I love to travel. I'm still hopelessly romantic about the concept of going to far-flung, quirky places to do the unexpected. I've fed the national treasures of Nara, gone clubbing in Bogota, discovered my own beach in Mauritius and risked death by post office in Tanna.
The direct route is the one less travelled - I've done London to Quito via Washington, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Bogota and Luxembourg City to Ho Chi Minh City via Frankfurt and Mumbai. Armed with a decent sense of geography, an worryingly encyclopaedic knowledge of airline hubs and enough imagination for a firm of travel agents, I can come up with enough ways of getting somewhere to make decision making rather difficult. Via Warsaw, Lisbon or Vienna, by Lufthansa, Finnair or Adria, the opportunities are endless.
And now I have a new trick up my sleeve, the stopover disguised as transfer. If I'm travelling from London to New Delhi, do I fancy spending a morning in Vienna? You see, if you time your connecting flight skilfully, the airline will allow you to spend twenty-three hours in your transit city without charge. On our honeymoon, I organised our return flight from Mumbai so that we could sleep on the flight to Vienna, shower in the business lounge on arrival, eat an excellent breakfast on the way to Zurich, potter about the home of gnomes for the day and catch an evening flight back to London City, allowing us a chance to break the journey, stretch our legs and not have the hassle of dragging luggage around.
Alternatively, using the right flights from Port Vila to Melbourne allows you to attend your niece's birthday party in Auckland, buy a new suitcase and still have time to visit the Antarctic Adventure.
So, why the travelogue? Well, an opportunity has come up, and I need to get there at low cost and high comfort. And my solution? Via Turkish Airlines, with a twenty hour connect in Istanbul. Ferry to Asia, anyone?