My friend Eric sent me a text message the morning of our flight asking where I was. I had just gotten out of bed and it made me laugh. He had probably confused 12am with 12pm, thinking our flight left in the afternoon rather than the evening.
As the more experienced traveler of the two, I realized I would be fielding a lot of these minor issues. The more you travel, the more experienced you become. He probably hadn’t even checked the ticket the night before. To set him straight, I looked up the departure time of our reservation.
And it was at this point I was reminded of an important traveling lesson. You should always check your ticket the night before. Never assume anything.
I was 80 miles from the airport and my flight was at 12:10pm. My bags weren’t packed, I wasn’t dressed or showered, and my dirty laundry was sitting in a pile. I had roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes before the plane took off, but the gate would close an hour before departure and I had at least an hour and a half drive ahead of me.
No one thought it make it, including myself, until maybe after I passed the Golden Gate Bridge. Even then I was only giving myself 50/50 odds.
It was a series of lucky breaks, light traffic and green lights that allowed me to get to Bangkok. Of course, I need to thank Laine and Nate for meeting me curbside and Eric for taking it all in stride. But also, importantly, the woman in the black Toyota Matrix at the bottom of Octavia. I shouldn’t have cut into your lane, I know, but I really appreciate you waving me in.
On every trip I learn something different- and it’s the generally the bus breakdowns, the communication problems, and the unexpected challenges that make it interesting. I’ll admit that I was hoping for a smooth and easy trip, but I should know better. This time, I’ll try not to assume anything.