HOORAY! Home! Home! After nine months around the world, can I tell you how delicious Boston feels? City of my heart! Home of the Emerald Necklace! Country of my birth! And my dearest loved ones! Oh, I love you!
But I made a big mistake this morning that nearly caused me to miss my flight. Read on, so you don’t commit this same error!
Twenty-four hours ago, my alarm jolted me awake at five am. Trying not to wake my dorm-mates, I tiptoed through the musty Madrid hostel to check, via computer, whether or not the volcano had delayed my flight.
I typed in the following:
Destination: New York, JFK (onward to Boston)
Today or Tomorrow?: Today
The screen swirled for a moment to think and then sneered back in big red letters: “CANCELLED.”
I fought the tears welling up. Home, oh home! Nine months of extended travel is amazing, but I was homesick and painfully ready to see my dear ones. The message on the screen was clear, though: there was no flight for me for today, May 12th.
Just then, a friend from home popped up in my Facebook chat window. “My flight is canceled!” I moaned to him. “Check the American Airlines site and see!”
“Your flight is today?” my friend typed back, “May 11th?”
Suddenly I slapped my hand to my forehead and realized my idiocy. Do YOU see my mistake yet? Did you actually catch it three paragraphs back?
Yes, that’s right… Boston is six hours behind Madrid in time, and the American Airlines site I was using to check the flight information was set to Eastern Standard Time. Therefore, the “Today” flight that was showing up as cancelled at 5am in Madrid was actually for a “Today” that no longer existed in Spain: May 11th!
Filling in the correct information (“Tomorrow”), I clicked the Submit button again. “ON TIME” cooed the screen. YES!
I scampered to the metro and then onto the plane, exhausted and euphoric.
And just so you know… the reason these flights are able to surmount the volcanic ash now is that… (wait for it now) YOU GET DIVERTED OVER GREENLAND! Yes, that’s right: the normally 6.5-hour flight took TEN hours instead. But so it is, and at least we were able to fly.
So now I’m back in America’s great Northeast for 2.5 months before the next flight out, and it is heaven to be here. Blog-wise, there are still a ton more Spain (and also Ghana!) photos and articles coming in these next weeks, along with posts on RTW reflections, and life in America. Please keep reading and keep your wonderful interactions coming!
And now, since my body thinks it’s five in the morning, I shall drift off sleep in my soft bed, brimming with happiness and with love for family and friends who I can finally hug again in person!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!