5 Nov 2014

Happy Place

"Only you would claim that", she said with a smile. I have confessed to her, and I might as well do so here: I am currently in my Happy Place. 

Not just on vacation. Not just half way around the globe. But here, in this particular spot. In this particular way. I have just flown the world's best airline, in their best cabin, on their longest route, to their home airport. For 16 hours, I was pampered by a crew that went above and beyond. It's the pinnacle of commercial aviation.

After landing, a private cabana with a soaking tub and a rainfall shower awaited. And now, properly refreshed, I am at The Wing, the airline's bright and airy signature lounge, on a cozy balcony overlooking the hustle and bustle in the concourse below and the planes taking off outside. Soothing piano tunes are in the air, waiters keep my Cathay Delight topped up, and I video-chatted with her on the other side of the Earth - real time and for free. How could things be any better?

Many people like travelling, but for me the love is not just for going places, but at least as much for how to get there. I'll go to some lenghts to make sure that it is via my Happy Place. It's a taste I have acquired, and gotten addicted to, at an age where others may take an outsized interest in cars, or fashion, or sports. Come to think of it, it is now 10 years ago that I have first indulged this passion. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to try out a good number of other fine ways to travel, but nothing quite compares. It was love at first sight, and it still holds.

The marketing insider in me chides the emotional geek, who so easily falls for a brand - but the geek will tell the marketer that this brand has delivered without fail, and against implausibly high expectations. Beyond the rational commodity of air transport, there is clearly an emotional relationship here.

I don't mind the long layover. I will order some freshly steamed dim sum, a pot of fragrant jasmine tea, and the local paper. In this place, I will be happy.

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