Halfway around the world in 36 hours
Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
34Trip End May 05, 2011
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There was little fanfare in the lead-up given this trip's quite momentous underpinnings. A single journey of thickest of Lonely Planet's guidebooks, 8 weeks total travelling, over 20000 km of travel and 2 years since my last trip alone - no sweat! Right?
No just a nutritious breakfast please. Still I could not shake the feeling of butterflies in my belly. Was it really nerves or did I somehow know that I had forgotten my only coat? It was definitely not helped by the check-in difficulties I had for my LA to DC trip.
So I stepped out of the car, felt the cold and realised my grave mistake. Thanks to my previous dilly-dallying, I was also behind schedule already. Thankfully I was not alone yet and a daring midtown dash back home by my dearest saved me in the last seconds of boarding. Sadly I could only repay her with some hurried kisses.
Fifteen hours passed surprisingly quickly and before long I had arrived at the Nexus of the West Coast - LAX. I had always heard horror stories of this place, the terrible signage, rude staff, lack of seating and plethora of people had me prepared for the worst. Truthfully it was not terrible, certainly sufficient for a layover.
It was several hours to Atlanta and the moment I hit the seat I collapsed to the sweet cradle of sleep. I was woken by some rude turbulence but luckily found some keen conversation with my seat neighbour - a former teacher turned practice manager to her orthodontist husband. She certainly did not represent any negative stereotypes but was instead smart, conscientious and polite.
Atlanta was no less or more than expected with comfortable seats and ample fast food options. A chilli dog was all that was needed to satisfy my urges.
So I arrived finally after another friendly chat and a helpful cab driver. Exhausted but satisfied - both gustationally and also that I had survived an almost disastrous beginning.