Yesterday I arrived home after a long day of travel, with over 20 hours of flight time! You’d think that I’d be an old hat at flying after visiting so many countries. I am used to it, but I still get nervous when we hit turbulence, even though air travel is very safe. I also get SO excited to look out the window, like that time I flew over Greenland. On this trip, I saw some pretty amazing sights from above:
1. The Great Barrier Reef — We had a short layover in Cairns, Australia between Bali and Tokyo, and we were able to see coral through the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.
2. Skyscrapers Amidst Chinese Mountains — Flying home we stopped in Hong Kong, and I was surprised to see so many cities in mainland China surrounded by gorgeous mountains. I didn’t see landscapes like this when I visited Beijing and Shanghai! It looks beautiful!
3. Mount Fuji — I really wanted to climb Mount Fuji on this trip, but for a variety of reasons, we decided not to do it. Then, I hoped to see it from the train back to Tokyo, but it ended up getting too dark too soon. That meant that I was SO excited to literally fly over it when leaving Tokyo. We got an incredible view, which is only sort of clear in this photo:
4. The Arabian Desert — Flying into Dubai on the way to Bali, we got to see this vast desert of the Middle East.
5. Manhattan and Central Park — I live so close to New York City, so it’s not so foreign to me… but I have to admit that it’s pretty impressive to see Central Park and the island of Manhattan from above.
Seeing so many of these wonders, it makes me even more in awe of this planet we live on! The journey home was tough, but worth it. I added it up, and I think the whole trip took about 43 hours:
- 1.5 hours — Train to the airport
- 2.5 hours — Hanging at Narita Airport near Tokyo
- 5 hours — Flight to Hong Kong
- 1.5 hours — Hanging at another airport
- 16 hours — Flight to New York
- 1.5 hours — Getting through customs, waiting for bags, finding the way to the rental car booth, etc.
- 2 hours — Driving home before we realized that we were too tired to drive
- 10 hours — Relaxing and sleeping at a random hotel in Connecticut, just off the highway
- 2 hours — More driving
- 1 hour — Dropping off the rental car at Logan Airport in Boston, and then taking a cab home.
Since we passed over lots of time zones between Boston and Tokyo, that 16 hour flight left at 4 pm and landed at 8 pm. Seems kind of magical, right?
We landed in New York City as the sun was setting, and it was truly a beautiful sight:
Even though I’m home, there’s a lot more from this trip to share. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a bunch more stories, photos, and videos from this journey. Curious how I ended up staying in the same room where the Dalai Lama stayed? Or how I walked through the beams at the tippy top of Kyoto’s main train station? Check back soon for more posts. For now, this traveler has some jet lag to get over.
P.S. If you are a part of the Innovation Academy community and you have your own global adventure to share, please consider submitting a guest post! We’d love to hear from you.
The sights you saw are amazing! I especially like the views of the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Fuji, and the sunset at the end.
Also, I can’t believe you traveled for 43 hours! But then again, when you’re traveling across the world, it’s expected. Doesn’t it feel like you only spent a day traveling instead of 43 hours sometimes?
Get a good night’s sleep! I’m excited to hear more!