I love to travel, especially when it is for pleasure. I check in my suitcase(s) and stuff my carry on with comfort items to make the non-stop flight as relaxing as possible: extra layers, food items, pens and notebooks, laptop, iPod, books and gum.
I recently traveled for work and the experience can be added to the list of my misadventures. Observe:
The Misadventure Getting To The Airport
The flight left at 9 a.m. but being that I suffer from a poor sense of direction, I left the house at 6:15 that morning. Plenty of time to get a coffee and bagel, plenty of time to drive the 30 minutes to the airport, plenty of time to get lost.
Arriving at the airport I navigate to the departures terminal just fine but zip by the terminal parking. Cursing under my breath I navigate around the airport to try again. As I’m about to pull into the terminal parking, which I’ve done for other business trips (day in, day out — no overnight stints) I notice that it’s $25 a day to do so.
$25!!! Even though it’s not my money, I’ve got a hard time paying $50 to not drive my car for 2 days. So, I back out of the parking deck and do the loop around again looking for the economy parking.
Instead I find construction detours but travel down the bus terminal, which is restricted to cars. So I back out of that under the eye of a construction worker who I know was just waiting for me to rear-end my car into one of the orange cones they leave just lying around.
Then I park — finally — at the east economy parking lot. While I sit on the bus I’m feeling anxious for all the time I had wasted to get there in the first place. It doesn’t help that the bus makes 6 stops before getting to the airport.
Even with all the chaos, I’m 45 minutes early which is enough time to enjoy my cold coffee and bagel.
The Misadventure Returning To The Airport
Wrapping up business a little early means being rewarded by trying to catch an earlier flight home. But if you’ve committed one of the business travel cardinal sins, as I had, you will be punished. My sin? I checked in a bag. To my defense, I was bringing a laptop bag, purse and couldn’t get some of my toiletries into a small 3.5 ounce bottle. Nonetheless, I had to atone for my business travel sin.
I was sure that the odds were against us as we were sixth in line as standbys to board an earlier flight. But success! We made it on board. However, as I unsuccessfully tried to sleep, I woke with a start, feeling as if something was wrong.
Remember the bag that I checked in earlier? For whatever reason I thought it would be a good idea to put my purse (which had my car keys) in my suitcase which I checked. Upon landing, I learned that although I made it on the earlier flight my bag did not.
As I sat at the airport waiting for my bag, counting all the time I had saved by taking the earlier flight, I mediated on the beauty of the carry on bag.