Last Wednesday I headed on a plane to Florida, the “Sunshine State” of America. After my 6 day stint in the sizzling heat of Central Florida, I’ve decided “The Red Hot State” is a more fitting name for this land filled with styrofoam mouse ears and pointy teethed alligators, and thus became the name of this travel series. Over the course of the next week (or whatever my schedule permits), I’ll be recounting my travels, places I visited, do’s, don’ts and never, ever, evers. So stay tuned and turn on your notifications! For now, I’m kicking off this series by re-capping my first day of travel.
I once told my psychiatrist I thought I had social anxiety, and she regarded me with dubious, squinted eyes as if I had just told her I was a purple, singing dinosaur. This was our second session, and I could already tell she was so done with my self-diagnosis’. Fearful for our next session, I promptly cut all ties and fled to Thailand (it was actually a planned trip which she knew all about, but I like a dose of drama in all my stories), though I am still certain there’s a level of truth to my paranoia. And that’s where this story comes into play…
The rules of television state that every good travel story involves an airport scene, right – or wait, is that romcoms? Either way, this story begins in a little black car headed Eastbound towards the Toronto airport.
The whole ride there, I felt this creeping sense of dread that seemed to reach out from the back of my mind anytime I sunk too deep into my seat or laughed a little too loudly. My brain hates it when I’m enjoying myself, apparently. I managed to ignore this feeling of dread until, at last, I was forced to step foot into the open expanse of the Toronto airport. The anxiety spilled over my chest as I blindly followed my sister through check-in and towards airport security, aka the temple of doom, judgment, and public scrutiny. By this time, my brain had gone all foggy like my car windows when I breathe hot air all over them like the weirdo that I am. All I could think while moving through the line was, is the guy behind staring at me? Do I need to remove my shoes? Am I acting too suspicious, moving too slowly, or Buddha forbid, did I somehow leave explosives, poisons, and theoretical family heirloom daggers in my bag? I was sweating, real bad.
To my surprise, I breezed through airport security and proceeded to hastily grab my bag and scurry towards the gates to distance myself from the ominous, grey machines. Success. Or so I thought. I scurried so far, so fast, that in a matter of minutes a pair of sliding doors labeled “No Re-Entry” slid closed behind me. My intuition was clearly on vacation alongside me, because I didn’t sense anything was off until my sister whipped her head to stare at my empty hands and asked, “where the heck is your luggage?”
In my haste I somehow managed to snatch up my backpack, but not, however, the all important roller luggage. The staff eventually confirmed my bag was nowhere to be found, and I all but burst into tears. Dramatic, I know. Thankfully, they have since found my luggage and I’ll be picking it up in a week! If only I knew it would all be okay in the end. At the time, though, all I could envision was donning my airport outfit every day for the next week; in what world was I supposed to sustain my Instagram feed on just one outfit alone?! I rarely post anyways, but this still managed to be at the forefront of my concerns. #MillenialAF
That being said, this was a learning moment and allowed me to reflect on the things I was grateful for in that moment. Like how we had just landed safely in Florida, and the fact that I had saved enough to go on this trip in the first place. I’m also convinced this was life’s way of kicking me in the face in an attempt to remind me to be more mindful (something I’ve always been awful at) so for that I am thankful. If I wake up with a mysterious black eye this week, this is why. I ended up being intensely vigilant all vacation and knew where pretty much everything was at any given moment. Just today my sister was freaking out about losing her ID, but I already knew it was nestled inside the top, front pocket of my black backpack. I’m a changed person, internet, believe me.
In the end, I managed to pick up some essentials from the Orlando Outlet for only $35!!! But I’ll leave that story for the next post.
Farewell for now!