Yesterday, the Australian airline Qantas flew its first non-stop flight from New York City to Sydney. That’s a 10,000-mile voyage. It took 20 hours.

While I’ve never been on a plane for that long, Martha and I did go to Australia thirty years ago. We lived in DC at the time, but since there were no non-stops from the east coast, we flew to LA, stayed overnight with a friend, then woke up the next day and boarded a plane that stayed aloft for 17 hours before reaching Sydney.

On that trip, I learned something important about long-distance travel: no matter how many movies you watch or meals you eat or hours you try to keep your eyes closed, when you’ve done all of that and exhausted all your time-killing options, you’re still only halfway there.

By the way, we loved our two weeks in Australia, and promised ourselves we’d go back. As soon as they move it closer.