My wonderful husband has been planning our trip to Asia for the last seven months. While I have mentioned in other posts that I don’t know where his adventuring spirit comes from, I am in awe of the amount of time it takes to carefully execute a plan, knowing quite little about another culture, and doing it with two kids to boot.
We started our journey on Sunday February 5th at around 5am, leaving our home to go to the airport. Grandma and Grandpa Bill drove us to the airport. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with anxiety of what was to come. Fear has such a way of creeping in and taking over our thoughts and emotions, but I pushed them aside because, well, I had no choice.
When we arrived to the ticket counter, we found out that our flight to Doha, Qatar was delayed by about two hours, meaning that we would miss our connection to Bangkok. The check-in clerk did a wonderful job laying out all of the tragic options we had available to us:
1. Stay in Philly for the night for free and then come back the next day to fly out exactly 24 hours after we had intended to leave.
2. Fly to a European country and stay for a long layover (+12 hours or more) and then catch a flight to Bangkok.
3. Fly to Doha, Qatar, sleep at a hotel for about an 8 hour layover and then fly into Bangkok.
Given the three options, we decided to continue with our “pulling off the bandaid” route, so the third option it was. It was at this point that my mind was telling me to crawl into a closet and hide, but my body just kept pushing on.
We kept our kids entertained with things to do at the airport until we finally got on to our flight with Qatar Airways. We had packed a bunch of new items in a backpack for them. I went to Target and found a lot of dollar items to pack that were a surprise when we needed that extra something to keep them entertained.
The first flight left Philly around 12:30 pm and was approximately 11.5 hours in length. The length of time it takes to get from one side of the world to another, while long, is still amazingly fast at the same time. I mean think about it… It took us a matter of hours to leave Pennsylvania and end up in the Middle East. Crazy, right?
We were fortunate to be on a plane with Paw Patrol on demand, so we knew instantly that Lilly was going to be just fine. She was fine – and even got a bit of a nap in! While I know that Jack is a better sleeper than Lilly ever was, I was still nervous about him trying to fall asleep on the plane – somewhere unknown. Jack did amazingly well on the long flight. He took about two naps (and one at the airport) and slept for the majority of the second half of the flight (7-12am US time.) For anyone interested, we packed our Ergo Baby Carrier. I highly recommend it for traveling, and every day life. We use it all the time and it was so helpful to have on our flight to get him to fall asleep.
When we landed in Qatar, we were given a hotel room, complimentary of the airlines since our flight was delayed. Although I have no photos of Qatar, I was actually very impressed with the infrastructure and how clean it was outside and inside. When we arrived at the hotel, Josh ordered some really interesting local cuisine that my taste buds did not much care for. Other than that, we all spent our time resting at the hotel until our flight to Bangkok, which was about 10 hours after we had landed in Qatar. I don’t know that I need to travel there again – unless making a connecting flight – but am happy to say that I’ve “been there” before.
The 6 hour flight to Bangkok was actually more difficult than the 11.5 hour flight to Qatar. I think the kids were just over being stuck in a chair for a long time and were ready to move around and have some crawling space. Jack did not sleep super well on this flight and spent quite a bit of time fussing. I don’t know if you’ve been on an airplane, or anywhere in public, when your baby starts to cry and you have no alternative but to just try and soothe them right then and there. That was the majority of the flight and it was one I was thankful was over as soon as we landed.
I am so thankful we made it here safely and am grateful for all of the help by Josh and KK and also by the people around us, that were just all around compassionate people. We are so excited to be on our vacation and cannot wait to see what we find in our travels. I would have to say that while the plane ride was not ideal, if you’ve considered traveling with you toddler or baby, just do it! We just arrived in and it’s something that I’m so glad we’ve decided to do, even though it takes a lot of time and energy to get here!
I will be sharing more of our trip as I continue through our journey. I hope you’ll join me.
Do you have a place that you’d like to visit with your kids or family?