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August 8, 2014

The Traveler’s Tales, Part 1: Simple Survival

I spend a lot of time traveling… too much! But I love teaching this Togetherness stuff to you all! So travel I must.

Travel

Travel woes! 230 pounds of workshop materials I hauled to the Rio Grande Valley due to an electrical storm in Arkansas.

As you know by now, I’m occasionally struck with the urge to share my adventures in life here on the blog. Currently, I’m in the midst of what I call my summer Power Weeks: 15 cities in 7 weeks. Or something like that. I stopped counting. I know some of you, too, travel heavily, so let’s start with what I learned last week en route to New Orleans.

Just because you carry on your luggage does NOT mean that your luggage will land at your destination. Especially if you are in dreaded boarding zone 5, as I often am on US Air. Okay, I know, I know, airline loyalty and all that, but I’m loyal to one thing: DIRECT FLIGHTS. In the midst of what should have been a simple direct flight from Reagan National in DC to Louis Armstrong in New Orleans, I encountered:

  • Forced luggage gate check, and then
  • Insane summer thunderstorms, which resulted in
  • Two and one half hours on the runway, which led me to
  • A crew that timed out and could no longer fly our plane, which meant
  • Deplaning back to the terminal, and last but not least
  • A cancelled flight, meaning
  • My gate getting moved around at least five times, which made me
  • You will see… Keep reading!

But there were some silver linings amongst this 10 hour ordeal:

  • I bumped into a good friend’s husband and we had a beer and calamari (so much for clean eating when traveling!)
  • I bumped into a college friend’s little sister, who was on her first trip away from her baby (so I was able to give some working-mama pep talks!)
  • I got bumped to first class for the flight that finally left for New Orleans at 9 PM (eight hours after the original departure time). Hooray! I don’t think I’ve ever flown first class; I could get used to that!

But, but, but, when I finally got to New Orleans at 2 AM Eastern Time, that rollerboard I was forced to gate check was not with our plane. Awesome. Not.

After filing a lost bag report, which took over an hour, I found a nice taxi driver, did a little digging at a 24-hour Walgreen’s and got to my hotel at 3:30 AM EST, only to have to get up in 3 short hours to train 125 teachers. In a sundress. And flip-flops.

My Takeaways:

  • Add the following essentials to my backpack in case I have a forced gate check—glasses, contact solution, toothbrush, deodorant and some kind of change of undergarments (I’ll leave it at that).
  • Always travel in an outfit that I could present in, if so forced (and thanks to the folks at FirstLine who brought me a belt to “dress up” my sundress). So goes traveling in leggings.
  • Look for people you know at the airport. The beer and fried food made things a lot more fun.

Wish me better luck on my next trip!

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