One of the opportunities of my job assignment in Tokyo is the ability to travel to various places throughout the world. I’ve discovered that I love to see new places…and sometimes hate to travel to those places.
We just returned from a trip to a business meeting in Budapest. Took the opportunity to fly to Vienna, then take a hydrofoil on the Danube to Budapest. The flight to Vienna wasn’t so bad, aside from some delay going through customs in our connecting flight in Amsterdam. The boat trip on the Danube was great – wonderful weather, and a relaxing and interesting trip along the river.
Budapest is an interesting city. Amazing, if somewhat tragic, history. Beautiful architecture. We toured the city, saw a lot of interesting things, and managed to enjoy a street festival. The weather was warm, with just a little rain on one day we were there. It is always fascinating to see how other people live, and it was eye-opening to learn of the struggles people in Budapest have had throughout history.
Being in a new place is always a rewarding experience. Getting to and from, not so much. The return trip was frustrating. What should have been an easy 2-hour layover in Amsterdam turned out to be a nail-biting close connection, thanks to a huge line at the immigrations area. The flight back on KLM was one of the worst I’ve had recently. Miserably hot cabin, awful food, and the seat in front of me that reclined far further than it should have. I’m sure the airlines try their best to make a 10-1/2 hour flight pleasant, but on this one they failed – big time.
Nonetheless, the price of seeing new and distant places is the time and effort it takes to get there. One day, maybe travel will become easier. I look forward to that day. Beam me up, Scotty.