Transpacific Anticipation

I’ve heard some travelers express sadness when they start a trip. Beginning a journey, they say, marks the end since the experience is already coming to a close. It’s a negative spin on the cliché that,

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

I have a different take. There are three parts of any trip that are all fun for me in their own way:

  1. Anticipating it,
  2. Experiencing it, and
  3. Remembering it.

There’s a lot of excitement that comes along with that first part. I enjoy researching a new place, planning what to do once I’m there, and connecting with other people who have already visited. Simply put, I enjoy anticipating an experience.

And one of the best parts of planning travel for me is figuring out how to get to and from a place. That’s because I’m such an unadulterated fan of air travel. There are a handful of experiences every true “avgeek” like me seeks. My friend Ramsey Qubein wrote about several in an article for The Points Guy. And there are some crazy people (like me) who plan entire trips around a single flight experience.

There are three aviation-related travel experiences that sit high on my bucket list:

Watching planes land over the beach at St. Marteen.

Experiencing the unusual approach at St. Barts.

And United Airline’s Flight 154: The so-called “Island Hopper.”

Well, I’m heading to Canberra and Tasmania in February and thought this would be the perfect time to incorporate United’s 154 service from Honolulu to Guam by way of Majuro and Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands and Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk in Micronesia.

GSO-ATL-HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM-ICN-SYD-CBR-HBA-SYD-LAX-ATL-GSO

My *indirect* routing is GSO-ATL-HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM-ICN-SYD-CBR-HBA-SYD-LAX-ATL-GSO

Ordinarily, a flight from Honolulu to Guam takes a little less than eight hours. United’s 154 takes 14! To most of you, that likely sounds like hell…especially when you realize my admittedly indirect journey to Sydney is scheduled to take nearly 40 hours, while the trip home will only take 19! So, why does this unusual flight exist? Because one of the only connections the residents of these islands have to the rest of the world is this flight. It’s so crucial — and so remote — that there’s a mechanic onboard!

All in, my whole journey to and from Tasmania will require 27,398 miles in the air (the equator is only 24,901 miles). If everything goes according to plan, that’s more than 60 hours of flying. I’ll rack up plenty of frequent flier miles, spend a few nights sleeping in airports (which as far as I’m concerned is as close to heaven as I’ll get on earth), and should either confirm my love of air travel or cure me of it for life. Only time will tell…you can count on a full report right here on GreenerGrass.com.

But, for now, I can tell you the excitement and anticipation I feel about this trip is high. The anticipation of seeing new corners of the planet and knocking off a major element on my bucket list have me excited!

How about you? Is this the kind of trip you could stomach?

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