The Loner’s Guide Episode 3: Best Airplane Seat

Greetings everyone! Welcome to The Loner’s Guide Episode 3: Best Airplane Seat. In this episode I will explain which airplane seat is the best for comfy travels.  

When I first started traveling I had no idea what to expect. I did know that I enjoyed aisle seats. Something about being able to stand when I want and not over stepping my neighbor resonated with me. When I booked my first flight it was in 2012. I just wanted to be able to sit, relax, and not worry about being thousands of feet in the air. My first flight was from New Jersey to one of the Carolinas. It was flight one out of eight total flights in two weeks, but that is a completely different episode.

I will give you advice on two different options, one being budget friendly, while the other a bit more pricy, yet well worth the funds. 

Option 1: The Perfect Economy Seat

As I’m sure you know economy seating can be a bit of a pain. You are crammed into multiple seats in a row with people who are no doubt going to be sharing your personal space. You will be either side rubbing and or fighting over an armrest. If you are next to someone who is rather tall more than likely they will be in a position where their legs invade your personal space. Or if you are very unlucky as I was when I went from New Zealand to America, you will sit next to someone who takes off their shoes and then sits cross legged in the seat with their foot firmly against your thigh. Basically what I’m getting at is economy is tight, very tight, so close it’s too close, tight. However you can still find a seat that gives you space and a bit more freedom than the average economy seat while still being in economy. 

The perfect economy seat rest firmly where the emergency row is placed. Depending on your flight and the size of your airplane, you will either have a three by four by three row seating, or three by three row seating. Regardless of this, always pick an aisle seat in the exit row. If you can pick the center row seats in an emergency row, then that is perfect! You get extra leg room while also avoiding being stepped on by your neighbor when they have to go to the restroom.

Years ago, I went for these seats as they were in my limited budget while providing me comfort. However, I guess some airlines caught on to this and now these coveted seats are considered economy plus seats. These are just regular economy seats, but because of all the comforts that the others lack, the airlines charge a bit more for this. It is a shame when these seats are still the same size as regular economy. 

Just so it’s clear, Economy Plus is not Premium Economy. I will explain that next. 

Economy seating is great if you can find the right seat in the right area. If you have a short flight, then don’t even bother as you can deal with discomfort for 1-3 hours. However, if you are on an international flight or a flight more than 3 hours, definitely get the seat I suggested.

Option 2: Premium Economy Has the Perks!

Now this seating option is just superb! It is a fairly new seating type which sits between economy and business class. As stated in a previous episode, there are only about 12-24 premium economy seats on a given flight. Compared to other types of seats, they are very few in numbers. These seats, no matter aisle or emergency row, will give you the space and comfort! 

For one thing, the seats are bigger, about 1-2 inches on either side. When sitting in this type of seat for the first time, I was enamored at the space my thighs had. I also love how you have your own personal space. This means that your neighbor’s leg is in their own chair away from you. Most importantly, you are separated from your neighbor by thick metal armrests that you each have! This means no more fighting or elbowing by accident. 

The other perks of this seating option is that you get amenities that are a tad bit nicer than economy such as a little baggy with gifts. These gifts include toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, hand lotion, ear plugs, and even lip balm to name a few. Yes, there is more! This of course depends on your flight and the company! 

The thing about premium economy is that you will more than likely pay a lot more than regular economy. If you are traveling international then just spend the money. Comfort always costs more. It doesn’t have to cost thousands upon thousands like business or first class, but you will spend a pretty penny. In any event, I am more than happy to pay up an extra three to four hundred dollars more to get that extra space for my thighs. 

I also must mention that the perfect premium economy seat is nestled in the exit row. Now, you don’t have to be in an exit row to have room for your feet in premium economy, but with an exit row you have double the space! So for all the tall people out there, this is the perfect option for you! I am very short but still love having this option as I do stand regularly to stretch on long flights. It is great to have my own area to do this instead of going in the aisles. 

Whatever you choose remember to think of what’s best for you. If you don’t like aisle seats, or if you enjoy staring out the window on flights, my suggestions may not resonate with you. Below are some links to get a feel for what premium economy has to offer and even seat maps to see what area works for you!

I hope you enjoyed the episode. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore! Until then…


United Airlines Seat Map

Japan Airlines Seat Map

Short Story: Will Work For Air

Will Work For Air ©2019 is a short story from the Author Jasmine Clark. If you wish to use this story, please obtain the appropriate permission.

Breathe! Breathe! That’s what I thought that day when Marmite Man turned blue.  He got that name from his sneaky stash.  Food like that was preserved long before even his birth, so there was plenty to go around; but even that couldn’t keep him breathing when his mask failed.  We were all in the large open field near the old stadium; miles from home.  There was nothing any of us could do for him.  There he was, going from blue to purple.  It kind of looked like the night sky sometimes, when the sun would be all done setting down and the blossom pink with lavender and auburn would be long gone.  His chest kept moving up and down in a pattern, then erratic like a machine that lost control.  In minutes he was gone, still wearing his mask, unable to get relief.  Not even taking it off could have helped; it would have made his death quicker though.

We stood over him like that, me, Boulder Boy and Cliff.  I thought we should try to cover him, but even I knew how stupid that was, so I kept my mouth shut.  Boulder Boy was a year older than me but big as all hell; a tall boy with broad shoulders.  He suggested we keep it moving and head home quick before the flies and animals had time to catch the dead man’s scent.  Cliff agreed and I nodded to show my compliance.  We took the dirt road towards our home.  It was soft with dead land and crushed flowers.  Many traveled on it, so after a while it was like any paved street that used to litter the land all that time ago.  I took shallow breaths as my tank was starting to run low.  Boulder Boy caught my eye and then my mask.  I’d hate to think I too would end up like Marmite Man, suffocating like that, then to have my things taken away to be sold; my body rotting away without so much as a respectful goodbye from the ones I love.  It was a pretty shit way to go.  

The three of us could see the small shapes of what would be our homes.  The more we walked the bigger it became.   Thirty minutes later and we split ways; I went to my little slice of hell.  The housing blocks were like giant cubes with giant tanks on each section.  The tanks were like the ones we carry, but obviously bigger.  I went into my block which my family shared with two other families.  Miss Blitz and Mr. Heap would always greet me no matter what time of day I’d come back.  Here I was, just a girl of nine working hours at a time, and yet they always seemed to be here.  My Pa called them lazy bastards because they would sell their kid in another town for days at a time.  Most of the housing blocks were like this one, but a few were better off.  They had better filtration systems for their air and water.  Sometimes, they would have extra filters and tools they would give away, but for a price.  That had been Miss Blitz and Mr. Heap’s thirteen year old daughter.  

I went to my little corner of the large room I shared only with my parents and sister.  The common place such as the bath and kitchen were shared, but this large room was “private”.  I had a corner that was shielded by a dresser.  It was pretty stupid, but at the time it made me feel like I had my own space.  I took off my mask slowly as it peeled from my face.  Then I slowly disassembled my tank and cleaned the hose.  After scrubbing the mask and refilling the tank with air from our home, I let it rest on the floor next to my bedding.  I liked keeping it close, just in case.  A few months before, a housing block had a malfunction with their air filtration system.  Instead of getting air, they got carbon dioxide.  Mom was really afraid and had me and everyone else clean and refill our tanks as soon as we got home.  Better to always have air in the event we couldn’t be home no more, she would say.  

I took a brief rest and filled my lungs.  Filtered air was all I was used to, even for my parents and their parents.  In fact, no one had breathed pure air before, it didn’t exist, anymore.  A long while ago, not sure when, the air outside became toxic.  Some say when you breathe it your skin rips open and you bleed from your eyes.  Horse shit, Kimber would say.  He also lived in our housing block.  A funny man with a sour mouth always had something to say.  

“No one has ever breathed in the real air, not in a real long time, so they don’t know,” he would say.

I wondered a lot about the time before the poison air and the tanks.  I thought of how it must have been to run in fields.  What would it have been like to play in the rain without it burning you?  My mind raced with grand illusions and what ifs.  Carefree thoughts of a stupid child, Cliff would say.  He was fifteen and often teased me when I spoke of my thoughts.  There was a point when I used to care, but lately I didn’t.  He would get into verbal fights with Marmite Man over his crude mouth.  Marmite Man!  Poor guy, without a family and rotting out there.  

“Are you okay Astrid?” asked Mom.

I nodded solemnly, the image of Marmite Man still burned into my vision like when the lights go out all of a sudden and you still see the outlines of the furniture in its wake.  He didn’t have family, so there was no point in mentioning him.  An hour later it was dinner time.  We would all take turns making meals.  Even I had to cater food for a day out of the week.  Pretty stupid for us to take turns when Mr. and Miss Lazy Ass stayed home all day, sucking up the air, Kimber would grumble.  Tonight was my mom’s turn.  It was bland cabbage with bland turnips.  Keeping animals alive was, for the lack of better words, difficult.  So we grew our vegetables in a separate place with its own tank.  Water was hard to buy, so we relied mostly on canned food.  Even that was troublesome to have in stock.  Life, in short, was a struggle.  

At the large table, my family, Kimber, and the Lazy Asses sat and waited for their supper.  As mom put the soup slop in our bowls, the Lazy Asses’ daughter arrived home with a cart full of supplies.  No doubt her payment for her youthful services.  Her parents gleamed with excitement at the plethora of filters, water, cans of food, and hand me down clothes.  They never acknowledged their own child, not once.  Not that she was used to love and comfort.  She listlessly wavered herself to the table after removing her tank.  I didn’t blame her for not cleaning her tank before hand, or washing off that nasty scent she always had when she returned home.  Obviously she was tired and welcomed a hot meal.  Not that it was a worthwhile meal, in fact it was just utter tripe.  However, having it cold would just make it worse.  

“So you went to North Fairly right?” asked Kimber.

The Lazy Asses’ daughter nodded as she slurped the soup.  Even with her low energy and soft bags under her eyes, she was a beauty.  She had fluorescent blue greenish eyes, like every single other person here, but she had specks of red in them.  They were like floating red carp in a blue stream, like in one of those old books I used to love looking at as a toddler.  Her lips were wide and thin; her hair red like blood.  Freckles painted the areas around her nose and upper cheeks.  Shame to be so beautiful, only to be used for such ugliness my mother would say.  

“Astrid, how was work today?” she asked.

Out of all the people in our humble home, she liked to speak to me.  Sometimes, she would only speak to me.  I guess everyone else had their shitty qualities she didn’t like.  My parents, for example were always so judgmental, Kimber was an ass, and her parents simply saw her as a bartering tool for the things they needed.  

“It was rough,” I said.

She looked up at me and smiled.  Clearly nothing I faced out there would ever equal her hell.  Nevertheless, she entered a conversation with me while everyone else listened.  After dinner I went to my room to wash, but before I could, she entered.  Holding her stomach, she grabbed my arm and went into my corner.  Concealed by the dresser, she showed me a filter.  It was for my tank!  Filters should be taken out for a new one within a few months, but most times they are just cleaned and reused for years.  The issue is that they stop working and you die, like Marmite Man.  I couldn’t remember when I last had a new one, so this was a much needed surprise. 

“Thanks Clove,” I said.

She hugged me in return, I could smell the pungent odor of her “work” inflame my senses.  I liked her, but I really wished she washed before contaminating me with her scent.  Feeling accomplished, she stood up and walked to her quarters.  That night, before I washed, I put in my new filter and put my old one in my pack as emergency.  

In the morning, I ate a small breakfast of leftover slop from the other night, kissed my mom, sister, and pa, then went on to work.  Kimber went out too, as did Clove.  The sun was surprisingly hot, and the feel of the elements was stale.  A few dark clouds were far, so today would have to be quick.  No need to be caught in the rain; those who had were horribly scarred and their skin became a deformed melted mess.  I once had an almost encounter with the rain.  It was two years ago and I was not as observant as I am now.  I thought I could just keep working and that I could out walk the rain.  However, I narrowly escaped.  


If you would like to read more, please head over to for your copy today!

Will Work for Air Link

New page!

Hello Groovy People,

I have made a new page on my website. It is my short story page so you can read the latest from my creative works. Please go to the link below or find the page on my website next to the Journey’s End: a Novel link.

Short Stories Page Link

Until then…

The Loner’s guide: Mad Money on Trips

Hello Groovy People,

In this post I will explain why everyone needs to have mad money when visiting others, or when traveling with others. 

The first thing I want to do is explain what Mad Money means. If you do a google search it states: Mad money is discretionary money set aside for an emergency or for personal use.

I first heard of the term mad money from an older woman. This was after telling her about a tough time I had visiting someone. She said that you should always have mad money because you never know when things go south. If they do, you can always have a way to take care of yourself. 

Mad Money is something useful when you visit others, whether they are friends or family. When traveling, before traveling solo, I would visit others a lot. When visiting, I was strap for cash and would depend on staying in someone else’s home. Now this isn’t a bad thing. After all, you save money by not getting a hotel and you get to spend time with others. A win win right??? Well…this is not always the case. When you are a guest in someone’s home you must play by their rules. I am pretty laid back and a people pleaser. However, when dealing with different personalities and sometimes bad moods, you are bound to encounter issues from time to time. 

I won’t detail any specifics here, but from the stories I’ve heard, sometimes hosts can be a bit persnickety. They mean well, but some people are truly controlling. When you are on a trip, trying to relax and enjoy time away from home, the last thing you want is to butt heads with your host. You can either deal with it, or have mad money on the side. 

I can personally attest to the fact that although I try my best to people please, sometimes I am brought to my limit. This is the main reason why I now choose to never stay with anyone when I travel. An hour or so visit is great, but being in anyone’s home, whether that be a friend or family member is no longer a reasonable option for myself. I like the freedom of being in my own personal space, while still being able to socialize. This is of course, on my terms. 

Maybe this isn’t you. Maybe you like staying with others. However, having mad money doesn’t mean you don’t like your hosts or that you expect a problem. If anything it means insurance. A “just in case” fund. 

Mad money isn’t just for getting a hotel when you have issues with your host. It can also be for other things that may be pertinent to you whenever you see fit. 

This blog post is also a podcast. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore!

Until then…

The Loner’s Guide: Best Trip Ever!

Hello Groovy People!

Welcome to The Loner’s Guide. In this post I will give you tips about planning the best trip ever! No matter where you go or want to do, you will have everything you need to get things prepared. Keep in mind that these tips are based on my personal experiences and may not apply to everyone. Find what works for you and explore! *This post is also available as a podcast!*

Step one:

Where do you want to go? When traveling alone, I try to go to places that are relatively safe. Regardless of where you go, you must always be mindful that dangers lurk in every country. For example, I love going to Japan. Despite the safety of the country and most people keeping to themselves, there are places that aren’t so safe that I do avoid going to at night or even alone. So it is safe to say that you must also keep this mindset when you pick your destination. 

Start with a place you like and do your research! Are there locations that the locals will find problematic? Are there other travelers who have certain experiences? Yes, their views could be fueled by prejudice and stereotypes, but when traveling by oneself, you must keep in mind your safety. Therefore, doing your research and getting a variety of perspectives is key. If you know someone from said country, that is even better! They can give you an upfront unfiltered idea of what things are really like and what to avoid.

Step two: 

What will you do? Like in step one, you must research this as well. Now if you are a carefree traveler, then that’s great. However, having this mindset will purge your wallet of funds rather quickly unless you have very inexpensive tastes. I love traveling because I can experience something different than what I can do at home. So I like to find activities that are unique and give me an idea of what the culture is like. Some things are free, like walking on a waterfront or even a museum. However, other activities, like a tour, cost money. So with that, you must think about what types of activities you like to do and see what costs money and how you can do all the things you like without going broke during your trip.

Step three:

Where will you stay? Now this really depends on a few factors. Are you an extrovert who likes meeting strangers and being around people all the time? Do you like personal space? Are you a mixture of both? I personally like having my own space and meeting people sparingly. If you want to save money on a hotel, you can always get a hostel. It comes with a bed, but all the common places, including your bedroom will be shared by people you don’t know. The only pro I can think of is that a week or two week stay will only cost you $300 or less! Of course, this depends on how long you stay and where you go. Now if that sounds grand, then do it! But if you want to have your personal time to yourself and not be around others when unwinding after a long day of exploring, then here is a tip I think you will like. 

Look for hotel apartments from The great thing is that more and more companies are trying to appeal to the idea of a home away from home. With a hotel apartment, you get a living space, a full kitchen that includes a refrigerator, sink and stove, a full bathroom, and separate bedroom. Many of these apartments come with a washer. In rare cases, a washer/dryer combo! When I went to New Zealand and Tokyo, I had all of these amenities courteous of A 12 day stay was also about $1,200. This was roughly the same for New Zealand and Tokyo! Surprisingly, the location of these apartments were close to the areas I like to explore and supermarkets! Now that may sound like a lot of money, but let me tell ya, $1,200 for 12 days is about $100 a day. That is not only reasonable but think of all the things you get for that money! A kitchen, a living room, a separate bedroom, bathroom, and washer/dryer combo!!!! That is a steal! The best perk is that after a long day I can relax in what is essentially a home away from home. The plus side is that these hotel apartments are from companies and not privately owned. Which means you don’t have to worry about some stranger and all their baggage! 

Step Four:

How will you get there? This applies to getting to the country and getting to the hotel. Now to save money you may want to get an economy seat. However, when planning a great trip within budget, it’s okay to splurge just a bit. Now if your trip takes less than 5 hours, get economy. Most short trips like that will have only certain planes available anyway and a business seat is not that different than an economy seat. Maybe an inch wider, but it really isn’t worth the extra money. Now if you are going international and the flight is over 9 hours, you may want to invest a few hundred dollars more. When going to Japan for the first time I wanted to save money and spent $1,100. There were eight planes involved, and it was a long flight; just terrible! With travelers wanting more comfort, but not wanting to destroy their funds, airlines have made a new seating option called premium economy or premium seats. 

I flew United and at times All Nippon Airways. Both companies have premium seats. These seats are between economy and business class. There are about 12-20 seats, so very few. The good thing is that you get more space, which means you don’t have to fight over arm rests or brush legs with your seat mate. You also get more room in front and leg rests! Not just foot rests, leg rests!! There are also some extra food perks such as business class desserts that you may not get in economy! 

Premium seats can be more expensive than economy, but are loads cheaper than business and a fraction of the cost of first class. When your flight is frightfully long, you deserve comfort and with my experience, comfort costs money. Just invest, and thank me later! 

Now let’s change gears and discuss how you will get from the airport to your hotel once you’re there. I suggest you research trains and buses and even shuttles depending on the hotel. Nowadays I keep it simple and find taxis’ from I booked a taxi for the first time when I went to Tokyo in 2020, before the pandemic. Setting it up on the website was easy, just plug in your hotel’s address, your flight number and date, then browse the type of taxi you need. There’s even an option for the sign the driver holds up so you know exactly who your person will be. This is key when traveling alone! I personally think a taxi is best when you want to keep it simple, safe, and easy. The average flight for when I travel is always 12 plus hours. So I am just exhausted when I arrive and no longer want to do trains. Find out what’s best for you!

Step Five:

Bring less, take back more! Now if you are a fashionista or just into going all out with your personal style, you may bring an extra large suitcase. However, large cases weight more and if you want to buy things during your trip, you will have to foot the bill of all that weight! So take my advise and take a medium sized bag, plus a separate carry on with little to nothing in it! That way you can fill it with all the things you buy without spending extra on weight fees. From my experience, taking an international flight means you get two free checked bags. Even if you can only take one checked bag, you can still have a carry on with a personal bag such as a backpack or purse. With that in mind, you can have two suitcases, a backpack or purse and still be within your limits going to and from your country of choice! This is why I stress having a washer/dryer combo because you can take clothes that you can wash so that you have room for other things. 

I am not sure how others travel, but I take clothes that match each other so that I can change things up even though there is very little. I wash them when I wear certain items too much and that way I can keep things clean and reasonable. I travel to explore, not to impress. This step may be the most interesting as this really depends on your personal style and how you pack bags.

Conclusion and Safety Tips for the Loners:

Regardless of what you decide to do, remember, this is your trip. Think about what you want, what you want to do, and research! When going it alone, definitely keep your safety in mind always! Know your options and if possible, get a cheap international phone. If you can, order it online and have it with you before getting there. When you get to your destination, turn it on in the airport and try a local number. That way if it doesn’t work, airports always have phones available. The staff are usually helpful too! Know of all important numbers such as that country’s emergency numbers. Also, have the embassy of your country in mind when traveling. You never know if you need to contact them for anything, even in emergencies! This may seem like a lot, but these are quick google searches that can mean the difference between having the time of your life, and being stuck in a really crap situation. 

I hope you enjoyed the podcast. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore!

Until then…



Will Work For Air

Hello Groovy People!

Recently I published my first short story, Will Work for Air. It is available at You can get this short story on a Kindle, or a physical copy! Here is the cover and description of Will Work for Air. To see the full image, move the arrow to the left or right. If you can, please rate and leave any and all comments on Amazon. I can really use the input!

Until then…

Journey’s End, Audio Snippet

Hello Groovy People!

Journey’s End is my second self published novel. If you would like to hear the first chapter read aloud, please go to Journal Jazzi’s Youtube page! If you would like to read the first chapter, please head to this link!

If you enjoy complex characters and thrilling adventures, please read, Journey’s End.I hope you enjoy!

Until then…

Marketing Goals and Woes

Hello Groovy People,

As December comes to an end, I have started a new plan in marketing my book. It was always easier to create a story, and over the last several years, it was even easy to publish. However, without being attached to a publishing company, I must do all the hard work of publicity alone. There is so much information out there on what to do, how to do it, how to do it right… But there are no real answers as to what will work for me. As frustrating as this has been, I look at my current plan with optimism. Perhaps I am just happy that I have varied ways of marketing my book (for free), even if it doesn’t generate the numbers I need (yet).

Anywho, I have an instagram page, and now a YouTube page dedicated to putting myself out there. Will it drive traffic to my books? Not certain, but I have high hopes. If you would like to see my pages and support me by subscribing, click the following links:

Journal Jazzi YouTube

Journal Jazzi Instagram

Until then…

New year, same goals

Helloy Groovy People,

It’s been a while since I last posted. 2020 is a chaotic year with so many downers. To be honest, it kind of feels like an average Tuesday to me. Being in solitude and having setbacks is quite the norm in my life. However, in 2021, I want that to change. I want the new year to reignite my original goals. I won’t just sit back and hope for a publisher to see my work. I won’t sit by and watch as others follow their dreams. I won’t let despair and doubt plague my mind and set me back ten steps. I will do more to market my book and accomplish yet another goal.

With everything happening in the world, I could really use a focus. Something positive to take up my time. As much as I wanted to focus on my book and future as a writer, there were always road blocks. There were always excuses as to why I couldn’t do this or that. Being a self published author has its drawbacks, but I should not let that stop me. So starting now, before 2021, I will take the steps to make my dreams come true. So that in 2021, I can see the fruits of my labor ripe with accomplishment!

For anyone that wants to attain their goals despite the setbacks of this devastating year, I implore you to make a list of the things you want. Then find ways to meet them. Go slow and don’t expect major change too quickly. Most importantly, you must be your own cheerleader. Self motivation is key to any success, especially when you have to do the bulk of the work on your own.

That is what I must do. That is what I hope to have in 2021. As I go through this process, I will keep you all in the loop.

Until then…

The Border

A poem by Jasmine Clark

A tightrope in the middle

Happy on one side

Sad on the other

You teeter on the balance with ease

I fall to either side

Unable to climb back up

Drowning in this emotion

I choke on its power

You see me down there

Impossible to imagine why I can’t get myself out

For I am stuck in the abyss of emotion

To strong to let me go

You reach out to save me

But eventually you tire

A mere bout of kindness is stifled by that abyss

It continues to cover me

You leave

And here I am left with a void

Alone, I find myself on the tightrope, the balance you once stood

Only to fall to another side

You reluctantly return

But like before, you leave

Exhausted and done, you never come back

And as a cycle always finding itself back at the same point

I repeat my climb to the tightrope

But it repeats, and I fall

Only, I am alone