay, I’m sorry – bitch needs to learn to carry her own tampons.

Yeah… perhaps we’ll just leave that old blog where it is for now.

But there are a few sweet remembrances, like this one from July 2008 when I was on my third international trip in a month (after a transpacific and a transatlantic, I was on a first class around the world) – oh how I miss some of those very creative nested multisegment itineraries I used to build with OneWorld tickets!

Back then I used to write more about my own feelings and experiences than anything a stranger might want to read. I didn’t really review products or give advice. I just wrote about what I felt.  My stories were woven with details about who I saw, how I felt and why I was doing what I was doing.

They were a bit angst-filled.

Case in point… these sequential posts about that around the world trip from July 2008.  Itinerary – DFW-JFK-LHR-SIN-NRT-DFW – all first class, in one week for work.


Nine solid hours of sleep last night – I’m feeling good to start my journey today. I’m packing my bags so I can go teach in Singapore. Hooray! I’m giddy about these three classes plusI get to see my friend Kristy and go run errands I can only run in Singapore and eat lots of really good food (Singapore is like the food capital of the eastern world – its the Asian Paris!)


I’m in my happy place now… if you can call it that. Traveling – in good style – tends to put me there.

Sometimes traveling as much as I do can royally suck… make no mistake that days like Thursday (where I was up at 4:45 am and didn’t crawl into bed until almost 3 am due to massive flight delays and all sorts of travel mess, all of which I experienced from the leisure from a cruddy seat at that back of coach) are horrible… but travel “like this” makes up for it.

I get to travel “like this” because of the gazillion points and frequent flyer miles and perks that the airlines and hotel chains shower upon me in an attempt to keep me loyal and keep my hard earned dollars buying pricey last minute tickets for crappy seats in the back of coach on delayed flights.

“Like this” means that when I have the trips that REALLY matter (the ones that are brutal like getting from Dallas to Singapore on my third transoceanic trip this month) I can do it in style.

Granted, sometimes I don’t appreciate the style… last night on my delayed JFK to London flight, I had my first class seat fully flat within about 90 seconds of takeoff and I was out like a light – no cocktail, no dinner, and please no waking me for breakfast… but I got a solid 6+ hours of sleep so now I’m awake to enjoy my time at Heathrow.

And what a great time that is… I’m at the old (soon to be demolished) T4 in the once-grand Concorde Club Room (all that’s left of the first class facilities here) drinking a glass of ’99 Bollinger and tucking into a great bacon baguette and some made just-for-me scrambled eggs.

In a few minutes, I’ll head downstairs to the Elemis Spa for my complimentary facial/massage chair experience. And then it will be back upstairs to work. (Yeah, I know… I *could* go into London for the day but I’ve got a ZILLION things to do and this is a work trip, not vacation, so I really need to do stuff like book travel and work on trade show stuff and update project reports)

So I’ll just work in style… with more champagne and afternoon tea – and then when its a bit later, I’ll head into the dining room to have the restaurant dinner before boarding my flight (my THIRTEEN HOUR flight) to Singapore.

Once there, I’ll check into the new St. Regis (which is THE hotel of the moment there and just so happens to have been the very best value when I decided to book with my points, crazy I know).

Its times like this that those 22 hour days from hell don’t look so bad if this is the payoff! In any case, I’m blissed out. My mental state is fantastic – have not shed a single tear in the last 48 hours which is how I know it is really and truly finally over and I’ve really moved on. And that really feels fantastic too.


So the last time I checked in, I was at the old Concorde Room at London Heathrow relaxing after flying Dallas to New York to London. Life was and still is good.

What an amazing week it has been… I flew onward from London to Singapore on Tuesday night on British Airways.

Lovely flight. Very comfy first class seat (let’s remember that I did this whole trip on airline and hotel points – so my clients were not paying this bill, lest the gossips want to set their tongues wagging about extravagance, you can stop now) and very yummy seat opponent across the aisle. We made witty banter all the way through dinner and I quite enjoyed the mile high banter with this UK gent now living down under.

Alas, thirteen hours is never long enough when you are being spoiled and so I had to leave the cocoon of the plane and hit Singapore!

I had booked at the St. Regis, the new “it” address in Singapore. It was quite accidental – again, I was using points and when I went to book, that was actually the best deal for what memberships I have. (I normally stay at the Sheraton but have stayed all over town.)

Oh my goodness… best use of points, ever. Critics are saying that it is THE top rated hotel now in Singapore and should easily land on all top five lists for Asia this year. I concur. Every room comes with 24/7 butler service (they unpack you, press your clothes, bring you tea whenever you like, escort your guests up, etc.) – but I got even luckier… my status with Starwood netted me a huge corner executive suite the size of an apartment.

Fifteenth floor with a view, I knew I was going to be in heaven for the next five days.

My time there was a whirl… in addition to errands I needed to run (a trip to the US Embassy for more passport pages, a trip to the optometrist for new reading glasses), I had a jam packed schedule of lunches/dinners with friends AND three days at my client’s amazing store (Made With Love). I did not know it was possible to put so much product into that amount of space – its floor to ceiling triple-stacked scrapbooking goodness – and the store is such a hot spot in town that its packed all day long.

The whole staff there took such amazing care of me. I’m scared to mention names for fear of leaving someone out but Table Scraps (the in-house cafe) kept me fed and watered – and every need I had was anticipated.

I did a make-and-take session on Friday night that allowed me lots of time to visit one-on-one with the store’s VIP customers. And then Saturday and Sunday we launched into our classroom sessions – three different classes, each 3.5 hours in length. The creativity and talent of the ladies blew me away and I think I learned as much as I taught!

I also got to eat… a lot. How much you ask? Well, my “fat jeans” are a bit tight in the waist. I look like I’m in my second trimester my belly is so distended! Chili crab, roti prata, sushi, dim sum, curry, french… you name it, I seemed to eat it. My body is now groaning for a diet and some yoga (and screaming “please not another glass of champagne… not now!”)


I flew out last night on the overnight Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo.

I was supposed to meet up with a couple of my Japanese clients but had a logistical snafu (entirely my own stupidity) and missed them.

I now just paid to switch my flight from the Japan Airlines routing through San Francisco (with a four hour layover) to the nonstop American Airlines Dallas flight leaving at the same time so I can get home several hours earlier and enjoy my house for a bit before flying off Sacramento on Tuesday at lunchtime. (I swear, I get no downtime lately!)

But… I wouldn’t couldn’t mustn’t trade this life for anything. Its amazing and I love how I get to see the world and meet so many amazing people in the process.


Postscript from October 2014…

  • I will confess to this now – the “logistical snafu” in Tokyo was me being so tired that I somehow got myself to the wrong train station and could not for the life of me figure out how to get to the correct one. I missed lunch at Alain Ducasse’s (then) new restaurant and ended up sitting the corner of a train station crying because no one could help me. Not one of my finer moments, but I learned two lessons. 1) that sometimes you just have to stop and take a breath and not do too much and that 2) even seasoned travelers get lost occasionally. These days I’d have my smart phone and not run into these kinds of roadblocks, but back then it was definitely meltdown city.

 

  • I will also admit to this – on the trip AFTER this trip when I finally got to Sacramento and then drove to the next city, I ended up in the emergency room of my client’s hospital.  They decided to perform a Doppler ultrasound to figure out if I had DVT because I had severe leg cramps and spiking blood pressure. I got discharged after a IV to rehydrate me (my potassium levels had gotten way off during all the flying) and made it into the client’s board meeting just in time. Working in hospitals is interesting though – the client was actually considering have me throw my suit jacket on over my hospital gown and have me wheeled up (IV and all) to do their presentation.

 

  • This is the trip where the store I was visiting took the glass out of their front window (they are located in a busy shopping mall off Orchard Road) and I sat at a table in the store window and signed autographs for two hours.  Weirdest experience ever as I don’t think anyone (other than the VIP customers they had invited that evening) had any clue who I was, but they all lined up to get an autograph from me anyway.  Still one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

 

  • Why my old blog could NEVER be considered a legit travel blog?  In Singapore on my departure, I got to try the (then) new ultra-luxe JetQuay elite lounge (which Japan Airlines was using for first class on their three-class flight) with their Quayside and I didn’t even mention it!  (I do remember not being that impressed by it though it was supposed to be awesome.  I would have rather been wandering around the terminal doing duty free shopping!)

 

  • It was about a year after this that I decided that running two unrelated companies at the same time was going to put me in an early grave – and also took a break from blogging for five years.

Sometimes these trips – whether around the world or just a couple hours away by car – can give us perspective other than just insights about lounges or seats or champagne selections.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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