Topic for Today: Keep Calm and Carry On Don’t Freak Out When Something Goes Wrong With Your Travel Plans.
On Tuesday, my dad drove me to the airport and dropped me off promptly two hours before my departure time. I was supposed to meet with the USAC group flight at my first connection in Chicago, meet in Madrid for the field study, and then continue on to Alicante. Everything was set up to go perfectly, except for the fact that travel NEVER goes perfectly. And if it does for you, please tell me your secret. Soon after arriving at my gate, my flight to Chicago got cancelled due to weather. When I heard the announcement, I told myself not to panic, that there would be another flight to Chicago that day. Nope! The earliest they could fly me out would be the next day at 5:55 am. Eek. That means that my entire trip would have to be redone, since I would therefore be missing all three of my flights.
I annoyed the poor flight attendant insistently for the next hour trying to come up with a plan to get me to Spain by the 7th. Even after all the options that I routed online and showed him, it was no use. All of the other flights that could get me there on time were full. By this point, I started to freak out a little. Some dramatic part of me was thinking I would never get to Spain. I now realize that is so ridiculously stupid, but it got a little stressful in the moment of the hectic rescheduling.
I finally relaxed after I accepted the fact that I would not be travelling with the group or getting there on time. Almost every time my family has traveled – and definitely every time we have traveled internationally – there has been something that always did not go according to plan. Whether that was a delayed flight leading to the four of us sprinting through the airport like fools (true story from many trips) or forgetting my brother’s suitcase and leaving it in the parking lot of the hotel (also true), my parents were always very relaxed about it and never seemed to get stressed out.
[dt_banner bg_image=”” bg_color=”” bg_opacity=”100″ text_color=”” text_size=”normal” border_width=”1″ outer_padding=”10″ inner_padding=”10″ min_height=”150″ animation=”none” link=”” target_blank=”true”]”[dt_small_photos orderby=”recent” number=”6″ lightbox=”true” height=”270″ width=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” category=”” /][dt_small_photos orderby=”recent” number=”6″ lightbox=”true” height=”270″ width=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” category=”” /]Instead, they made it an adventure rather than a catastrophe. When I thought I wasn’t going to make it to Spain, I fell out of that mindset.”[/dt_banner]
Luckily, when everything finally came together, and though it was less than ideal, I was able to think of it as an adventure again. I found a cheap hotel for the night, flew out the next morning at 5:55, and then had a 9-hour layover in Chicago, where I cuddled with my backpack and napped.
So here I am, in London, waiting for my last flight to finally reach Madrid. After I arrive, I will find the hotel (which is sure to be another adventure given my lack of any sense of direction) and meet up with the group. Even though it was stressful trying to plan the new travel schedule, it has actually been kind of fun so far. Though running on very little sleep might also be making me delirious, so we’ll see how I feel once the jet lag really kicks in. I’m sure it will be splendid.
Written by Laura Hilty -USAC Alicante, Spain Spring 2015
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Great mindset for travel.
Good or Bad, always an adventure.