“Live every day like it’s your last and have no regrets” is Joe Trott’s motto – and he’s living it fully! Joe’s latest travels took the Team Leader from our Service Centre in Brno to futuristic Tokyo and dream Island Bora Bora. Joe takes us with him on his exciting trip that involved cosy airport lounges, dreamlike views, shaky cockpit flying, and much more!

T hey say the first step is always the hardest… After trying unsuccessfully to get a seat on a few different flights with my standby staff ticket, I started believing it. I finally made it from London Heathrow to Dubai, got a hotel room, and tried to fly to Tokyo the next day. A delayed flight due to a typhoon in Japan left me at the standby lounge in Dubai airport (what a treat!), and after my trip started feeling a bit like the film Terminal, I finally boarded my flight to Tokyo!

Tokyo: Strolling through the world’s largest metropolis

Tokyo is such a modern, futuristic, and huge city; every part you visit feels like a city in itself. I’d recommend going up the Tokyo Skytree, the second largest tower in the world, to take in the view of that incredible metropolis. If you’re a sushi lover, be sure to head to the Tsukiji market, where you can get the best sushi in the world. There are also many temples to check out, in particular the iconic Senso-ji temple.

Island hopping in French Polynesia

After three days in Tokyo, I took a flight from Narita to Papeete in French Polynesia. From there, I visited two additional islands – Moorea and Bora Bora. I would recommend to any visitor to French Polynesia to use Papeete as a base to travel to the other islands. In Moorea I took a boat for a day trip, and rented a funny little electric car.

Welcome to dream Island: Bora Bora

My next stop was nothing short of many travellers’ dream: The picturesque island of Bora Bora! The amazing thing about flights within French Polynesia is that they often stop at a few of the islands, so I was treated to some “island hopping” before descending in Bora Bora. It’s basically one big island in the middle and surrounded by many different small islands, one being the airport. From there you take the free ferry to the main island.

As I only had one day in Bora Bora, I wanted to see it all: I hired a scooter at the airport and drove around the main island. Besides the spectacular scenery, some of the main attractions are eight World War Two artillery cannons. They were left behind by the Americans after taking over the island, and were used at the time to protect Bora Bora from the Japanese. They are very hard to find, but I was lucky to find one at the top of the hill with breathtaking scenery in the background.

Cockpit view in a thunderstorm

Upon leaving Bora Bora, I took the risk of trying to get on the last flight of the day. The flight was full, and as a standby passenger I was already preparing myself to find accommodation somewhere, when the unexpected happened: I was accepted by the captain into the cockpit! The weather had turned slightly bad, and I experienced flying back to Papeete in a thunderstorm. Some people might have been scared, but for me flying in the cockpit during a storm was an absolutely awesome experience!

While we were landing, the plane being shaken by the wind, I already thought about my next destination – one of the most remote and uninhabited places on earth … But that’s for another story!