Some of my family had been talking about taking a trip to Jamaica since 2014. When talk about taking the trip this year started, I left it at that “just talk”. I refused to get excited about it until dates were set and flight tickets were bought. Normally I’m really good about getting to the airport early, but for the Jamaica trip, getting to the airport was a mess.
Time 7:57 am
I bolt upright from the couch and the first thing I check is the time. 7:57 am. On a normal day waking up before 8 is a non-issue. Today, however is different. Today I’m going on vacation and my flight leaves in 33 minutes. I should’ve been at the airport hours ago, but I stayed up binge watching 13 reasons why. I had a silly theory that going to bed at my normal time would cause me to miss my flight.
Heart racing I Jump off the couch, change clothes, brush my teeth, wash my face, grab my bags and head out the door.
Time 8:03 am
I send a group text to my mom, grandma, cousin, and auntie, letting them know I woke up too late. I tell them how I might not make the flight to Jamaica, and how I want to cry. At this point my hands are shaking, and I can feel myself becoming more upset with myself.
“I’m going to miss my flight. I can’t believe this!”
“You had one job, all you had to do was get to the airport, hop on a plane and fly to Jamaica.”
“I’m going to be stuck in Austin for 9 days, while my mom and everyone else has fun in Jamaica.”
“I had one job. All I had to do was get to the airport on time.”
Various phrases of disbelief and frustration played around in my head as I tried to drive to the airport by memory.
Time 8:12 am
I thought I missed the exit for the airport, but I ended up getting off the freeway at least 4 exits too soon. I had to go through a long looping u turn in order to get back on the right track. While waiting at a stop light I pull up directions for the airport on my phone.
My phone decided to act up on this particular day and gave me half the directions to the airport. It took me to a random street and told me I had “arrived at my destination”. The airport wasn’t anywhere nearby, but luckily I knew where I was by now.
Time 8:21 am
*sigh of relief* I make it to the airport, but I still have to park, get my ticket, go through security and find the correct gate. I drive around for a moment, and pull into a parking spot, and at the end of the row, there was a bus waiting to take people to the airport building. The man welcomes me on the bus, hands me a card with my parking row, and he begins driving to his next stop. After stopping for one more person he tells us that “he’s running behind schedule, and we won’t be making any more stops”. I send another group text letting everyone know I’m on the bus.
Time 8:26 am
The airport ticket kiosk, starts playing with my feelings, and refuses to give me my ticket. I keep trying but the kiosk continues to block my efforts. Eventually a very nice lady helps me out. I show her my passport, and she tells me a quick story about how she went to Jamaica a few months ago. She has a quick chat with her supervisor asking if she can let me through, even though the flight begins boarding in 4 minutes. Since I don’t have any bags to check her supervisor approves. The lady hands me my ticket, and I walk as quickly as possible to the security checkpoint.
Including myself the line was 3 people long. Other than getting my hair pat down, security check point was an unbelievable breeze.
Time 8:30 am
*quick prayer of thanks* I make it to the correct gate just as they begin boarding. I send one last text letting everyone know I made it to the flight, and I’ll let them know when I land.
Moral of the story
- Go to bed at your regular time and wake up early
- Stay up all night, and do not take a “quick nap”
- Always pack your bags the day before your trip