A lot of my time as a travel photographer is “en route.” In between cities, bouncing between terminals, juggling public transportation – it’s those not so glamorous, in-between moments that actually comprises a lot of what I do! When I was given the opportunity to capture Australia’s Western Wilds in Tasmania, I was beyond excited of the journey that awaited me. Although I’ve traveled many places (64 countries so far!), this would be my first time in Australia!
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that looking at the travel time between Los Angeles to Sydney (15 hours!) wasn’t something I was looking forward to. Who would ever really love a flight time like that? But, to my luck, my long haul transport to Australia ended up being a breeze thanks to United! Their Polaris business class seats made what could have been a complete nightmare of a ride into a soothing and relaxing time for me to sit, recollect and refresh for the adventure that awaited me in Tasmania.
When sitting down to plan my itinerary, I loved to learn that United has a couple of options. When it was time for me to do my booking they offered bookings to Sydney from Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. But, United recently started offering transcontinental and transatlantic destinations from New York too. So, east coast travelers – rejoice!
As a New Yorker, the flight to LAX is, admittedly, one of my least favorite legs of travel. But, thankfully after checking in, I was able to slip into the Polaris Lounge’s relaxation areas where they have rest pods and shower facilities to get rejuvenated. Let me tell you, these were a life saver.
Once on board, I was feeling a little more soothed and the notion that the next time I would have my feet on solid ground would be in Australia started to really get me excited. As a female traveler, I’m constantly seeking out destinations that give me that little jolt of thrill and wonder. Australia was certainly that for me!
As the flight began, I was able to see exactly how close we were to the continent with their handy entertainment system’s split screen. Anxious travelers will love this! Even though I’ve definitely become a flight pro, it’s fun to see the slow progression towards Australia in between my long naps on their flat lay seats (hello Saks bedding and thoughtful amenity kit!).
P.S. If you’re debating whether or not to splurge on business class seats, I will tell you… it’s worth it on long-haul flights like this. I didn’t feel like I lost a day’s worth of sleep, thanks to the comfy beds in Polaris business class. Certainly business class isn’t something needed for all flights, but I’d highly, highly recommend it for a long one across oceans like this!
It’s the little things like this that elevate the whole “en-route” experience to something that can actually be rejuvenating, calming and give travelers the time to really soak in the experiences they’re about to have. As the fifteen hour journey unfolded, I woke up about an hour before landing. During those minutes, I was able to journal my hopes, aspirations and dreams for all that Dame Traveler is (big things are coming – I promise). My life has been, lately, a long series of projects and bouncing between destinations. But having the quiet time in this relaxing setting, with just me and a pen and paper was so special.
Oh, yeah… and I should mention, I was able to have this sweet moment of reflection over a lovely wine tasting. What’s not to love about that? (Thanks Polaris!)
I’m thankful for United’s mission to connect women within the Dame Traveler community to cities and places around the world that empower them and help them celebrate discovery.
Australia, awaited me. And I was ready for it.
This blog was written in partnership and sponsored by United Airlines. As always, opinions are my own.