I live in New Zealand, and whenever I travel to Europe, the question of how to get there is the main one - Eastward or West?
Back in the 80's east was the way to go. Auckland to Honolulu and US custom's clearance, a few hours later in Los Angeles, then the big 10 hour jump to London. It was the quickest and most economic way to go. That was how I first went 'home', and how I did it for a decade.
Then came Singapore Airlines, Thai and Cathay Pacific. Westward via Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong. The westward route via Asia. Same cost, same time, new routes and no need to apply for a US visa. It grew pretty quickly. Then the Arabs joined in. Emirates, Etihad and now Qatar airlines. Then the Chinese airlines, like China Southern and Eastern. Super low cost, no visas required if in transit, all the European major cities served. Most NZ'ers, and probably all Australians now travel to Europe via Asia.
This year I want to go somewhere different. The Caribbean is the destination of choice. In the past, it would have been a simple choice: Auckland to Los Angeles, then onward to Cancun, or San Juan, or maybe Miami then a hop into the islands. No-one else came close. Until this year.
I can get to Paris via Asia for a few hundred bucks. Spend a few weeks in France, then onward to Guadeloupe or Martinique for a few hundred more. After a stay in the Caribbean, I can then head south to Chile or Argentina, and from there are direct flights to Auckland. These are new. This is the first year I can leave home, fly west, and keep flying west until I get home, and bypass the US altogether. That means my health and travel insurance is half the price (it doubles as soon as one sets foot in the US or Canada). Although the fares through the US are still lower, the savings in insurance by avoiding the US cover that loss by traveling through South America. It's also slightly quicker via South America.
It's curious to me that nowhere have I heard this being raised as a concern. The US monopoly on air traffic from the Antipodes eastward to Europe was a given since the advent of air travel, now it's disappearing in a few months, and not once has it been a media story anywhere.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.