In the days, hours and minutes since leaving the Minneapolis airport a little over a week ago there have been a million times when I have asked myself why I do this traveling thing when it so often comes with so many glitches, annoyances and delays.
Starting off in Minnesota I laughed when the man at security had to search through my very well packed carry-on. But my chuckles subsided when I realized he counted a full tube of toothpaste as a liquid (yes, I should have known this...) but my already opened and somewhat used one was fine. After I asked him what happened to everything they confiscate and he said that it all gets thrown out, I was furious. Everything!! Out of control. I cannot believe how many toiletries, amongst other things, that they must take everyday that could easily be donated.
My flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale began with an eight minute layover during which I sprinted between two gates only to board the plane to find Mr. Talk-at-screaming-volume-into-my-cell-phone-about-how-drunk-I-am sitting across the aisle from me. He was using some very choice words which echoed throughout the entire plane, which of course, smelled like gin. Perfect.
But then I was in Fort Lauderdale for the night, where I jumped in a taxi and checked into my hotel room. I had not realized until the day before that I had never stayed in a hotel all by myself before, so I felt a bit weird about it. However, I quickly realized that having a whole room to do whatever you want, when you want with a king size bed and Entourage on demand is pretty much the best thing ever created. I fell asleep surrounded by all six pillows and remembered, oh yeah, this is why I go through that business at airports.
The next day my flights from Fort Lauderdale to Bogota and Bogota to Cali went off with only minor delays and I was back in Cali by 11 at night. After unpacking and getting a good nights sleep in my apartment, I woke up to finish some last minute planning details for a week long trip with Kelsi, and her friend Megan who is visiting. I opened my computer to verify our flights and realized that our entire itinerary had been changed. Instead of leaving Cali at 10 am and getting to our destination in Bucaramanga by 2 pm, we were now leaving at 7 am and arriving in Bucaramanga at 8 pm, after a TEN HOUR LAYOVER in the Bogota airport. Despite hostile conversations with Aires Airlines there was nothing I could do to change our flight times.
So we spent ten hours in Bogota. Left the airport, and went shopping, saw some of Bogota, had a delicious lunch and realized ten hours in a capital city isn't actually the most terrible thing that ever happened to a person. A mere hour after boarding the plan in Bogota and we were in Bucaramanga on a bus to San Gil. But not before I had to argue with a cab driver for trying to up-charge us $10,000 pesos cause he thought we were dumb gringas.
Travel - is it vale la pena (worth the effort)??
Stay tuned for future thoughts.