Day 8 in Australia and the Trip Home! Saturday Oct. 22

I wanted to do the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb this morning but just flat ran out of time, so this was probably my only disappointment of this terrific trip (well, plus the fact that my wife Joy had to stay home and help our daughter Katie who is pregnant & on bedrest). I still had a few souvenirs to buy and then had to figure out a way to get all this stuff into my bags. On top of that, my hotel has an 11 am checkout time. I got it extended to 12:00 but it was clear that I had to get packed and ready. No bridge climb this time.

So, I grabbed some breakfast at an outdoor cafe near the hotel and got all my stuff packed up. I headed to the airport plenty early to allow shopping at the airport for last-minute souvenirs and gifts for back home.

At the airport, I had time for a quick beer so I went to the “Botany Bar” and met some Americans waiting for the same flight. One guy had a stuffed Koala with a sign on the bar: “Will Sell Cheap.” Somehow he had more stuffed koalas than he needed. I bought him a beer for it and made a trade. He, the koala and I were all happy. It barely fit in my bag.

On the flight, I met a fellow entrepreneur sitting next to me – Lynne Brick. She and her husband Victor are co-founders and co-owners of Brick Bodies, a chain of fitness centers in the Baltimore area. They have 2 women-only centers and 5 co-ed. She had just flown to Sydney from Baltimore on Wednesday for a meeting of an industry roundtable group that she is a member of and was now flying back to Baltimore on Saturday – grueling! (And I thought my 8 days was too short a time between long flights.) We struck up a conversation and started talking business. She showed me a people assessment they are considering using, which measures the “Grit” someone has … determination, persistence, etc. It’s a simple 12 question self-test. Looks interesting.

The flight was “only” 13 hours, compared with 14.5 going the other way due to the jet stream and prevailing winds. Still a long time to sit still. I got some work done this time, unlike the trip over. I started writing these blog posts for posting online when I get home.

Here are the 4 legs of this journey:

  1. St. Louis – San Francisco 4.5 hours Airbus A319
  2. San Francisco – Sydney 14.5 hours 747   7500 miles  lose a day
  3. Sydney – San Francisco 13 hours 747  7500 miles  gain a day
  4. San Francisco – St. Louis 4 hours Airbus A319

The trip home is like being in a time machine. I left Sydney on Saturday 10/22 at 3 pm and arrived in San Fransisco the same day at 1pm (2 hours before I left Sydney!) There was about a 90 minute layover in SanFran, then change planes and head home to St. Louis and arrived there the same day about 9 pm. In real time, the entire trip from Sydney to St. Louis took about 19 hours but on the clock it was as if it only took 6 hours. Hard to wrap my brain around that.

I got a little sleep on the trip from San Fran to STL and was very glad to see my wife Joy waiting for me at the airport! Australia was great but there’s no place like home!