Frequent Flyer Support Group Anonymous - well sort of!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by swanning_it, Apr 13, 2018.

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  1. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    #1 swanning_it, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    Travel? - Yes please!
    Hotels? - Yes please!
    Points? - Yes please!

    Family ... life ... normality - .... sorry, I don't understand the question?

    OK, AFF does a sterling job at unravelling the web of intrigue with travel and many/most/all, of us have benefited enormously by the fathomless barrel of quality info available to us here ... complements to many, many selfless travellers.

    So I think it's time to shine lights into the darker reaches of the frequent travellers life.

    It has me wondering how each and every frequent traveller computes their rather odd set of circumstances.

    How do you manage the:
    • time changes;
    • the currency changes;
    • the family dramas at home;
    • the cultural differences;
    • the side of the road on which to drive;
    • the lack of support network;
    • the relationships developed;
    • the pillows;
    • the ..........
    This may seem a frivolous topic, yet some in our position have had a great deal of trouble dealing with the many and varied issues, so perhaps as a group, we can help each other and the newcomers.

    It is not all fun and games, so I'm putting it out to the FFer collective to harness some tips, clues and pitfalls.

    I love music, so that plays a big part (wide selection, good NC headphones etc)
    I love people, so community involvement plays a big part (bigger in fact, than my involvement with my own family :().
    I love new and different experiences (although strangely, I'm about as anally retentive as they come),
    I love challenges (but only the ones that suit me).
    I've found that ensuring +1's also travel as frequently as the budget allows is positive;
    I've found that giving my FFer rewards to +1's is also a positive.

    I've been a MIA FFer for about 13 years and an acute MIA FFer for 5 years with no end in sight.

    So team, what are your suggestions to help those still with the rose coloured glasses intact. What are the FFer secrets to sanity?
     
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  2. RooFlyer

    RooFlyer Enthusiast

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    Probably the best contribution I can make to all that is "don't take it ( the AFF type lifestyle with points, status etc) too seriously".

    I try to make the travel work for me - I try not to let it dictate my lifestyle , although sometimes I will succumb. But again, a bit of good humour ( and a stiff G&T) goes a long way.

    My weakness is probably that I will call out tripe ( and cheats and hypocrites etc) when tripe is served.
     
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  3. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    I had a few G&T's last night, at the H-CNS Gin Social bar. One had green ants in it, but surprisingly, it tasted great!

    So I wonder if alcohol is a help, or a hindrance?
     
  4. drron

    drron Enthusiast

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    It seems that several of us recently have been in a very reflective mood.
    These thoughts I agree with-
    But the number one is making sure you have a strong relationship that will stand the test of time.Remember there is more satisfaction in giving rather than receiving.
    I of course am an exception to the work travel rule.Prior to "retirement" I rarely travelled for work.Since I have spent months each year at work away from home.One rule is to talk to mrsdrron at least once each day.I dont have the communication problems you have to face though.

    On top of that make sure you are happy doing what you are doing.My work since retiring has been much more enjoyable than before.It is my way of giving back to the community and profession.Helps,of course,to finance our style of travel.

    Alcohol.Basically we drink when together.Sitting watching a sunset with a glass of wine is a very relaxing way to end a day.When apart neither of us imbibes regularly.So I dont think it is part of the solution.


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  5. OATEK

    OATEK Established Member

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    My FF days really ended in the 1990s, where i flew mostly within NSW, and occasionally across the borders, and then drove many miles/kms as well. Like Drron, daily calls home helped, although MrsOatek always worried while I was away as I regularly flew in small chartered planes (2-7 seats), to obscure airfields where you buzzed the strip to scare the Roos and cattle away before landing. I had a few rules that I followed:
    - a few drinks after work with the locals, and then a chinese restaurant for dinner (even in small country towns I could usually find one). Don't ask me why, it just became a thing.
    - stay in a motel that cost less than my daily allowance and pocket the difference :)
    - always sit in the front right seat on small planes when allowed/invited (of course I let the pilots know I was interested)

    Now like others I am at the stage where the flying is not so frequent, but both engrossing and somewhat expensive. The key things that make it work given our different interests (forgetting lots of shared interests):
    - we both put together places of interest and discuss at length
    - plan several trips ahead so that we can each see where something of deep personal interest fits in
    - allocate tasks between us (Mrsoatek gets much of the hotel/restaurant research, historic places and similar, I am in to flights/fares (thanks to AFF), routes, other transport (trains, ships and automobiles), funding the trips, the potential timings given that we both do a bit of work, and some places have preferred seasons for a visit.
     
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  6. juddles

    juddles Established Member

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    I think that alcohol whilst flying is the same as when not flying - it can make the moment more bearable or more fun, but you pay for it later :)
     
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  7. nutwood

    nutwood Member

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    I've swung back and forth on this one but have now come down heavily on the "help" side.
    Logic: OK, I love flying because there's no phone reception. There's no e.mail reception. I can sit back and read a book. Not a serious book because they are too heavy :). Just a nice relaxing paperback. Then I look across and there's some serious type busily working on a report or something on their lap-top. Then I think, "I could do that too, I'm way behind on a lot of stuff". Then I think "Those couple of glasses of red I had in the lounge mean I really shouldn't do work", so I relax and go back to my book.
    With any luck, somewhere around then a FA comes by and plies me with a nice shiraz and it's really game over.
     
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  8. Archipelago

    Archipelago Member

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    Sorry for the ignorance - H-CNS Gin Social Bar? Sounds quite the place!
     
  9. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    Gin Social

    It's actually quite nice. I stop in for usually two drinks and have been slowly working through the menu. They have non-menu gins as well, but the non-menu ones are only as they get availability of some of the more unusual ones.

    I can recommend the green ant one!
     
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  10. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    C'mon juddles, surely with your level of travel, you must have a few more secrets for sanity to share! ;)
     
  11. juddles

    juddles Established Member

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    I will soon - from Flounge on Tuesday whilst I start my pre-pacific-crossing alcohol routine :)
     
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  12. RooFlyer

    RooFlyer Enthusiast

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    Ah! Another visit to the J lounge then? :)
     
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  13. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

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    Answer is very simple. Golf.
     
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  14. TonyHancock

    TonyHancock Senior Member

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    :p
     
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  15. juddles

    juddles Established Member

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    Actually, NO!!

    But there is a reason for this - QF27 is delayed a couple of hours, and when they talked to me about this as I entered the Flounge, they offered me a spa treatment - but at 12:30, just half an hour before boarding. As I am a very couth individual, I have decided to just have a couple of champas in the Flounge and not go get messy with the J-selfpours prior to my spa :)

    Meanwhile, to get back on topic, I will now ponder this thread and see what I can offer.....
     
  16. juddles

    juddles Established Member

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    First up, I think I am in that category where I fly way too much for my health, but I could not imagine stopping. I often yearn for the day I stop flying, but maybe it is like retirement from any profession – you think it will be great to relax and go fishing or whatever, but it actually can hit people very hard.

    Now, to randomly address a couple of things touched on so far here:

    Driving cars: I have become very adept at changing sides. I actually learnt to drive in Chile, so I have some background on driving on the wrong side of the road, but it was hard when I started to flit between the two. I have come up with a cunning s.o.p. to make it even easier – when I am in right-hand drive countries I use manual cars, when I am back in Australia or anywhere else with left-hand, I use automatics. It just works for me :)

    Sleeping: I am a disaster at this. I seem to spend half my life in tiredness. I have given up any specific technique. (I never claimed to have any answers!)

    Relationships: These are frayed. But I was difficult even before I flew so much :)

    “The W in WP”: I have learnt, as have many others, that non-frequent flyers do not really like to hear about amazing amounts of miles flown, status, top lounge access, etc etc. No-one likes someone who brags. I have never bragged, but me talking too much about what is a passion for me could come across as that. If only they understood that when I say it is NOT glamourous, they would believe me and not think I was big-noting myself. In any case, I learnt when I was a police officer not to talk about ‘the job” with other people – seemed to make other men feel lesser and thus hostile. Same with being a P1 and travel.

    Alcohol: this is a hard area for me, because I have been known to consume this stuff a lot when not flying too. I actually do indeed love the intoxicating effects of alcohol – and the mind changes it brings in me. I am not one of those idiots that gets drunk and behaves poorly. I use alcohol in a far more scientific, controlled, experienced manner. (usually!) I enjoy writing, and some of the best stuff I have ever written was done whilst drinking. It changes mind processes, and in the same way it makes people lose inhibitions and do silly things, it also loosens the mind and allows much more expression and freedom of emotion in writing. So I do drink a lot whilst flying – helps sleep in bad seats, but more importantly makes so many experiences so more beautiful. The time I was hammered, listening to the right music, watching that endless sunset over the Antarctic, was truly one of the most magical moments of my life :)

    Of course I have also suffered the inevitable dehydration, hang-overs, etc that drinking causes.

    Routine: Perhaps because of my love of alcohol, I have had to become extremely proficient in the ability to travel whilst drunk. I mean not lose passport, get to right gate, etc etc. I have developed a travel routine that is obscenely organized. I actually always travel in EXACTLY the same type of clothing every time. Each and every item I carry whilst travelling, from passport to charger, to chewing gum, to teddy bear, has its exact spot / pocket. When I get my passport out of my travel wallet, it keep my travel wallet in my left hand, open, until said passport is returned to me. Boarding passes go in different places according to the order I will use them in. I have done this so many times that everything is completely automatic. I think that this is good practice for any traveler, but in my case it is absolutely vital. It is this sort of technique that has saved me a few times when due to the evil influence of fellow travelers (in that darn bar in the Emirates A380’s :) ) I have truly overdone it, but awoken a day later in a hotel in some city, with everything perfect.

    Family: I have to travel because my home base is where we want our kids to be in school, which is not where I have to work. So obviously the away-time carries a price. I try to be home for birthdays, the usual sort of stuff. And when I get to take the family on a trip, they love the lounge access and the special treatment they get because of my status. But they wish, and I wish, that it was not this way.

    Everything good in Life has a price. Maybe one day I will realize that maybe that price was too high?

    All this written in the SYD Flounge, glass of champagne in one hand, whilst my wife is back at home, getting the kids off to school, before another day of housework :(
     
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  17. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    This is the part that gets me wondering. I watched a show on Discovery (I think) a few months ago about a guy who did the tests on sleep and alcohol and it seemed to indicate that the turps (even just 1 to 2 drinks) actually disrupts sleep, leaving one feeling tired. I must admit that I tend to sleep better in PNG as I work in dry provinces (supposedly) and I don't have a single alcoholic drink for over two weeks (mind you, I tend to make up for it a bit too much during the other two weeks when I'm home and yes, I understand that is possibly the worst way to partake).

    So a hobby seems important. One that can be done in different places. I'm surprised no one has mentioned exercise. I'm not an exercise fan, but I do try and push myself to do it (walking generally, up to about 10km of ups and downs ... when I'm keen), otherwise a sedentary existence is far too easy to justify in a dismissive way.

    I think it also helps enormously, if you actually enjoy your work. I wonder if anyone has ever committed suicide from being a frequent leisure traveller, like has happened with some that are FIFO. I tend to believe unhappiness with ones work and the compounding issues associated with the other FIFO issues, can combine to reach a tipping point.
     
  18. juddles

    juddles Established Member

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    I agree. I choose carefully when to do things - when I am "jetlagged" and tired it is a very bad time to make decisions about anything.

    As for alcohol affecting sleep, I think there are two sides to that. It is probably true that you have better quality rest/sleep if no alcohol is ingested. But that is measuring simply the difference between quality of sleep. Another measure could be between having 4 hrs of crap, alcohol induced sleep, and having NO sleep whatsoever!

    That is what I hate most about true jet-lag. You can be unbeleivably tired, but still cannot sleep.
     
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  19. GoldCanyon340

    GoldCanyon340 Established Member

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    Over the last three to four years as my flying has increased I've found dialling down the indulgence at home has helped a lot. All my flying is for leisure so there's no constraints on me to arrive as late as possible at the airport from the office, do emails or be in a 'fresh' state at the destination for a meeting. I enjoy being at airports, in the lounges and on flights and I have a good time doing it. If that means having one glass more of JW Blue or Hennessy Paradis than I should then that's going to happen. Carb/fat/salt loaded food on board and especially in the lounges dictate you should be mindful during non-travel periods anyway so at home I, mostly, eat healthy, drink less and get lots of exercise. Tried taking running shoes once on a mileage run in order to visit the gym at the hotel only to realise that was utterly pointless; naturally I reached this conclusion at the end of the itinerary over a few glasses of wine in the ADL QP before getting an Uber home.
     
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  20. swanning_it

    swanning_it Enthusiast

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    Hmmm. I'm beginning to think that alcohol plays quite a role in a FFer's life.
     
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