South America – Let’s go on a trip

I’m not sure it’s even clear how I ended up on this airplane.

I woke up at 5:30am, late, in Kamloops. I’m so tired. I feel like I’ve been running on fumes since April 1. I’ve had a to-do list the length of my left leg, and since early April I’ve been giving it 100% every day to get shit done. People who know me, know that 100% in my world doesn’t fuck around:

  • The house is for sale.
  • The truck is for sale.
  • Probate is approved.
  • I fertilized and seeded a lawn, and scrubbed windows.
  • I’ve sold axes, chainsaws, mini-fridges, and life jackets. I’ve received eggs and money as payment.
  • I’ve scraped together mortgage payments with my online sales
  • I’ve met the strangest and simultaneously loveliest people by selling things online and by making appointments to settle the estate.

Meanwhile, I’m still working to earn a living, and trying to plan a 2 month trip to South America. I can’t really understand how, but everything on my list got done. I’ve had amazing support from all my friends, family, and even random strangers. And I still believe my Dad is taking care of me, somehow.

So now I’m on a plane, flying to Ecuador.

Back to 5:30am. I grab my car, load up, and start my trip to Vancouver at 6am. The Coquihalla highway greets me with giant fucking flakes of snow (I think a good f-bomb is warranted here, given that I’ve just changed my tires over to summers AND IT’S MAY 28). It’s not sticking, so I’m not worried. But.

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Once I get to the snowshed, things get majorly bad. At one point, even though I’ve turned my steering wheel completely to the left and have let off the gas entirely, my car still insists it wants to go right … into the snowbank. I had just resigned myself to an inevitable impact, when I caught some traction and regained control.

Anyway.

It took much much longer to get to Vancouver than anticipated. By the time I got there, I only had 30 minutes to pay my Dad’s mortgage at the bank, park my car and get to F.’s place. In traffic? Give me a break. I drive like a lunatic (but safely, don’t worry AM), find good parking near the bank, and sprint a block and a half, nearly crashing into a small elderly lady and getting lipped off by a taxi driver on the way. I make it, but there is a 20 minute line up and my CIBC teller is in training. SERIOUSLY? She processes as fast as she can and I try to remind myself that she didn’t do anything wrong, and it was me that should have buffered more time. But where from?!

I sprint out of the bank, mortgage paid. I don’t hit anyone this time.

At 12:45pm my friend D. calls me and is slightly panicked that I’m not going to make it to the airport. I’m seriously trying to contain my own panic, at this point. My flight is at 2pm and it’s 1pm. It’ll be a miracle if they let me on, but thank goodness I’ve already checked in. F. drops me off, we have a quick goodbye, and she tells me to be present throughout my whole trip. Amazing advice. I sprint with my giant bag to the counter.

“Oh, sorry. You missed it.”

My heart literally drops out of my chest. This trip has been months in the making, and they said I was too late. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED. She asks me why I’m late, and I tell her that I had to pay my late father’s mortgage and the lady at the bank was in training (she really doesn’t need to know the rest). I probably look like a crazy person at this point, sweating from all my stupid sprinting and exhausted from my snowy drive. I’m already checked in, can’t they do something??

She calls the “decision maker”. I’m literally shaking while she speaks to this person, and suddenly she starts printing a baggage tag. I ask for her name; it’s Jackie.

“Jackie, I could kiss you,” I say. Jackie puts a special sticker on my boarding pass that allows me to fast track through security, and then holds me by the shoulders, looks me earnestly in the eye, and tells me to RUN.

Do you know what it’s like to sprint through an airport?

I arrive to security as a sweaty mess. I’ve got those gross creases on my shirt from my purse, and I’m super afraid to lift my arms. I’m in reasonable shape, but I’m nearly wheezing.

Hello! Bonjour! My security line is insanely slow …ugh, don’t panic. It’s 1:30pm now … and boarding starts at 1:30pm. When I do make it through, I have just enough time to log in online and buy a travel pack for my cell phone before boarding, but I still don’t really know what’s going on when I start my walk up the ramp.

When I get on the plane, the flight attendant at the front is opening bottles of wine. She smiles at me, and tells me she really loves my earrings. I smile back at her, and I tell her I really love her bottles of wine. She laughs. As I wait for the line of people to get to their seats, in a daze, the flight attendant passes me a cup of golden, chilled goodness. Then she looks at me, smiles again, and pours more wine into the glass.

“How did you know I needed this?”

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Everyone in the plane stares at me like I’m some VIP who got wine and they didn’t. My wine and me walk right past my seat, and then awkwardly shoulder check and walk backwards, back up the aisle, with my backpack, against traffic. The kind man behind me says he understands and even holds my wine. HAHAHAHA. Is this real life?

Ok, I made it on the plane. Let the adventure begin.

First Imma nap, hard.

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2 responses

  1. I love this story! I love that you made it! I LOVE LOVE LOVE F’s advice! I love that I’m meeting up with you in a few weeks! And I love YOU! Travel safely (and present-ly), take a bucketload of photos, and keep sharing!

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