Who do you want to sit next to on a plane? If it could be anybody alive or dead who would you choose?
Yes the next seat is free and you need to fill it. A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet, or so they say. So who would you like to be your new friend?
I’ve flown many times over the years and been sat next to or nearby some really interesting and diverse characters.
I’ve sat next to authors, business people, a manager of a company I hold shares in, a former player of my favourite rugby team (Wakefield Trinity).
I’ve even been sat next to the Bishop of Liverpool on a long haul flight to Atlanta.
I was also sat 2 rows in front of Ian Rush on a flight to Dubai. Ian Rush was a highly successful footballer who in the 1980s starred for Liverpool FC (my favourite football team).
So I’ve already met some interesting personalities. Yet what of you and other travellers? Well I put this question to some fellow travel bloggers and received quite a varied response.
Who do you want to sit next to on a plane?
Tamara Elliott says:-
If I could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, it would have to be Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of the travel company G Adventures. Frankly, I think we would have a TON to talk about! First off, no matter where we were headed he likely would have already been there before, so he’d surely be a treasure trove of destination information and insider tips. Secondly, since he travels so much he probably wouldn’t do annoying things like hog the armrest or blast music through his headphones. And finally…the stories he could tell! Forget the in-flight movie: I could listen to Bruce chat about camping in Antarctica or his favourite part about backpacking through Asia for hours.
Caroline Makepeace says:-
At the moment I’m having a mad fan girl crush on Marie Forleo. She’s been an amazing mentor to me this past year and really helped me improve my business. She’s so much fun and has uber personality, so I’d love to just chew the fun fat and pick her brain!
Caz Makepeace is a serial traveller, blogger and sunset mojito drinker who loves to help people travel more and create better memories. She (and her husband, Craig) share their travel lifestyle and tips on their travel blog – yTravelBlog. They are currently road tripping around Australia. You can also connect on twitter.
Agness and Cez of E-Tramping have the following nomination:-
My dream would be to meet Bear Grylls in person on a plane. For those who don’t know him, he is a British adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild, also known as Born Survivor in the United Kingdom, which ended in 2011. He is incredibly talented when it comes to surviving in the wild and dealing with different weather conditions. I would make him share some of his top tips on how to hunt! Besides, he is super hot!
(I guess that was more Agness’ nomination than Cez’s!)
We are Agness and Cez – best friends and travel companions, bloggers and world explorers from Poland. We call ourselves tramps because we live without a permanent home and for under 25 bucks a day, since 2011. One day, after we both graduated from the university, we decided to leave our comfort zones and start a nomadic life. I decided to set off for my first solo adventure to China and Cez joined me 6 months later, after he quit his 9 to 5 job as a banker. While travelling the world, working and living in different countries all over Asia (so far), we still find the time to write about it, share the tricks to do it cheaply and even help other people do the same on our blog.
If you would like to read more about China, you can check out our “Add
the Brick to the Great Wall:”Experience-based Advice for China from
Expats” e-book which sums up my two-year experience of teaching, living
and travelling in the Land of Dragons.
So, who do you want to sit next to on a plane, Victoria the British Berliner? Her response is:-
Joan of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc. She was a French freedom-fighter, a martyr and a heroine of the 15th century, when Europe was consumed by the Hundred Years’ War for control of the French throne, fought by England and France. I would like to sit next to her so that she could tell me about how she got the courage to stand up for her country when trained men and soldiers saw no hope. How she dared to fight against convention and how she prepared herself and her people for the brutal death that awaited her. She was burnt at the stake.
Victoria is a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half-British – half German son. Her blog http://thebritishberliner.com is a lifestyle expat travel blog about her love of culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language and her travels around the world, and of course, her number one item: being British in Berlin.
Victoria currently works as a corporate inter-cultural life coach, educational English language trainer and teacher in Berlin, and is also obtaining an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Chester, in England. You can also follow her on twitter.
Carl Forbes of That Time In had a tough decision to make as to who to sit next to on a plane. He did decide though on the following:-
That’s a toughie! Well as much as I’m happy zoning out in my own world when stuck on a long haul flight, the first choice would have to be some of the travel acquaintances I’ve made over the years. After all, it would be great to randomly catch up with again, and I’m sure time would fly by hearing what they’ve been up to in their lives ever since.
To pick a specific person however, I think I would choose Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe. I’d enjoy getting the chance to pick his brains on one of my favourite subjects – Spanish Football – and my favourite country too, of which I’m sure he’s seen pretty much every aspect of. Not to mention it would be handy Spanish practice for me too, what with him being a native speaker.
I’m Carl, and I’m in my 20’s from Devon in England. After far too many years without making it out of the UK my eyes were opened up to the wonders of travel, so I’m now making up for lost time and documenting all the fun over at http://thattimein.com. Check out the site, or follow along @ThatTimeIn on Twitter.
Nomadic Megan had a little bit of a dilemma on who to sit next to on a plane. She wrote:-
Upon first reading the question, my immediate response was Anthony Bourdain. And then I remembered that I can’t afford first class flights, so that won’t happen. After giving it more practical thought, I decided the ideal flight mate on a long flight would simply be somebody that doesn’t snore, smell, read over my shoulder, or pee too frequently. But then I re-read your question, realized you want a specific person, and so
I’m going back to Anthony Bourdain- screw practicality. Why Mr. Bourdain? Well, beyond being a writer and food lover/chef that I admire, he’s also incredibly entertaining and witty. On a long flight, if nothing else, you need some entertainment. And since he’s a chef perhaps he’d be able to enliven my airplane meals somehow.
Megan Swanick is a freelance writer, travel blogger and TESOL teacher.
She currently is teaching in Mandalay, Myanmar. In June, she’ll be leaving her temporary Southeast Asian home for a South American setting where she’ll be celebrating, traveling, football-watching, and writing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Her previous travels have led her across 23 different countries stretching across Europe, Africa, And Asia. You can read about her adventures past and present at Nomadic Megan or follow her on twitter.
So there you have it. When asked who do you want to sit next to on a plane, these fantastic fellow travel bloggers came up with a diverse range of travel companions. I think they are all great selections and would make fascinating company. My sincere thanks to all the travel bloggers above who accepted my invitation to contribute to this article.
So how about you? Who would be your ideal travel companion. Be sure to let us all know in the comments box below. Also please share this article via twitter, Google+ or facebook via the buttons below. We can then ask your friends “Who would you like to sit next to on a plane?”