Just Kidding! A Lesson in World Travel
One thing I have learned in my experiences as an international traveler (and I think this lesson applies to life in general, whether or not you leave your zip code) is that everything going as planned rarely makes for a good story. When things do not go as planned, however, it often results in gift – a great story – that will keep on giving for the rest of a person’s life. I have been told that India has a way of turning one’s plans upside down. Yet I will admit now that I had underestimated the potency of India’s ability to confound.
After two trips to Target and the help of my dear parents I went to bed with my bags almost entirely packed & weighed and 3 slices of Davanni’s white sauce pizza in my belly. In the morning I got my zen on in one last C2 class at CorePower Yoga, finished packing, grabbed a chai tea and farewell conversation with my 88-year-old grandfather at Starbucks, hugged family friends Tom & Sue who happened to be getting their morning coffee at the same time, bid farewell to my dear Tor Tor, went to Target one last time with my mom (for good measure), bid my dad a tearful goodbye before he went to meetings, and then jumped in the van with my mom and my luggage at noon to catch my 1:50pm flight to Chicago.
By the time my mom met up with me after parking the car and wheeling in one of my suitcases I had tried and failed to check in for my flight. The Short Story: Appaaaaaarently my flight leaves (and has always been scheduled to leave) on July the 15th which is Friday, and tomorrow. This I found out after swiping my credit card, debit card, and passport in the ticket machine only to be told thrice that “There is no record of departure for A. Schumacher”. Did my purchase not go through? Was I one day late? Is this the right airline? I handed over the card I used to purchase my ticket and after some research the woman behind the ticket counter informed me, “this flight leaves tomorrow”. Me: “Seriously!?”. Ticket Lady: “Yup, see you tomorrow.” Which I knew really meant “Yes, ya dummy, now get out of my security line.” Not really, she was nice. I laughed out loud as I walked to a section of chairs and waited for my mom, who had a good laugh too when she heard the news.
I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. This day was a gift. I got to spend more time with and get more hugs from my parents (including a movie & walk with Mom), Tea Garden with Tori, got to hear my brother laugh when I told him this story, and got to spend one more summer day in my amazing hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
This morning I woke up nervous and scared – afraid that India would be too much, what was I getting myself into, and how was I going to get through this year away from the friends and comforts of home? I am going to bed tonight with a calm mind, happy heart, and tired body. Tomorrow, I will be ready. I feel so blessed and deeply grateful for all of the thoughts and prayers and support that people are sending my way as I begin this adventure.
So good night, sweet dreams, and I’ll let you all know when I have arrived safely to New Delhi on Saturday evening!