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Flying To Kuala Lumpur From New Zealand

She thought I couldn’t do it, but I did.

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I’m on the tail end of a flight from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur via Gold Coast (wherever that is).

I jumped into the driver’s seat as far as taking care of the girls — planes generally only have rows of three, so one person in our family is going to be left out on the other side of the aisle.

That’s usually me. I can’t really complain: being left out as a parent is often a coveted experience.

I usually spend time on flights blogging on my phone and sleeping and taking notes, as though I’m traveling alone — like I had been for the better part of the past two years — and my wife generally takes care of the girls.

She often says things like, “You’re riding with them on the next flight,” but never really seemed serious before.

She didn’t think I could do actually do it. She didn’t think that I could care of both girls on a flight all by myself.

She probably thought that Rivka would just scream the entire time, Petra would be messing around, the other passengers nearby would loathe our existence, and I would just go to sleep and ignore it all, leaving her embarrassed.

But when I offered my wife my seat across the aisle on this flight — an act that is usually a meaningless charade — she surprised me with the word, “Yes.”

I moved over with the girls. Rivka began screaming, but I knew I had it. I act more useless than I really am.

The plane took off, I fed the girls, I put Rivka to sleep on my lap, Petra read the in-flight magazines.

My wife read on her phone and napped, looking relaxed — as if she was at a spa.

But it was a double-edged victory. Now that the secret is out, I imagine I will be called into action of family flights from here on out, getting a seat in the row of three rather on the island all by myself.

Parenting dynamics are an interesting thing. When my wife has the girls and does things her way everything goes smoothing. When I have the girls and do things my way everything goes smoothly. When we combine our ways and try to take care of them together it’s an all out disaster.

We’re flying to Kuala Lumpur. We should be there for a month so I can do some more research on new cities and collect content for articles.

I’ve been to KL once before, had some crazy nights, and just walked around looking for things to blog about.

The place is changing fast, which means stories everywhere.

I don’t usually write about such personal things about my family on here. I suppose I got into the habit of writing about them while traveling in Australia and New Zealand. I kind of like to keep the two worlds separate … but they are also a fundamental part of this story.


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Filed under: Air Travel, Malaysia, Travel Diary, Travel With Family

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3723 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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