We’ve all heard the saying (cliche?) “half the fun is getting there”, right?
Sometimes this is true. Other times, “getting there” just plain sucks.
I’d venture to guess, however, that mostly it falls somewhere in between.
For instance, my trip to Madrid (way cool, by the way – but that’s another post): the proverbial “getting there” was a mix of “I’m in heaven” and “the universe hates me”. It began at seven o’clock in the morning when I woke up, bags packed, ready to start my grand adventure.
Obviously, the first setback was the goodbye. I’ll skip this part, because we all know what it’s like.
The second was the fact that my first flight was an hour delayed. With only a two hour layover in Mexico City, I think we all know where this is going. Though, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Good part of the journey: business class. I had been on a total of twelve airplanes in the last year, and I had always flown economy class. Not only does priority boarding rock, those seats feel like a little slice of heaven in the air. Also: the FOOD. Wow, just wow. The entire thing was amazing. I slept for over an hour on a two and a half hour flight (this is unheard of for me, the person who normally sleeps that long on a 14+ hour flight).
Now comes the drama. Yes, I did indeed miss my connecting flight. The most frustrating part about it was the fact that had the airport been more intuitively laid out, or had even one of the five people who misdirected me known what I needed to do to re-check my bags, I would have made it. I literally saw the plane taxiing away when I finally arrived at the correct gate.
Delayed flight? Check. Dragging every piece of luggage (thankfully only two teeny carry-ons and two fairly light checked bags) around the airport for two hours? Check. Missing my connecting flight? Check. Breaking down into a puddle of tears in the middle of an international terminal? I think the rule is to stop checking at breakdown number three…
Five hours into my (supposed to be) fifteen hour journey and I’d already hit all the cliche travel difficulties. It was my worst nightmare. However, somewhere between breakdowns 4 and 5 I realized something… I was still going to get there. I’d already had all the inconvenient mini-disasters hit, so it could only be better from there on.
It was an encouraging thought, and it helped shorten breakdown numero 5 just a bit. After that, everything was smooth sailing. The international version of business class is surreal. I had a two-person enclave all to myself, the entertainment choices were insanely good, my seat reclined all the way (literally, all the way. I had a bed on the plane), and the champagne was phenomenal.*
Probably the most incredible event of the trip was that I slept 8 of the 9 1/2 hours we were in the air. I woke up just long enough before landing to freshen up, eat some breakfast, and watch the my favorite scene from Guardians of the Galaxy (as I said – insanely good. They even had Downton Abbey).
The rest of it was pretty standard – currency exchange, waiting for baggage, customs, etc. While it wasn’t half the fun, getting here was quite an adventure. But it’s one I’d like to forego for quite a while, at least.
*the champagne was Maestro Tequilero. FYI.