This next series of posts I plan to publish, are emails that I sent to a few friends and family members when I was traveling in October 2016. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!
Currently it’s Friday night, but here in Dubai, Friday is actually Saturday, meaning it’s halfway through the weekend. It is a bit odd to have the weekend be Friday and Saturday but it works.
So I think I will start this from the beginning, to get everyone up to speed.
Follow me back to the week of October 8, 2016. In Florida, we were bracing for a hurricane as I was preparing to travel about halfway around the world. I was a wreck all week worrying about the path of the storm. Thankfully it never got as bad as was feared. However, it still affected my flights when I left, even though it was a very nice day at home.
I was dropped off at the airport with ample time to check-in, get through security (holler pre-check) and relax. But that is not what happened. Immediately I learned my flight was delayed, thus making me miss my connection in Atlanta. I was meeting my friend in Newark to fly to Zurich and on to Dubai.
Here’s A LONGGGGG story, short-ish. I was put on standby for the first flight to Atlanta and I didn’t get on. It was too late to get my bag off the plane, so I had to get to Newark. I cried when I didn’t get on the plane (this is a theme for the day) because I was frustrated and worried about my connections. I did get on the second flight to Atlanta and was going to have 36 minutes to make my connection. You can stop laughing, I know this is a nearly impossible task in that airport. When the plane door opened I RAN LIKE FORREST through the airport to my next gate. As I was running up an escalator, the guy in front of me drops his passport and does not realize it. I now have no choice but to run after him and scream down the terminal, “SIR, YOUR PASSPORT!!!” He said thanks and I continued on at a full sprint. When I got to the gate, it was closed and my world was shattered. I had a full-fledged completely irrational meltdown right there at the gate. I had been running so hard that when I started to cry I was actually hyperventilating and I couldn’t catch my breath.
There is also ZERO privacy in an airport terminal and I was too distraught to think I should go into the bathroom. So I slid right into my meltdown and just completely lost it. We are talking two airport employees asked if I was okay and one even brought me napkins for my tears and dignity. Eventually I made it to the service desk to be re-booked. My next concern was getting into Newark two hours later than originally planned and having to get my luggage, (it made it onto my standby flight and was just chillin with it’s other luggage friends in Newark) re-check it, and make it through security. Oh and I hadn’t checked into my international flight yet because it was through Swiss Air and I couldn’t ever find my reservation. My mom, the wizard, figured that one out (thanks Mom) and got me checked in at least. Now after all this I still had over an hour in Atlanta and needed, nay, deserved, at least one drink.
I found a sports bar to watch some football and have a beer. Sat down at the bar and ordered an Oktoberfest. The guy next to me kept looking at me (he was reading a book in a bar…) and I finally asked where he was traveling to. I learned wayyyyyy more than I wanted about him and then he asked me this…”were you in the terminal a little while ago crying?” Yes, yes sir I was. He asked me if everything was okay and I told him my story which I’m sure he didn’t care a lick about, but hey you asked. And then I chugged my beer, leaving my last bits of dignity at the bar.
Happily I made it to Newark, got my bag, checked in, and made it through security with little to no issue. The lady at the check-in desk did freak me out when asking if I had a visa, but she had zero clue and it was not a problem.
HUGE shout out to those that helped me through that day…you know who you are!
I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep I got the night before I left, or the hysterical crying, but I slept pretty well on that flight to Zurich. Oh and in case you were wondering, I was in the LAST row of the plane, folded like origami into my seat. Peachy.
Wheels down in Zurich….
To be continued.