Approximately 26 hours ✈️
So the night finally arrived. Sinead collected me in the early hours of the morning Every five seconds we squealed with excitement. For some reason we decided not to sleep, probably the worst idea ever with the jet lag that was to follow. Sinead’s dad dropped us to the airport. The minute were out of the car Sinead realised she forgot her purse with all her cards. 👀 I can’t decide if this was funny or not. I supposed it added a trickle of Adventure to the roughing it up part of our trip. We made do anyways! So we made our way towards the gate and On the first flight we got. We weren’t nearly mentally prepared for the journey ahead. Arriving in London with what was meant to be a 3 hour wait which changed to a twenty minutes rush. 🖕🏼
Please excuse any harsh language used in the following, it’s my only way of adequately expressing the stress and frustration at that time. 🌚
The 1st fuck up. This is your typical blonde first time travelling alone moment. After getting off the flight, clearly we just forgot that we had bags. We walked straight past the luggage pick up and into arrivals. We had to wait for security to escort us back through the one way door to get our bags. It was at this moment I realised how truly impatient I really am. I think the security man was more anxious dealing with me, than we were about catching our flight.
The 2nd hurdle. Both starving we decided to change 20euro into pounds to get some munch. This left us with a goldmine of 11pounds. (At least we will save some cash dolla on the way home! TG for brexit. Lol) There was a restaurant what looked like a nice veggie friendly place to go! While ordering our food, there is a gate closing announcement for our flight. A twenty minute toe twitching experience. (The food clearly more important the the flight, so we wait). The food comes with meat, for both veggies. The waiter was too busy showing off he got the order wrong. As Stressed as we were, this made him a double doggy douche bag (sorry!). Eventually our food comes out in to go boxes, 22pounds, just enough. So we sprint to the gate with burritos jumping in boxes with a serious case of the giggles, it was like something out of passport to Paris with the Olsen twins. Getting there I had an urge to turn around and go back when I realised we actually just spent 40euro on Borrito’s- that were gross mind you, and left us with serious digestive issues and cramps for the following two hours. This 40 euro was earned standing for four hours in Brown Thomas. When you put it in to context its actually hilariously frustrating. Another announcement is then made, the last call for the gate was a mistake. We had 2 hours remaining. SLICK.
The third 3rd stress. Eventually, wrecked, tired and nauseous we get on the flight. Sinead falls asleep for 3 hours and wakes up. ‘ are we there yet?’ I lolled. We hadn’t even taken off. Some technical issue had arose when taking off, which left us sitting stationary for three hours. Talk about cabin fever. So, after a long 14 hours we arrive in Vancouver with 3 minutes to our connecting flight to Maui. Keep in mind, we had to also had to wait for our bags to be transferred over. It was at this stage that I started receiving texts from all my loved ones asking had I arrived safely, ha no. This is what was looking night a two night stay in a hotel compliments of WestJet. However, they were very accommodating and actually held the flight while we went through customs and got our bags etc.
After talking to people who had been to America before on a J1 or a holiday. This was supposed to be a nightmare. I had heard numerous stories about how everyones sister’s best friend’s aunt got rejected and had to turn back. With this fear implanted in my brain, I made sure myself and Sinead had every possible document printed out. This included all our letter documents for the J1 visa, our return flights, a print out of our bank account, which was totally embarrassing considering the low amount (lol). Approaching the desk I felt like I had done something wrong, even though I hadn’t. Lining up in a panic, (late for our flight by 15 minutes at this stage), Sinead decided to call me a terrorist and asked me what was in bag with a loud voice. At that moment in time I couldn’t appreciate her sense of humour because I felt like if he looked there might be something suspicious, even though i’m totally innocent, such a mindfuck of intimidation. Anyways I laugh after, the guy was an absolute dote, the nicest of nice and with no problemo’s I was on my way to Hawaii.
I wish I could put into words the feeling of relief when I stood on that plane. When the two Irish that were delayed came on board, the total of twenty or thirty bodies began to clap. And although, this was supposed to be a moment of embarrassment, I genuinely felt like we deserved this applaud. This is when it felt real. Even though we hadn’t seen darkness for 20 hours and our sleeping pattern was all over the place. The face’s of the people on this flight were so bright, the crew all wearing lays and the captain speaking pigeon (The colloquial native Hawaiin language). So finally, flying into the sunset.
I can now finally understand the saying that
You cant appreciate the light without a little bit of darkness.. 😏