If you ask a North American what a long-haul flight means, most will tell you about the torture of a 7-hour flight to Europe or the time they spent 16 hours in transit to South America.
When you ask an Australian, that’s a short flight! A flight from Sydney to LA takes about 15 hours, and that’s not counting any other destinations on either side. Getting to Europe usually means going through the Asia or the Middle East for a longish layover.
Between the two of us, we’ve done dozens of these types of trips now. It never gets any less annoying, but I’ve found a few good tricks to make the experience of flying long distances a bit more bearable:
When we were in Mongolia, I finally got around to finishing the gorgeous book that M. gave me for my birthday (*cough* two years ago *cough*), Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller.
Why don’t English speakers read more books originally written in different languages? It’s something I didn’t considered before dating a European. Almost every other language reads Shakespeare (many countries read him more than Australian students do!), yet the only time I ever read authors that weren’t British, American, or Canadian was in my French classes, in their original French. We English-speakers miss a huge chunk of the world’s literature by ignoring translations.