It’s been a while since I have done a throwback Thursday, so I thought I would take a break from my tales of last month in the USA/Canada, and look back on my 2013 trip to America, specifically the portion of it I did by myself. Aka, the return flight home.
I had just done a month of Trek America, with my best friend Naomi and a bunch of other lovely travellers, aka a month in a van where we were together 24/7 (if you’re intrigued as to what that’s like, I highly recommend you follow Jessica Wray on Snapchat – she’s a travel blogger and trek tour leader) and we had finished in San Francisco. Naomi was staying on in San Fran with a different friend who had flown out later, but I was going to be flying home.
After a month of sharing tents and hotel rooms in the desert, up mountains, in America’s sexiest hotel (we didn’t realize this until we got there), I said goodbye to Naomi and for the first time in a while, was by myself. Being alone in a single room was unexpectedly confusing. All this space? Just for… Me? But who will wake me up in the night thinking she was trying to put on a backpack?
I reveled in laying width ways across the bed, leaving my clothes in annoying places strewn about the room, and basically acting like I had never been in a hotel room before. To be fair, I think it really was only the second time I had ever had a hotel room all to myself. Yes, I’d been at University, so knew how to organize myself, but the feeling of freedom at this point was completely different to leaving home because I wasn’t around my parents 24/7.
This feeling lasted all of five minutes as I realized I was completely and utterly bored. I had to find ways to entertain myself constantly; my newfound independence was incredibly strange at first, and I did find myself almost talking to my imaginary camp mates at times, but it was only one day of this before I had to go back to reality, so I tried to make the most of it.
I only had one morning alone before my shuttle to the airport, so I had breakfast and then spent a few hours wandering around the city centre, (perhaps into a few shops), then I checked out of my hotel, got to the airport and checked into my flight, then caught the first leg of my return easy peasy… Blissfully unaware of what was about to come.
The weather was bad as we approached Minneapolis St Paul airport, where I knew I only had one hour to make the transfer flight to London, and unfortunately for me, the airport had to be closed. We circled around, but eventually started running out of fuel, so we went to the next closest airport to fill up, and once we got back the airport had opened, and my flight had left.
I’d seen a lot of episodes of airport, and I knew that it was often first come first serve in these occasions on getting on the next flight. And damn it, I was getting on that flight, whenever it was. Probably a few hours away, I guessed.
I managed to get a ticket for the next flight out to London. Unluckily for me, that wasn’t for another 24 hours.
24 hours, just me, in some random airport in America. Great.
I grabbed one of those weird large cushion bed things they give out to poor people that get stuck overnight in airports and attempted to sleep in an always light airport lounge. That didn’t go well, so I amused myself in other ways. The TV they had on wasn’t my first choice… It was an informational video I suppose designed to show people as they leave the airport, all about the safety features of the airport. I must have seen it about 8 times. I knew that bloody video word for word.
Anyway, I made it through the 24 hours, and on to my return flight home safe and sound, though extremely tired.
My New Year’s Resolution was to do more solo travel. After the fail of 2013, I have managed to complete successful flights alone, and I have a two hour commute each way to work at the moment, which I (just about) also manage. Basically, no I was not lucky that time, but I can’t wait to give it a proper go.
Maybe without the flight bit though.
What do you prefer? Solo travel / group travel?