Back home in Costa Rica

10 Jun

Flying is great. Flying overnight is not. With all the travel I have done in my careers I have slept in many a strange place with no problem. Even sleeping on a thin foam pad on a concrete floor in a non-air conditioned house in Cartagena Colombia didn’t keep me from a good sleep. Changing time zones isn’t even a problem. But airplanes are different for me. I cannot, no matter what I try, sleep on a plane. For trips of five hours or less, that’s hardly a problem. I get lots of work done and even enjoy a good book. But on longer trips while everyone else on the plane sleeps, I cannot. This most recent trip to Brazil involved overnight flights between Rio de Janeiro and Miami and sure enough, I had to fly in a day early just so I could rest up before meetings began. And today, although I got home around noon, the whole day was a write-off.

But then I put it in perspective. While in Rio I attended a high-school graduation that took place in the hotel where many families of the victims in the recent Air France accident were staying. TV reports and trucks were everywhere and I watched as families tried to comfort each other and understand what the impact would be on the rest of their lives. Although air travel is extremely safe, when a plane goes down, the loss of life is tremendous and impacts many people. And after a crash there are many who begin to fear air travel. I always felt for my coworkers in consulting who ranged from nervous to downright terrified when flying. I’m not particularly brave, but air travel has never been a concern for me. In the grand scheme of things, not being able to sleep on a flight is a minor problem. For those families in that Rio hotel waiting to hear about their loved ones, my heart goes out to you.

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