While departing from San Diego, I had this great plan in my head. I was going to enjoy my flight to New York City and take some time during my relaxing 3 hour layover at JFK to write my first blog post. Unfortunately, things went a little differently than I had anticipated.
During the descent into JFK, we began to experience some turbulence that was beyond the usual shudders and dips. It was SERIOUS turbulence – crying babies, screaming adults, frightened flight attendants, the whole shabang. Suddenly, as the ground became visible amongst the clouds, the turbulence became even more extreme and I felt the plane suddenly accelerate and gain altitude very quickly. I knew our trusty pilot was giving that Boeing everything she had. I realized that we were not going to be landing anytime soon. The plane continued to gain altitude and we flew in a direction that definitely seemed to be in the opposite direction of New York for about 30 minutes or so. I began to nervously check my watch and realized that my flight to London might be in jeopardy. After what seemed like an eternity, the pilot came on the intercom and brought the passengers up to speed. Our landing at JFK was too dangerous to complete and we did not have enough gas to circle the airport until the weather improved so we were diverting to Washington D.C.
I sat there, shocked. I was going to miss the biggest flight of my life. My mind was filled of images of me living in the airport like Tom Hanks in the Terminal. We refueled at D.C. and were finally back in the air on our way to JFK after several hours. This time, the landing was uneventful and I frantically bolted out of the plane. Waiting outside of the gate for me was a wonderful airline employee. In his hands was my ticket to London. During the chaos, they managed to completely reroute me and arranged for me to arrive in Edinburgh just several hours after I was initially supposed to arrive. Things were going well again.
My flights from JFK to London and London to Edinburgh went seamlessly (aside from the airplane breakfast). I was beaming as I stepped out of the plane into Scotland. I was finally in the country that had incessantly dominated my mind for the previous 4 months. I WAS PUMPED and jet-lag couldn’t scathe my adrenaline. I practically sprinted to the luggage carousel and kept my eyes trained on the portal where the bags would appear. I kept my eyes trained there until there were no more bags appearing from the abyss and everyone else on my flight had already retrieved their bags and were merrily on their way. Could this really happen to me? Where was my bag?
I went over to the luggage attendant and we looked up my bag’s code. Well would ya look at that! It’s still in New York! The attached video takes over from that exact moment. (My apologies for the vertical video, I’m new to this internet stuff)
Despite the difficulties, my spirits are still sky high. I type this happily from my hotel in Edinburgh and cannot wait to take Scotland and the rest of Europe by storm. This semester is going to be one of the most incredible time spans of my life and I am fortunate enough to have a blog that will help me retain and share every juicy detail.
Cheers! (I’ve heard that the locals actually don’t say “cheers” in Scotland, but I’m still in the U.K. as a whole so I think it’ll pass.)