Regarding the travel itself, I never thought I would splurge for Business Class, and now having done it, I’m going to have to calculate the pain point of when I’ll do it again. I can’t rave enough about how comfortable it is to be able to stretch out completely, get horizontal, have room for stuff around you, good food, free drinks, and restrooms readily available. And, to get to one of those, it’s pretty easy to step over the person next to you if you have a window seat, like I did. All the other seats are on an aisle.
This leg of the three-hop trip was scheduled for 11 hours, during which I was never uncomfortable, well, other than pretty much being immobile for 11 hours. I did get up several times to walk around a bit, but being able to stretch my legs (and arms for that matter) while in my place was a godsend. Especially when my calf cramped. I guess that’s what I deserve for downing several alcohols and not enough water in the first couple of hours.
So what’s the pinch point going to be? Right now, I’m thinking 8 hours, and maybe as low as 6. I can survive a cross-the-USA trip in economy, but for an international flight, like to anywhere other than Mexico or Canada from the USA? Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll be spending the money. Or, I’ll make my way in shorter hops.
The two bad parts of this trip was wearing the mask for about 32 solid hours. My ears and nose are not happy with the constant pressure. That, and having to overnight in Venice airport, where the seats are not comfortable and the floor concrete. Ugh.
On the bright side (other than business class, baby!) was Schiphol airport. The place is huge, but feels like a self-contained, friendly town. Now an overnight layover there would be rather nice. I don’t expect the restaurants to stay open 24 hours, but who knows?
After the dream flight and once I arrived, it was amazingly fast. Of course, getting off the plane in the front makes it easy, but I had no wait at immigration, no bags to wait for, and no wait at customs either. I then got a Panamanian SIM card (+507 country code), and paid $50 for a month’s worth of unlimited data and voice. That’s twice the price for similar in Europe, but not too onerous. I may downgrade it after a month (if I’m still here), but that decision is, like a month away. I then hit the ATM (dispensing same-size USD currency) and booked the Uber. Sounds like a lot, but the total elapsed time from when I deplaned to sitting in the Uber was less than 30 minutes.
I then sat back and enjoyed the ride to the hotel I booked while in Sicily. I booked it for close proximity to the subway, price, and included breakfast options. Ticked the boxes on all, and I was only here for two days to regain my legs after travel. I stepped out of the Uber and lo! I had stayed here before, when I visited three years ago! I guess they, and I, haven’t changed parameters much. They hadn’t changed the WiFi password either, so all my devices automatically connected. That was cool for me, even if possibly a security problem for them.
It's the morning after a 10-hour, time zone adjusting sleep. My only task for the day is to decide if I want to travel by bus/walk to the condo I have booked for a month, or Uber. That's my agenda for the day. Oh, and enjoy things. Life's short, I plan to enjoy it as much as I can.