Blog, Interrupted

Greetings, Shine readers!

Apologies for the unexpected hiatus. A week dealing with the plague (at least that’s what it felt like!), a whirlwind trip to the States, and the ensuing jet lag left me exhausted. The good news? I had a lot of quiet time to reflect, and that energized me and generated lots of new ideas.

Back in the day, I used to dread flights over five hours long. They were so boring and I was antsy to just get there already. But now, after doing several trans-Pacific flights with two young kids, the long-haul plane ride by myself seemed like a vacation in and of itself.Those of you who travel with young children (or have to sit near someone else traveling with them) can probably relate. Let’s just say, I’ve never been so happy to have two connections and a 12 hour flight in coach. It was amazing!

An observation: non-U.S. air carriers are far superior to American ones on long-haul flights. Don’t get me wrong – I love me some America! But Asian carriers have such better food, drinks, and service on international flights. I was so enthusiastic about the service that I found myself taking pictures of inanimate objects. First example: Thai Airways gave me a fresh orchid boutonnière as I landed at Narita. How cute is that? I felt like I was going to prom instead of a two hour layover!Thai Airways Orchid in Narita

Second example: this awesome bento-style lunch served en route from Tokyo to Dulles on All Nippon Airways (ANA).

ANA Bento Lunch

And to top it off? Haagen Dazs ice cream for dessert. YES.

Haagen Dazs in the Air

As I’m wrapping up my time in Hanoi, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the past two years. And this quick trip back to the States gave me a new perspective on life overseas–and life in the U.S. Look for my next post: Expat Lessons Learned.

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