Category: flight

Far away

She’s packed up her bags, she’s heading out
She says, “I know that I’m ready,”
With such beautiful doubt.

Here’s where I wax poetic about distances and the spaces between. With a few steps, a car ride, a transatlantic flight, I leave behind the place I have lived for 22 years. I leave behind what I thought I knew for something I want to know. I exchange dollars for pounds, boxes for suitcases. I exchange endings for beginnings, the minute the plane leaves the ground.

My suitcases are too heavy to lift comfortably. No doubt I’ll struggle to pull them off the baggage claim, and someone will have to help me before I either fall over or knock someone out. My head is a storm of conflicting worry and excitement. No doubt I’ll hesitate at the gate, doubt myself and my plans.

The feeling of anticipation has been keeping me awake. I haven’t slept more than the bare minimum in two weeks. There’s too much to do, too much to think about.

And when I take my seat on the airplane, I’ll lean back and daydream as the plane lifts off. I’ll feel all of the doubt and worry fade away and leave behind only the excitement. With my headphones on, I’ll give my journey a soundtrack to be proud of. Leaving songs. Love songs. Life.

And by tomorrow I’ll be in England. And cold.

Far away far away, I want to go far away.
To a new life on a new shore line.
Where the water is blue and the people are new.
To another island, in another life.

Hez and Fae Rewind Moment #2

Also known as why Hez and Fae shouldn’t travel together.

When I was living in Ireland, Fae came to visit for the last week before I went home. We decided to plan a Great European Adventure. We were going to go to London, Paris and then drive around Ireland for a few days to see what I hadn’t been able to see on a bus yet.

First thing, we found out that without a substantial credit card and at the age of 20, we could not rent a car in Ireland. Or anywhere. So that part was shot, but we were still heading to Paris and London!

On Thrusday morning, 5am, I got on the bus to Dublin to meet Fae at the airport. I had already had enough of Dublin by that point, from the week I was there at the beginning and then a trip for the weekend to pick up Kristen, so I was very done with Dublin. So instead of staying at all, we just got on a bus back. And we were going to London via the Shannon airport the next morning at 5am. So of course we spent the night drinking at the pub I was working at, and stumbled home to bed for about three hours sleep. We got on a bus to Shannon. We arrived, walked right up to flight counter. We gave the woman our passports.

I realized that it was taking a little too long for her to find us as passengers.
“Do you have a printout of your ticket information?” she asked. I handed it to her. She looked down at it, and looked back up at us.
“Your flight left yesterday morning at 6am.”

For anyone who’s ever booked through RyanAir, you’ll know that they give you a bunch of dates close to yours so that you can find the cheapest. I thought I was just chosing a cheaper time, when I was actually choosing a different day entirely.

It was just after 5am and we had tickets to see Wicked in London that night. And, again, for those of you who know RyanAir, you’ll know that they are absolutely completely unflexible, and any time you have to book something less than two weeks in advance, it’s ridiculously expensive.

Needless to say, we freaked out. We had to wait until 6am for the ticket counters to open to find ourselves a flight. Finally, 6 came around and 150 euros later we had a new flight to London. Understandably, we were upset for being a whole lot poorer. But we were optimistic.
“Well, when we get to London let’s check all our tickets. It’s fine, we’re going to get there in time and it was just a little glitch.”

So we spent the weekend in London. We were supposed to leave for Paris on Sunday night. Sunday morning we went for a free walking tour of London. At the end of six hours of walking, we were wandering around Westminster Abbey.
“We should go soon so we can get back to the hostel in time to take the tube to Heathrow,” I say.

So we headed back. We’re sitting on the tube on our way to King’s Cross and Fae turns to me.
“You know, the flight might have arrived in Paris at 7pm…” she says. I stare at her. It’s almost 4pm, Paris is a one hour time difference and we’re about an hour away from Heathrow. We practically run back to the hostel to check our ticket. Sure enough, our flight leaves at 4:10. I look up at the clock on the front desk.
“Is there anyway we could get to Heathrow in ten minutes?” I ask the girl at the front desk. She looks at me like I’m crazy. The next hour or so would prove her right.

Our problem is now compounded. Not only do we want to go to Paris, but we have to get to Paris to get our flight back to Ireland, so that we can each catch our flights back home at the end of the week. I go downstairs to the computers to see if I can find us a flight last minute. I give Fae the number for the hostel in Paris and tell her to see if she can cancel our deposit on our room there that night.

As I’m scrolling through the fares on RyanAir, I’m getting prices like 300 pounds one way to get to Paris. I panic. At this point I’ve been living off my credit card and my parent’s charity for the last two months, and I definitely don’t have 300 pounds ($600 Canadian at the time!). Fae comes down from using the phone and looks flustered.
“I hate you!” she says. I blink.
“What…?”
“I don’t speak French!!” she says. I burst out laughing. I had completely forgotten that I’d booked the hostel in French, that she would need to speak French to cancel our reservation. Apparently, she managed to do it anyway, in English. Much needed comic relief.

Finally, the only affordable situation that I can come up with is to exchange our flight from Paris to Shannon into a flight from London to Dublin, and pay the difference. Which was still a lot of money. The flight would leave two days later, at 6am.

On the plus side, we got an extra day in London - which meant we got to see some of my favourite things: the British Museum, Abbey Road and Spamalot. We also went out for Chinese food that was very expensive and I didn’t even realize it until I got my credit card bill the next month. $120 dinner? At least it was good!

But we never did get to Paris.

We finally got back to Galway, exhausted and very poor. I decided to pick up a shift at the pub the next night, to get some money to pay my last week of rent. Everyone else thought all of our misadventures were hilarious (which, in retrospect, they really were.) So my roommate texts me and says:
“Callan (the manager) says you can work, but if you’re late he’s going to charge you 150 euro.”

And then we went on to lose Fae’s wallet, complete with her last 200 euro, and our ability to walk in Killarney. But that’s a whole other story.

Of course, the reason Fae and I are best friends is because somehow, after all of this, we ended up having the best week of our lives and laughing our asses off that night at dinner.

New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town….

I guess it’s time to talk about my past weekend in NYC. Let’s see… where to start?

It was bloody. fucking. hot.

I have never sweat so much in my life. I was literally dripping sweat. It was disgusting. It was especially gross because we were walking so much.. and also it got worse when you were underground in the subway waiting for the train. Ewww.

Another thing Fae and I decided.. we are too pale and too poor for NYC.

I don’t know what to say, really, other than I’ve been to London, Paris, Dublin.. and I’ve never been defeated by a city before. I really found it mean and busy and frustrating. And exhausting. And you always had to pay to sit down. It was quite ridiculous.

It was fun to see Strawberry Fields, the Statue of Liberty (which Fae assures me is important if you’re American), Central Park, ground zero, ten floor Macy’s, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway, Times Square, etc etc…

But I don’t think I’ll go back. At least not until I’m rich. It had all the busy touristness of London, but none of the character. I just.. really didn’t enjoy it. And a lot of the time I didn’t really feel very safe. I don’t know. It just wasn’t anything special.

Seeing the musicals was AMAZING though. I saw Spring Awakening twice and Rent once! It was… awesome. Very very awesome.

Of course, the trip finished on a horrible note. They cancelled my flight out of New York on Wednesday night, because of some storm, and I had to “sleep” in the airport. I think I got about 40 mins of sleep max… it was freezing cold and horrible, I was sleeping on the floor. And then finally got a flight to Ottawa and got in a 9:40 the next morning… went home, showered and went to work for 11:30. Where I stayed until 9. And almost died.

It was awesome to see my Faerie though. I think it just made us both look forward to London (a MUCH cooler city) a lot more.