The time has come, the day is now, wheels up, I’m headed eastbound and straight out of American land! Bernice and I are off to conquer the world together. Pause. I bet some readers are asking themselves, “Who is Bernice? I thought Rita was traveling alone?” Well everyone meet Bernice!She is 45L of fun and always has my back.
Y’all I’m a pierced-nose, “May You Stay Forever Young”-tatted, multicolored hair-dyed, world-traveling, peace-promoting, flower child. It shouldn’t come as a surprise I name inanimate objects.
“Why Bernice?” some may ask, with a shaking head and rolling eyes, (soon y’all will come to realize sometimes it’s best to not ask questions.) Well I know there will inevitably be times of frustration when I can’t find an item in my pack, or moments of tired desperation, when the world is heavy enough on my shoulders without another 20 pounds to weigh me down. Thus I can channel my inner dodge ball….
My adventure has just begun and what better way than with a case of the hiccups. To set the stage, Saturday my cousin got married in NY, after a Myrtle Beach flight cancellation, hurricane Matthew dodging, and miracle flight relocating, the fam jam drove to RDU in the rainy (certainly not Sprinkles) hours of Friday morning and made it to NY. Jump ahead to Monday and my parents were scheduled to fly out of Laguardia at 6:30pm, myself out of JFK at 10pm. We all arrived at Laguardia, Where I hugged the parents goodbye, then headed for the shuttle which took me to JFK ~cue tears.~ Upon realizing this was the moment I was officially traveling alone, I prayed to the 27 club, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” wouldn’t play on my shuffle, because I knew I couldn’t handle Jong Denver’s boarder-line melancholy pleas about being whisked away on a plane.
“Luckily” I had a good distraction. When we were about 10 minutes from JFK our driver makes a little announcement, “I don’t want to alarm anyone, it’s probably nothing but we are having engine trouble,” so we stopped and sat on the side of the road for a bit. Great. We got to rolling again and I heard him on the phone (with an assumed supervisor) saying something about holding the pedal down but not getting full power. Greaat.
Well we made it. As soon as I disembarked the possibly rolling deathtrap, a smile of Botox level force became plastered to my face. The upward pointing corners of my mouth refusing to droop even as I went through security and proceeded to the gate… or at least to the board displaying flight and gate numbers. My flight was not posted, but as I was three hours early for boarding I didn’t think much of it. The time got to be 8:00, one hour before boarding was to begin, still nothing. Greaaaat. I asked a TSA officer what the deal was, and her only advice was to leave the secure area and go all the way back to the Thomas Cook airline desk for help. Sh*t!
With chest heaving and sweat forming I hightailed it back to the desk. As I began to explain how I checked in online but still had no gate number, the desk attendant curtly cleared up my confusion stating, “yeah we don’t actually do online check in.” With a new boarding pass in hand, I dashed off, once more passed through security, and in typical Serra travel style HURRIED along to my gate. (I am certain my PR for the 1500m dash has occurred in an airport, whether it was ALT, ILM, or MYR I have flow out and through them all.)
**Side note: the first time I went through security I was told to keep my shoes and jacket on and to take nothing out of my bag; no iPads, no liquids, no NOTHING. As strange as this was I didn’t bother to ask questions because I know when it comes to TSA no compliance, no dice. The second time I went through security the instructions were the complete and udder opposite. Hey TSA y’all probably wouldn’t think us passengers were a bunch of mindless cattle to heard along if y’all didn’t act like schizophrenic bears when it came to security procedures. Okay end rant.
While I’m sure everyone is on the edge of their seat (or toilet… Its okay, I’ve faced fact that this is where some of y’all read my blog posts) wondering if I made it. Well have no fear I made my flight and it has already touched down safely!
Anyone of these instances leading up to takeoff could have been looked upon as a bad omen, forewarning of peril. However, for a person such as myself who believes music is religion and Bob Dylan’s the Pope, all you need is a song (a song is all you need.) Well as I boarded the not quite so magic bus, what was blaring through the speakers? The happy-go-lucky sounds of “Rambling Man” and just like that, thanks to some of my favorite brothers I knew everything was going to be al(l)right!
Before I sign off a quick note, when y’all read my posts know that y’all will be experiencing “jet lag.” Aka I will always post about a city/ country after I have left. Now I’m not actually conceited enough to think I will accumulate a crazy, world traveling stalker if I post in real time. (I mean it’s me. I whole-heartedly believe the things that come out of my mouth make people think I’m crazy half of the time… or is it I half-heartedly believe people think I’m crazy all the time…) Either way better safe than shoved in the trunk of a foreign car!
But wait, there’s more!
TBV Travel Tips
1. Backpacks are measured in liters and range greatly in size. I went with the 45L because after scavenging different travel blogs the consensus was any bag larger than 50L carries a good chance of being too large to be a carry-on.
2. When flying internationally wear a jacket with a hood. In all my experiences traversing the Atlantic by air, each passenger was given a small pillow and blanket. (We are talking small like if your typical bedroom pillow was a sick of gum, this would be a tick tack.) In the last 45 minutes of my flight I realized if I put my hood on and shoved the pillow inside of it I could rest easy. No more wrestling with a plush little devil to stay under my noggin. Sure I might have looked stupid but in my experience the “cool” are uncomfortable while the dweebs are serene.