Today is another travel day. After a week in Buenos Aires – warm, sunny, summer in Buenos Aires – I leave today for Frankfurt and a week of meetings there.
I have had fewer problems with jet lag on this trip than I have expected. I still get very sleepy around dinner time, and last night I totally collapsed in bed by 10 p.m. But overall, I haven’t felt that almost overwhelming exhaustion that I have on some other international trips. Maybe I’m getting used to the changes.
I will leave around noon today to catch a bus to the airport with some of my colleagues. That will get me there quite early for my late afternoon flight. I am counting on the airport having wifi access, and ideally a restaurant where I can camp out for an afternoon with a light lunch and maybe a mid-afternoon drink.
This has been an unusual month of travel for me. The number of trips, and in particular the number of international trips, is something new for me. I’m gaining a great appreciation for people who do this kind of travel regularly. I find it mentally and physically challenging. The process of going through security and customs is similar but somewhat different from place to place. Do I take my laptop out of my bag? Shoes off or on? I forgot to take my passport wallet out of my hand at one airport, and it alarmed the metal detector. Earned me the wand and patdown search, and a delay getting reunited with my other belongings going through the x-ray machine.
And so far, my travel has been pretty smooth. A little hang-up leaving Japan, as I had been instructed to leave my residence card with my wife to have it registered as she moved into our new apartment. The customs agent wasn’t happy about that, and I wasn’t sure she was going to let me through. Finally I signed a form and was passed through, with the unsaid message that this American just didn’t understand the established process.
Otherwise, things have gone pretty smoothly. Flights on time, checked luggage arrived intact, found my way on ground transportation to where I needed to go. I’m hoping that level of ease continues. Three more flights in the next two weeks, and I’ll be back to re-start my new life in Japan.