Last week, Alan and I went on a much-needed vacation to Mexico. Although it was only January, the winter was already wreaking havoc with my mood. I got through each day of bitter cold temperatures and snow by telling myself, “Well… at least you’ll be getting away to some sunshine and warmth soon.”
Well-stocked with plenty of sunblock, my kindle loaded with books, I was ready. I even bought new bathing suits. Oh, and I got a spray tan, since I always burn in the sun. (There’s just something about looking tan that makes you feel
goodbetter in the dead of winter).
But my dreams of an ideal getaway dissipated from the time I got to the airport.
It was the worst day of airline travel in a long, long time, filled with more cancellations than delays due to a backlog of trouble from bad weather across the nation. The plane was there, but there was no pilot. And then when there finally was a pilot there was no co-pilot.
I’ll cut to the chase: our flight, scheduled to depart at 11AM, did not leave until almost 6PM. The plane was there, but there was no pilot. And then when there finally was a pilot there was no co-pilot. The day was filled with angry, frustrated travelers who kept holding onto the hope that their flight would eventually get out. While there is always the option to fly to your destination by private jet charter, most people of us only remember this once we are in the middle of a situation like this. Next time we travel, I’ll probably do a bit of research into private plane rentals beforehand to see if that could save of the hassle of flying commercially. We were lucky to get on a flight at all. Ours was the last Jet Blue flight out before the airline shut down operations for 17 hours.
I dare not bore you with the details of being stuck in the airport that day…
Although, when I got to the resort, this beautiful parrot brought a smile to my face
Reliving it is just way too exhausting, especially since I am currently suffering with an awful case of Montezuma’s revenge as I write this and my stomach cramps up just thinking about it.
Which leads me to lessons learned. No, nothing to do with not eating the food in Mexico. My stomach may be protesting, but hubby and plenty of people remained unscathed. But I came away with more than just a bad tummy. I came away with some hard-won realizations.
- I love traveling but hate everything to do with getting there – beginning with packing. Packing practically gives me hives. I obsess that I’m bring too much, then pare down and fear I’m bringing too little.
- And really, can anyone find anything the least bit pleasant about flying on an airplane these days (except that it gets them where they want to go)? Broken seats, aggressive travelers fighting for overhead space, lousy food, TVs with no reception, screaming babies. (I always get one or more sitting directly in front or behind me. Always.)
- Good weather is not a given. Sometimes you get lucky…and sometimes you don’t. I can remember vacations when we had glorious weather, but unfortunately remember more when it was rainier/colder/hotter/stormier than we bargained for or ever expected. Rain and chilly in Mexico? Well, not normally like we got this trip, but then again, the weather is never really normal when you want it to be.
- It’s easy making new friends when you travel. They are usually like-minded people, and everyone is relaxed and in a good mood. Then again, there are those people who prefer to keep to themselves and not socialize, and that’s fine, too.
- Participating in a sweat lodge session with a Shaman was a much deeper and more moving experience than I ever expected it to be.
- When you get Montezuma’s revenge, the worst place for it to introduce itself is on an airplane.
- There’s no place like home (see above).