If you’re looking for a blog to follow about flight experiences and reviews of various airlines, hotels suitable for business travel and also a lot of helpful tips about business travels then look no further and check out Flights and Frustration.
Flights and Frustration is own by “The Guy” who writes about his experiences whenever he travels for work (and also during holidays). I usually read about backpacking and budget travel as I am a budget traveler myself and reading his blog is something new for me. I did travel a lot for work when I was still employed and his posts reminded me how it was like back then.
The Guy has travelled to more than 30 countries and set foot on almost all continents and had taken more than a thousand flights already.
Get to know more about The Guy and follow his adventures at Flights and Frustration.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with The Guy.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“I suppose it came about in 2 ways. Firstly in 1993, whilst still a student (yes I’m that old!) I went with 3 old school friends inter-railing around Europe for a month. This was my first experience of travel outside the confines of the UK and Ireland. It opened my eyes to the diversity and richness of Europe and everything it has to offer. I think I also used up most of my lifetime allowance of backpacking experiences.”
“I think a more life defining moment came in April 2000. Whilst I was at my previous employer I received a phone call from our London office. They wanted to know if I’d get involved in a project based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Initially I agreed to go out for 5 months but ended up staying for close to 18.”
“The big sell for the project was not just a salary enhancement but other perks too. These included an additional week off per month with a generous flight allowance which I could use on any flight I wanted. This allowed me to explore the world every month with only accommodation and food expenses to pay for.”
“Whilst there is a vibrant expat community in Saudi Arabia you can’t help but gain a greater understanding of the Arabic and particularly Saudi culture. Whilst those of us out there became frustrated comparing our values with those of the locals we at least formed an educated appreciation of the people out there rather than an opinion derived from print and broadcast media.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“Whilst on this Saudi project I took a long weekend trip to India to see the Taj Mahal and Delhi (because I could :-)). I went with a South African colleague and we stayed in the same hotel and ate the same things. On the final night we stayed in a very plush New Delhi hotel, I think it was 5 star; we ate in the hotel restaurant and both had the same curry.”
“The next day on the flight back to Riyadh I started getting the most sudden and excruciatingly painful stomach cramps. I then started getting the other not so desirable effect of food poisoning. It was awful and lasted a week! I would suddenly just keel over in pain because of the stomach cramps then rush to the toilet because I couldn’t hold it anymore.”
“My South African colleague however was fine. He put it down to his being used to lower food hygiene standards in his country compared to the UK.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“I suppose it is hard to pinpoint one experience but I’ll try. I enjoy sport and like to get a feel for a place by experiencing big events. This happened in a way I could never forget in November 2003. I was visiting Melbourne and Brisbane at the time with work for my new employer. On a Friday evening I went with a colleague and his friends to the MCG for the first time. The place was packed out for the second and final match in the series of the international (compromise) rules match meeting between Australia (Aussie Rules Football) and Ireland (Gaelic Football). Naturally being 1/2 Irish I supported Ireland that night and they won.”
“This was followed the next day time joining the same group of people to go the Melbourne Derby horse race meeting (part of the Melbourne Cup Festival). We drank plenty of beer, won a race or two and got sunburn.”
“It was a race back to the hotel for a shower and change then a meet up in a pub for a bite to eat. We then headed to one of the stadiums in the centre of Melbourne for the Rugby Union World Cup match between Australia and Ireland. Sadly Ireland lost but it was a great atmosphere again.”
“The Tuesday following saw me attend the Melbourne Cup race meeting itself (it is a public holiday in Melbourne so no one was at work).”
“This was a truly amazing, sport filled weekend where you just literally had to be there. We had a great time and it summed up Australia’s love for sport.”
“To cap it all off I was due to be in Brisbane the following week and was able to see the World Cup Rugby Union match between England and Wales. ”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“Oh that’s a tough one. I guess it is the fact that we need to learn about other people and cultures for ourselves, first hand; not through the eyes of the media. I can give you 2 examples of this.”
“Firstly whilst in Saudi Arabia I experienced a strict Muslim culture. Many Muslims were vilified by certain elements of the media and bigoted opinions of people at home. My experience was mixed but also informed. Yes there are elements of their lifestyle, culture and beliefs which don’t resonate with me. However in spite of restrictions preventing me from freely practising my own religion out there I didn’t feel any great pressure to believe things as they did. Okay occasionally someone would gently talk about religion but rarely with a secret agenda. I was also only once invited to join them at prayer. This was a polite, no pressure invite from someone I respected. In the end I respected what they believed and they did so to me.”
“Secondly, with my many travels to Asia I have dated the odd Asian girl or two. (Not anymore, I’m happily married :-)) There is often a perception in the West that Asian girls just look to Western guys as a bank account and a source of money. To be fair I have come across some gold diggers. However, I have also come across some really beautiful (inside and out) Asian girls who genuinely care for you and don’t have ulterior motives. I suppose like everyone in the world we all have different personalities and you can’t stereo type anyone.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“I suppose I don’t quite fit that analogy. Since May 2000 I”ve been on an aeroplane almost every month since, however the vast majority of occasions have been for work reasons. I travel somewhere and stay for between 3 days to sometimes 3-4 weeks if not more.”
“I’ve become accustomed to always looking ahead and becoming excited or motivated for the next trip away. Like my work itself I don’t want to be sat at the same desk all the time doing the same repetitive thing. I look for new challenges and adventures.”
“These last 3 months have been weird for me; I spent them all at home. This is because I was called up for jury service so had to postpone all my planned trips. I’m now free to roam again and I definitely have itchy feet!”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“I think I’d really enjoy travelling around with Will.I.Am. I think he is immensely talented musically and virtually everything he touches turns to gold (well a big hit anyway). Also after seeing him on UK TV for the last few years as a judge on The Voice he has an amazing personality, very funny and entertaining. I’ve little doubt I would find him very engaging.”
“He is so hyper though that in the end I’d probably be tired out or eventually become sick of him. I’d love to try though.”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“I’m often asked this but there is never a definitive answer. When it comes to cities there is plenty of competition. Prague has always stood out as a contender for me since it caught my heart and inspired me the moment I arrived (even though I’d just got off a train on which I was robbed).”
“However I love the tropical and relaxed climate of Queensland in Australia, particularly the Sunshine Coast and north of there. In late 2012 I discovered a magical place north of Brisbane called Bribie Island. The beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, contented locals and how I’d love for a home near the harbour!”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
“Most of my trips are planned a while in advance so I have an idea of what to expect. I know which accommodation I’ll be in and what my itinerary will be. Whilst I love the idea of impulsive travel I require pre-set plans for my travel. As part of this my entire itinerary with contact details is lodged with someone back in the UK. So if anything unfortunate or unexpected happened there is a way for us to establish contact.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“Hmm, not sure on that one. I did take a tandem sky dive whilst in Cairns in 2008. It was great fun at the time and I’d love to do it again. It is actually funny because I had the video taken as well and it is quite a sight to watch as the G Force of falling from a plane really makes a mess of your face.”
How do you fund your travels?
“I’m fortunate in that most of my extensive travel is business travel, so my employer pays :-). It also means that I am able to accrue frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points to redeem against personal travel. I still end up paying for many elements of personal travel but these reward points can make a significant difference.”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“I suppose the answer to question 8 above has to come into this to some degree. Forward planning and having a set itinerary. Also just sensible things like don’t be out at night alone in unsafe areas, do some research on a place. Speak to locals and get their advice, you will often discover things you won’t find on the internet, guide books or on the news.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I’m an ever evolving character. With age and travel I’ve become a calmer, more placid and patient individual. I still have my odd moments of madness but I guess I’ve become less emotional about things. I work with the circumstances rather than against them.”
“Flights And Frustration – The rants, ramblings and ruminations of a frequent traveller offers a personal perspective from many years of travel. From destination experiences to reviews of Business and First Class travel there is a wide range of information for readers.” – The Guy
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by The Guy.