01. the die is cast

I am travelling again. After a stopover in Singapore we are headed to London, Scotland, Liverpool, Provence, Burgundy and Brussels. I have booked:

  • Six flights covering 35,440 km (21,973 miles)
  • Fifteen accommodations over forty days in thirteen cities
  • Sixteen train journeys
  • Three bus rides
  • One car rental
  • Tickets to a symphony concert, a palace tour, a football match, two theatre productions.

In addition, I have researched in detail about a dozen cycle rides, not to mention countless vineyards, restaurants and attractions to visit.

If I had to guess, I would say I’ve easily got about 200 hours of planning invested in this extravaganza. That’s five weeks of full time work.

Now, sitting here in Singapore’s Changi airport, waiting for a flight, it occurs to me how many things could go wrong. In fact, it seems close to a miracle that everything doesn’t go wrong.

Changi is regularly voted the best airport in the world, and Singapore Airlines is regularly voted the best airline in the world. So far, both have been a model of efficiency – except after we landed, when they had a fifteen-minute delay getting our jetway in place, trapping us on the plane, everyone cheek to jowl grumbling in the aisle, after an otherwise lovely flight. Even the best screw up.

I worked in the electricity industry long enough to understand the basic physics involved. Science goes only so far, then humans get involved. I can say with authority that it is, in fact, bloody good luck that when you flip that light switch, a light goes on.

I have travelled enough to know that the same goes for travel. You can plan all you want, but when things go wrong, plans fall like dominoes.

Luckily, no dominoes have fallen – yet. But we have placed our bets. Alea iacta est.