Day 1 of being a nomad:
As a young traveler, my father instilled in me the most basic of concepts in regards to traveling: have a plan, be on time.
From this I’m actually very good at planning ahead but sometimes plans go awry. Yesterday was not exception; in fact yesterday was the complete culmination.
I began the day eager to move. My heart was singing and my legs kicking. My restless spirit was on the move from 0400 to 1700. I couldn’t sit still.
I went to the airport and sat at the terminal with no problem. My flight was on time.
I was greeted by a man and his two kids. His wife sat with them leaving him with myself and a stranger. He seems like a nice man but unfortunately when he opened his mouth my eyes watered. I would lull myself to sleep to be awoken by his mouth opening and closing.
Its a six hour flight and I’m landing at 1000. I have a train to catch on the other side of the city at 0615. I need every minute of sleep I can get.
So I get off the plane grab my bag and head to the bus terminals. My instructions are a bit nebulous but I go with my gut: my hotel is near the station. I put my tunes on and I wait watching the scenery pass me by.
Suddenly, I have the urge to pull up my maps application. As we pull into the station I call my dad asking him where the hotel is.
“By the airport.”
Its already about 11. I have to wake up in five hours and with the time difference from New York to California I’m only two hours away from pulling an all-nighter.
The drivers take pity on me and give me two free tickets to and from the station. I get off the bus exhausted, frustrated and confused. I get on the shuttle to my hotel. Its about 1200 now. I have to wake up in four hours.
I get to the hotel and there’s probably about forty people in the reception line. My dad tells me to go express and show my military ID. I do that and my credit card is declined. No rhyme or reason. Its about 1230 now.
I’m debating at this point if it’s even worth it to sleep.
My dad steps in to pay but I’m frustrated. I make my own paycheck and my parents shouldn’t have to help. I’m embarrassed. Especially since I’m throwing a small fit.
I have been up for twenty-four hours.
I get to the room and I call my bank which is closed for the day. I have to call tomorrow. I decide to take the quickest shower I’ll get out and wake up at 0300 because I suddenly realize that if the shuttle leaves every twenty minutes with a ten minute ride and the bus to the train station leaves every thirty and it’s a forty five minute ride I need to get up as early as possible.
So I set every electronic in the room to wake me up at 0300. No make up. I need my sleep.
I do get up at 0300 and I pack and get ready. I feel refreshed. I have enough time for a nap. Which is wonderful because the phone to wake me up goes off at 0400, effectively allowing me to leave earlier than I intended.
Here’s to hoping for a better second day!