reverie v. reality

trips, trials, & tribulations

I think at this point in my blogging journey, it's no secret that I'm a bit anxiety-prone and overly-prepared. So you can imagine that for a week-long trip out of the country, I was doing my level best to make sure I had everything ironed out perfectly, so I wouldn't hit any unexpected and unnecessary bumps.

Well, I think the universe decided that this trip in particular was going to be a test of my ability to go with the flow (an ability I unfortunately lack) because not only was my first flight delayed severely enough that I ended up missing my original transfer flight, but I also ended up routed onto two other transfer flights and I barely made the final one because we had deboarded as they were boarding! 1

And then I arrived at my destination to discover that my baggage had not arrived with me & that they couldn't really tell me where it was because it had passed between airlines and everyone was giving me a different story.

I was actually calmer about this than I expected. I think this was in part because I had been so stressed about the initial flight delay and not knowing what my new arrival time would be. (They said they couldn't tell me until we arrived at the new airport......okay, but how do I know if I need to book it to a new flight or if I have time to go to a help2 desk? Ahhhhhhhh!)

But the people I was visiting were very stressed about my lost bag and this was their WEDDING WEEKEND. On top of that, we had to leave at a certain time the next day, so the uncertainty of when the bag would be arriving was worrying everyone and I was not wanting to add to my friends stress levels any more than circumstances dictated, so I was trying to remain very calm. Luckily, they have an incredibly charming friend who in her own words, "loves drama" and volunteered to go to the airport the next morning to shake them down for my bag.

Would you believe it? She did it. We armed her with as much information as possible and her name as an authorized individual on the missing baggage report form so they couldn't immediately turn her away. She went in and texted us within the hour that she had it. Astounding. (And she's a fabulous storyteller so her recounting of the process was absolutely hilarious.)

Anyway, issue fixed. I've got all my stuff now and I'm soooo well-prepared, right? I figure everything is smooth sailing from here. Cue the morning of the wedding. I wake up and take a quick shower and realize upon plugging in my hairdryer that I've brought a plug adapter but NOT a voltage converter. The hairdryer is now refusing to work. I'm lucky I didn't fuck the power up anywhere in the house. (Mortifying.) I sit there & stare at the wall for about ten minutes, kicking myself for forgetting the difference between a damn plug adapter and a voltage converter.

I frantically google my curling iron to figure out if it's dual voltage. No dice. Luckily one of the other guests had a hairdryer I was able to borrow, but my hairdryer is kind of specific and so when I use anyone else's now I feel a bit like a baby who's been raised on iPads and then given a book. Can I turn the page? Sure, but you might find me trying to swipe over and over again through force of habit.

Did my hair look how I hoped it would for this illustrious day? Ugh, noooooo. But I managed to salvage it generally, and I was obviously not the center of attention for the day anyway, so I figured as long as I didn't look like I'd just rolled out of bed, it was probably forgivable. And at least I was able to wear the outfit I picked out, because there was absolutely a period of time where I was about to have to borrow a dress and my friend's friends were all so lovely and immediately threw several options my way, but it really is nice just to have something I'm very comfortable in.

The rest of the day went wonderfully.3 I'm a terrible introvert, but everyone was so damn nice (& I think they knew I was a little out of my element, so anytime the people I had been clinging to wandered off, someone else would appear to check in & chat with me). By the end of the night, I was dancing in & out of a few different circles. It was such a good time! The venue was beautiful, my friends looked absolutely wonderful & the ceremony was just gorgeous. There were a few traditions that were new to me, which I really enjoyed learning. There's a dance to end the night & it made me laugh because about five people ran up to me and shouted over the music, "Oh, wait, do you know about the final dance? No? That's okay, that's okay, just follow our lead!"

All this to say: it’s been an incredible time, being here. I hate that there were any snags at all along the way, but I think all of the positives completely overshadow the chaos that started the trip.

It's so weird, you know, when you haven't seen someone in so long and you worry so much about whether you'll get on the same. And then it's perfect - like, better than you even dreamed. I've always felt like it's not so much how much you see a person over the years (because sometimes life gets busy), but more about how, when you can meet up again, is it easy? Easy to get back to where you were? Is it comfortable? Do you feel like almost no time has passed?

My friend and I stood in her kitchen and just stared at each other, saying, "This is so weird, that we're just in the kitchen together after so long....but also it feels like we do this all the time? Like this is just another Friday night ritual for us." And we all stayed up until three in the morning, just chatting and laughing. So funny, because we were all exhausted and I was sure we would pass out at ten thirty.

I miss my bed and my cats and my space, but I'm sad to have to go. I can't wait to develop the photos I took, so I can look back on everything again.

I wish we lived closer, so we could do it all again so much sooner. I wish we could grab lunch on the weekends and stop by one another’s places for a quick catch-up. I bawled after I passed out of sight of my friends when I was leaving. Some other passenger who was walking next to me laughed a bit and said, ”And that’s why you never say goodbye to people at the airport - you start crying and you just can’t stop!”

I was trying desperately to dab the tears away with tissues as I told him, ”I know, I know, but I haven’t seen them in ten years & it’s a long way, so I think I would be crying right now either way, just knowing I’m not going to see them tomorrow morning,” to which he said, “Well, don’t wait so long next time!”

I concur.

How lucky we are to have bonds that last across time and space.

Good luck out there,

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  1. When I say barely, I mean I rounded the corner and the attendant said, "Are you for [redacted] flight?" and I said, "Yes!!!" and she said, "Oh, god, okay - quick, I think we can still get you on the flight." And then we genuinely sprinted down the path together.

  2. Accidentally put hell desk first and frankly almost left it because the help desk that I went to in between was truly unhelpful in a way that had me wanting to scream.

  3. Other than my card not being accepted at the bar, but that ended up not being a huge issue because every time I ended up at the counter, someone else would swoop in to pay for my drink before I could even get it out & therefore I didn't even realize my card wasn't applicable until the latter half of the evening. I offered multiple times to buy other people's beverages who had been so kind to me on the trip, but I was either rebuffed (kindly) or laughed at outright (kindly).

#diary #personal