It Took Two Days to Get Here

I figured I would document my two days of travel as I made my way to Riva. Here goes nothing!

CMH: So of course I arrived the standard two hours early…thanks mom and dad.

I don’t usually say this but they were right. The airport is under some construction so being early was actually necessary. Before we even got to the ticketing counter I was thinking about switching my carry-on bag. Upon arriving to the counter the staff member asked if I was an unaccompanied minor.

She probably assumed that by the annoyed look on my face and my mother asking a ton of questions for me.

My checked luggage felt extremely heavy and thanks to mom and dad…packing was rough. Mom was being mindful of her mental checklist and dad was getting me to take everything I own! The three of us ended up packing two checked bags…one was 50 pounds and the other 71 pounds!! 71 freaking pounds!! Of course I had to take some things out since the limit for international travel is 70 pounds. SMH.

Once I finished embarrassing myself to the staff it was time for the goodbyes. Once I looked at my dad I started crying…he didn’t. I haven’t seen him cry before, I was selfishly hoping he would. My mom prayed with me and I walked away.

To pass the time I started watching Different World from the beginning of the first season. I’ve already watched every episode but it was calming to watch so that helped. It kept me focused when random birds started chillin’ in the gate. WTF? Columbus was pretty entertaining. There was a black family traveling. The mother wrapped her daughters hair before their flight. It was something from a painting every black family would have in the bathroom. A little black girl dressed in all pink sitting between her mothers legs getting her hair wrapped. Then a white family walks over near me and their youngest child runs into one of the chairs…stumbling like a drunken college student. I tried not to laugh but it was so hard. She barely made it to her seat without falling on her face. She was at the age…well I’m not good at guessing the ages of children…either way she was adorable and running into that chair was something I would see on Ridiculousness.

In pure Ohio fashion I saw a woman I went to high school with walking towards me. By the look on her face, she confirmed that we did know each other. We made some small talk knowing that we haven’t been friends since high school and that wasn’t going to change now. Both of us wrapped up our small talk and proceeded to stay on our iPhones until we boarded our flight. Yes, we are on the same flight. Of course we are!

We looked up and two older couples were sitting in front of us…all four people were complaining about getting to the airport early even though they didn’t need to. One woman told her husband she wasn’t sitting in the seat he picked out for her so she sat on the other side of him. Another woman, married to the other man, chatted about how she should have worn a white camisole with her top instead of the teal one. We, the woman from high school, both discussed how it can be awkward sitting next to a stranger on a flight. People want to make conversation and get to know you. Oddly enough I love that part about traveling…random conversations with people I’ll never see again, and in the moment I just agreed with her instead of sharing my secret love for chatting with strangers. When I was younger I would have deep conversations with people in waiting rooms and while my parents would get their car serviced. I remember talking to a woman, maybe 45, about life. I’m talking a deep conversation and at that time I must have been 12. What in the world, right?!

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Next stop…Orlando.

MCO: Orlando was a blur. Time moved slowly but once we boarded it seemed like the time flew by, lol! Once I arrived I saw that my flight was delayed from 2:12PM to 2:51PM. Since I had more time I decided to sit down for lunch and I even had time to buy a book bag…the bag I brought was awful for traveling. Lesson learned. While I was eating I got an update that the flight was delayed to 3:22PM. So after talking to my mom and eating a mediocre meal at the airport Outback I went to the gate to see what he hold up was. Well…due to the delay my connecting flight from JFK to Milan (MXP) was not going to happen. Not on time at least. So after talking to some random Delta staff member on one of those phones I got the flight worked out and would leave JFK at 8:30PM instead of 6:43PM. Talking to a staff member in person had to happen because their kiosk was spazzing out and didn’t help at all. While in line to speak to a human being a couple got in line. They spoke French. When the staff member said that people could only get in line after using one of their disgusting phones the couple looked confused. Luckily the woman in line in front of me, traveling to France, translated for them. I still don’t understand why you have to talk to someone on the phone all to get in line afterwards, it just takes up time and makes people frustrated.

Once I thought I was good to go…lightning struck…literally. Due to the lighting the boarding had to stop. When boarding stops after a delay people act a mess! They were hovering over the entrance by the doors like they would miraculously open just for them. Oh, this happened with half of the passengers already on the plane, SMH. They didn’t share how long the delay would be so I sat my happy self-down. Didn’t seem worth it to stand around for an unknown period of time. About twenty minutes later we boarded and for the first time ever the staff at the gate called my name. I got so nervous!! I really wanted to get on the flight and make my connection. They asked if I could change seats with a mother so she could sit with her child. I purposely picked a seat by the window and near a restroom. (I had a bad airplane restroom experience going to NACURH in Fargo, North Dakota…so I learned my lesson). It was a window so I decided to not sit next to a small child yearning for their mother and just pray that my bladder cooperated.

After boarding the pilot said that the flight time, originally 3 hours, would be cut to 2 hours! Thank God!! I could hear people celebrating the good news with their seat mates.

Now that that experience is behind me…next stop…JFK.

JFK: We taxied in and it was obvious…people would be running to their next gate. At one point a man waiting to exit yelled, “Can you all hurry up?” I don’t blame him. We had a delayed flight and if the connecting flight couldn’t be changed, people would be booking it to their next flight. I really hate this part about flying. Some people genuinely have a flight to catch in the next 30 minutes and most people still get up knowing that they aren’t in a rush.

MXP: I haven’t flown overnight before. It’s not as glamorous in the economy class as it is in those fancy seats where you can actually lay down comfortably. I was fortunate to have a nice seat mate, she helped me navigate the remote to control the TV. She let me awkwardly graze my butt on her legs as I made my way to the restroom. She even taught me to always go with the beef dish instead of the lasagna…too much cheese for a flight. Once I arrived I received a text from AT&T about international plans. I got the lowest one so I could have unlimited text and make calls for $1.00/minute instead of for $2.50/minute which is what I had with my current domestic plan. It was nice to talk to my mother while I waited for my luggage. Waiting for my bags was not bad…mainly because I didn’t have any bags to retrieve. I went to the lost and found desk and the staff member confirmed that my bags would be delivered in the next three days. I wanted to cry so badly. All I wanted to do was get on the bus with my bags and arrive at the villa, with bags in hand. Before I shed a tear, I remembered, crying isn’t going to change anything.So no tears, instead I took the information the staff member gave me and went on with my day. Daniela, the managing director, ended up coming to the airport instead of having me ride the bus. I really needed that. It was like she could sense that something would go wrong and she was right.

Two days in the air finally come to an end and I have a lot to look forward to in the next few months.

Originally published at on August 17, 2015.

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