Traveling Backwards

airplanewithmeLast spring my short trip to Portland turned into a real test of my ability to stay positive. I left my house just after dawn in Southern California and drove north an hour to Ontario Airport. I got on the plane and out came the captain (never a good sign) who said there was a minor repair that needed to be made to our plane…the good news was that we could get off the plane to wait….more good news was that there was plenty of time for my connecting flight…additional good news was that it was an easy fix.

So we deplaned to the terminal, no need to panic yet! I watched out the window and observed the single mechanic taking his time with the engine cover open. Good he isn’t rushing I thought. Then an announcement comes over the loud-speaker that the repair is taking longer than expected, but we are still good on time. A little while later we are invited back on the airplane and confidently buckle up for take off…not so fast. Out comes the captain again. The good news is that the connecting flight for the 42 of us that need to make that flight is waiting for us…how nice. HOWEVER, the repair is done but there is a LOT of paperwork to do before we can take off. Hummmmm

The next bad news…the paperwork is taking too long and the connecting flight to Portland can wait no longer. But more good news, they have found a way to get all 42 of us to Portland, even though it is the end of Spring Break and all the flights are full. The bad news is that our new flight, after we finally get to Sacramento and wait there for 3 hours, is back to SAN DIEGO, 60 miles south of my house! We are already on the plane and there is no other way to get to Portland that day. There is a special memorial ceremony for my husband’s sister the next day that they rearranged for my attendance…so what to do but do what they say and stay on the plane!

Now I could have gotten mad, and did for a flash of a second, but instead the group of us supported each other in small ways. One woman let me use her charger for my phone in Sacramento (NEVER pack your charger in your checked bag!) Another young mother was traveling with her little child…very little…so I shared a table with her in the crowded restaurant. She was inspiringly calm and had her hands more full than the rest of us.

By the time we were at the airport in San Diego (the sun has now set), we were all having a good chuckle about the whole thing! It made for a very long day and my relatives in Portland had to pick me up late at night instead of the middle of the day, but they too were gracious about it.

One woman started to complain “Well I will never get back these twelve hours!” She was right, but how to spend those twelve hours was up to her. She could have spent the time in anger and frustration, or accepted what was out of our hands and looked at the adventure of it. Do you have any idea what staying in a state of stress for twelve hours will do to your body!

Travel these days is just not as much fun as it used to be, but this day was over the top. The funny thing is that the rest of the trip continued in the same pattern. When we left the memorial service the next day, we made one wrong turn and ended up on a freeway crossing the river with no way to turn around…a 30 minute delay getting home to where people were waiting for us. But I got to see part of Portland I wouldn’t have seen otherwise! The day after that my friend Cheryl Maloney (yes, that Cheryl) and I were walking to a neighborhood restaurant, using the app on my phone to guide us…and it sent us in the wrong direction! Luckily we figured it out and decided it was just how this trip of mine was going!

The day after that I drove to a nearby town to visit relatives. Again I was relying on my phone to guide me there…and home. HOWEVER, the phone went dead during my visit and I had to rely on instincts to get me back home…since I couldn’t even call for directions! I just relaxed and used my wits to get me back home.

So it seemed my whole trip was trying to spin me around and confuse me…but I just let it go each time and enjoyed the trip. It became a very different adventure than I had planned, and I got everywhere I wanted to go…except that I had to travel backwards to get everywhere!

Think of this next time you travel and things go a bit wrong. Do you choose twelve hours of stress or twelve hours of adventure! I pick adventure and my body says “thank you.”