Last month Jadon and I traveled back to the states for markets, orientations and conferences. Well actually, I was at markets, orientations and conferences, while Jadon was having fun at grandma’s house!
I will say this, if you have ever traveled with children under 3 whether it be down the street or across the world, give yourself a pat on the back. YOU DID IT! Traveling with kiddos is not easy and I talked about my many tips about traveling with a tot a few weeks ago.
Your ideal situation, if traveling by plane, is for check-in to go smoothly, security check to go swiftly and the duration on the plane… well, for your kid to be sleepy.
Then there are those moments that I like to call the “perfect storm”, when you think it can’t get worse and then everything continues to punch you over and over again.
Let us rewind to August 26, 2017. I would categorize this as my worst trip on record. Jadon and I were going on our fourth week being away from husband/daddy and we just wanted to get home. Markets were finished, orientations were concluded and conferences complete, it was time to fly. All I wanted was to be home and in his arms.
As I was sitting in the living room of my mom’s house, we were watching the news staring in disbelief. Hurricane Harvey was about to hit and it looked serious. Rains had already started and it did not look like it was slowing down. My flight was supposed to leave that Tuesday out of Houston, but was cancelled and they said the earliest flight would be September 5. There was no way I could go another week being away from the love of my life and home. I just needed to get home. I searched quickly for other options and booked a flight out of Dallas that same day. I packed up over the next couple of days and that Tuesday morning headed North to Dallas, Texas. (To give you a little perspective, I am from San Antonio, so this is a five-hour drive to get to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.)
As we approached the airport, my mom looked at me with a smile, but also with sadness in her eyes. I was leaving again, the story of my life.
We begin going through the normal checklist to make sure we had everything and were fully ready to head to the ticket counters to check in. (Note to self, do your check list before you leave your home, NOT when you arrive at the airport)
Carry On ✓
Passports. Passports. Passports ?
I immediately panicked. I could not believe it. My mom was wondering what was wrong and then I started saying words I will not repeat here and broke down crying. I had my passport sitting in my lap, but I did not see my boys passport anywhere. I left it, sitting on the counter in the kitchen, 5 hours away from me. I kept doing the math in my head… over and over again. I sat there in disbelief that I would not be leaving at that moment. My brain was puzzled. I am a problem solver. I wanted to make something impossible have a solution and I was lost.
House is 5 hours away. That is where passport is.
Flight leaves in 2 hours.
Passport is 5 hours away.
Flight leaves in 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Passport is so far away.
I am never going to reach my husband.
I just want to be home.
Then more tears.
I grabbed Jadon out of the truck and hurried to the ticket counter.
The lady nicely asked for my name and confirmation numbers. I just blankly stared at her and started crying, again. With Jadon in my arms and tears rolling down my face, I explained to her what had happened and that I would need to rebook all my flights.
To make a long story short, she was super nice and rebooked everything without charge. My new itinerary would be leaving on the same flight schedule out of Chicago the following day, there was just one problem. My flight in Chicago did not leave until 9PM and the only flight available to get to Chicago was at 6AM the following morning, meaning that Jadon and I would be stuck in the Chicago O’Hare airport for 12 hours! I took a deep breath knowing this was our only option because of my silly mistake and prepared for the long travels ahead.
While rebooking my flights, my mama called my dad and he drove up to Dallas to hand deliver the passport. Another five-hour trip had to made because of my mistake and it had been a very long time since I had gone through so many emotions in a short amount of time like that. I felt like a teenager hitting puberty or something; I was emotional, but I am so thankful for a wonderful family who helped me through this mess! Not to mention they helped me carry all my overweight bags up and down many stairs and into vehicles far too many times. Thank you!
Once I rebooked my flights; my mama, Jadon and I were in search for somewhere to lay our heads and it was late, which means, I was hangry. (Again, another blog post will come soon about the effects of hangriness! It is a real thing.)
We soon found out that all hotels were booked because of families coming from Houston because of Hurricane Harvey, so we found a sketchy motel on the outskirts of Dallas. By this point, we were thankful to have a place to rest our heads even it did mean we had to stay in smelly smoking rooms with the potential of catching lice at least we had a place to sleep.
The next morning, we woke up, headed to the airport at 3AM and got checked in.
Jadon and I spent 12 hours in Chicago. Spent 12 hours on a plane to Istanbul and then another 8 hours to get to Mombasa. We arrived at home at 2:30AM… Just in time for hugs and birthday cake.
There is even more to this story… maybe I will share with you when we have time to grab coffee, but the
Moral of this story. Never forget your passports.
It seems they are pretty serious about your identification and will not let you leave the country.