The World's Longest Flight

This is not hyperbole. We literally took the longest flight in the world, from Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar. It lasts over 17 hours.

Saying goodbye to New Zealand

Saying goodbye to New Zealand

We marked time with meals. On an airplane, even as you hurtle through space at speeds inconceivable to your ancestors, it feels like everything is standing still. The light outside doesn’t do what it should. Time isn’t definite because you’re bouncing through time zones. It’s like a dream - you fall asleep in one place, and wake up somewhere completely different.

To begin with, the flight attendants served lunch, a surprisingly delicious set of New Zealand meats, cheeses, and veggies, and we settled in to watch a few movies. Do you know how many movies you can watch in 17 hours? Too many.

Shortly afterward, the airplane windows dimmed, and snack boxes were passed out, all healthy crackers, nuts, and fruits. Chelsea immediately downed hers; being a marshmallow kid, I packed mine away for later. A couple of hours later, it was hot sandwiches in boxes. Sometime after, apples and bags of chips strolled the aisles. Between movies, I paused to watch our tiny animated plane slowly journeying across the world onscreen.

By the time they served brunch, things were starting to fall apart. There are only so many hours you can stare at a winking set of pixels on the back of a seat. People wandered the aisles like ghosts, stared blankly at the artificially opaque windows, waited in line for the bathroom purely to socialize, watched the same movie on repeat.

When we finally piled off the plane, it was too dark to see the swirling sands outside. In the center of the terminal, like something out of a ghoulish childhood nightmare, a huge teddy bear with a lamp for a spine glowered, ringed by selfie-ing travelers.

We settled in to await our next flight, an impossibly short 8-hour hop to Edinburgh.