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It wasn’t the greatest situation to come home to know that my friend is very ill.  I’m glad I’m home and close by to him as he is like a brother, but it’s just so sad to know that he has an uphill battle for his health.  I pray for his strength as he is one of the strongest people I know.

Although my return home is bittersweet, I feel empowered and ready for a fresh start.  Sometimes other people’s struggle is an eyeopener to what drastic measures you must do to achieve your goals and dreams.  I have constant reminders of this whenever I meet new people and hear the triumphs of my friends and family.

Although I currently have laryngitis, which also puts a hold on my videos and radio show, I have so many more opportunities happening to me.  I’ve put my foot down to set up my own personal boundaries involving everyone in my life.  It’s been a very hard acceptance as I’m usually the one everyone runs to, but if I don’t I will lose myself again, this is something I never want to negotiate again.

Tonight, I open up my notebook and rearrange some of my upcoming trip plans.  I’ve found better and I see clearer now…this is a very exciting time for me.  I hope you all find your inner strength and never let it go! 😉

Chicago Day 8: Travel Day…from Hell?

Since my vacation was cut short due to urgent matters back home.  I had to rush around and get things done.  I rebooked rides and bought a plane ticket home…well…the day started off great checkout at this fine establishment was a breeze, then I got to the airport.

I went to scan and check my suitcase and my ticket came up with an error.  So I proceeded to the agent and when she keyed in my confirmation she said, “You’re a month too early.”  Of course I freaked out and said what do you mean?  She proceeded to tell me that there was an internal error and I had to call the airline directly.  That’s when things started to snowball. 

Once I got on the phone with the airline help desk the agent said that my options were to get a refund on the ticket and start over or pay an extra $900 to be on the flight it was originally booked on.  So I opted to take the refund and sat down to figure out my next move.  Let me say this, being in a questionable position with holds on all my credit cards until I called each one to tell them I was still in the U.S., was not an ideal situation.  Plus, the wifi was only complimentary in 20 minute intervals.  I had to call the hotel to refund my remaining 2 days stay and I STILL didn’t have a ticket.  

I went back to another agent and she was the most amazing person.  She told me she would put me on a standby flight and all I had to do was pay a difference of $70US, she then told me how everything could have been avoided if the other agent had more compassion.  Of course, I cried because of the stress of being potentially homeless for the evening as the next flight was at 6am.  I mustered up calm to balance mayhem in my brain of how to get myself out of this “pickle”.  With my agent getting ready to leave after a 6 hour shift…yes I was there for 6 hours waiting for credit card releases, she finally had me booked on the plane home.

At this point I was more than exhausted, I had a nutrigrain bar that I hardly felt nourished me, but when I get stressed the last thing on my mind was food.  The agent felt so bad for me she even offered to buy me a ticket if I had a check to pay her back.  How amazing was that, she was an angel!!  After I passed TSA, with a complimentary frisk by a huge scary looking woman that thought my right boob wasn’t real, I was more than relieved to put my headphones on listen to music to calm myself and tweet about my crazy adventure.

I was called to the plane and gathered my last wind of strength to walk my ass onto the plane.  I made it to the end of the plane gave my ticket to the flight attendant because all the numbers and letters just melted into one.  I just needed to sit.  Well, surprise!  I was bumped up to First Class and I instantly thought of that amazing airline agent that so methodically got me this ticket.  I almost collapsed in my seat.

I was given a hot towel, which I used to wipe my dried out eyes and clean my hands.  I was given water before the take off; a choice of beverage; choice of snack; touch screen choice of movies, tv shows, or music; I had leg room and the perfect window seat where I took pictures and said my mental good bye to Chicago.  I put my headphones on and finally relaxed.

Getting back into the Canada was like breaking into a fortress with a toothpick, but I was happy that my last length of travel was almost over.  A 1½ hr shuttle bus back home with my limo driver waiting was the cherry on top.  I came home to heaps of snow, but it felt nice.

I dropped my bags on the floor plugged in my laptop and phone and hit my pillow hard, yet I had a smile on my face from a sense of accomplishment.

Overall, this was a great experience and I learned a lot about traveling to and from the U.S.  I will definitely be more prepared the next time I visit our wonderful neighbours down South.

 

Until we meet again, Chicago!  Much love!

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