I arrived in Bali after a long journey that started in the U.S. (about 37 hours, to be more precise). The airfare to Asia was a steal at $750 from Chicago to Singapore round-trip with Delta, my main airline (so all the points counted towards status!), so after getting to Chicago and spending a couple of nights there with great friends, the journey began.
Chicago->Atlanta->Tokyo->Singapore was the outbound part of the trip. Yes, Atlanta was my first connection airport – for those of you who do not know, that is where I live! Oh, the irony: Had I started the itinerary from Atlanta, skipping the Chicago bit, my airfare would have been DOUBLE at $1,500! So it made good sense to save all that money and spend it DURING the trip At least Delta upgraded me from Chicago to Atlanta…
The flight to Tokyo was just plain long and it seemed daunting as I looked at my itinerary. At 14 hrs., I think it is (and will likely remain) the longest flight I have taken. But between wine and, later, an Ambien, the flight did not feel as long. I did not sleep fitfully or for a long time but perhaps 5-6 hrs. of sleep was enough to break up the flight. That and a couple of movies and it really was not as bad as I expected.
The flight to Singapore was another eight hours. Mercifully, the connection time in Tokyo was short and with access to a Delta lounge (where, of course, we had to sample and cheer with sake!), it was no biggie.
I don’t remember much about the flight to Singapore. I believe I slept an hour here or there. It is a bit of a blur. I may have watched a movie. Or two. Or none. <blur…>. We landed in Singapore at midnight local time (12 hrs. difference or so from my body’s time). We had to retrieve our luggage as the final leg to Bali was not part of the ticket to and from North America so the baggage was not checked through.
Gladly, at that time of the night, the airport is pretty empty and the counters of our next airline (JetStar, a low cost regional airline) were open through the night. So, we were able to quickly go through customs and turn in our luggage. We had 5.5 hours total in transit in Singapore but we were coming back at the end of the trip so no pressure to hire a cab to drive us around and show us the city (I was so tired that I likely would not have done that anyway…). So, we went off to find a lounge where we could shower and, hopefully, feel a little less worn from the journey. We also discovered the free leg/foot massage machines that dot the Singapore airport. I imagine that the massage was helpful in getting the blood circulating after so much time in the air!
We were scheduled to land in Bali around 7:30AM. Hotel rooms are normally not available that early in the day for check-in. But my friend and I are ‘smurt’ (sic) so we were prepared for that. We had our pool gear (trunks, sunglasses, etc.) in our carry-on so we could leave our luggage with the bellhop upon arrival at the hotel (the W Resort in Seminyak) and head to the pool after grabbing breakfast!
Well, the hotel did deliver a super early check-in but the plan of record remained. We grabbed breakfast at the plentiful buffet and then proceeded to go enjoy the pool and several Bintang beers for the next few hours (mind you, as we watched U.S. election results stream in into our smartphones!). It was a great way to decompress from the journey, from work, etc. and connect with vacation mode!
While the journey to Bali was long and tiring, thank God, there were zero hiccups (delays, lost luggage, etc.), and few or no bumps during the flights. But the best part was the arrival and how it could not have been better set up for entering the R&R zone! And had I known how great the two weeks would be, I most certainly would NOT have regretted a single hour of the 37 it took to get there!