Home travel ONE STEP AT A TIME PT. 1


April 9, 2017

Did that title get you all jazzed and singing Jordin Sparks circa 2007? Cool, cause SAME. That song is a RAGER and I’m not embarrassed to tell you I still add it to every workout playlist ten years later.

This semester is all reading all the time, which I love. But that leaves less time for writing, and there are some things about this season of life that I really want to remember – most recently, our Europe trip!

Oh MAN oh MAN oh MAN. It was so, so incredible and I’ll maybe never get over it. I’ll do more destination-y posts later on to remember where we stayed, our favorite restaurants, and what we did in each place, tips for future travels, but today it feels important to me to remember some things I LEARNED on this trip.

The most special things for me about traveling in general are the things you learn – about yourself, the people you’re with, the people you meet, the places you go, and even your own home. I wouldn’t say you ONLY learn when you travel, but I think your awareness is heightened and you catch things that maybe you miss at home.

 So maybe, in reliving this trip, we’ll skip the flight over. Or maybe we won’t? Hahaha. You guys. We booked these flights like four or five months ago. We were meticulous with our choice of days to cater to which classes I could miss, my spring break, and so that it would best line up with what was open in each place when we were there, the shortest amount of layovers, etc. Then we got an email the morning before departure saying there was a huge storm on the East Coast and our flights over were cancelled. Not delayed, or rerouted. Just cancelled.

So with inter-European flights, trains, Airbnbs, and hotels already booked, we were scrambling to figure out any option that wouldn’t mess with our entire itinerary and cost us all the money. We spent the day before departure on the phone, and felt we were making very little progress. It looked like we would most likely get there a day later and have to do some significant shuffling to salvage our itinerary. We felt pretty helpless. Enter Cody’s brother, Cam. He is like the champion of itineraries and I honestly don’t know what we would have done without his help on this trip. Long story short, we were on a later flight, but supposed to arrive at about the same time, and we were SO grateful. Let’s all stop and slow clap for Cam. But really. 

Our flight out of SLC was delayed like four hours. So we dined on glorious Lunchables and questionable airport grapes and life was good. We thought we’d maybe miss our connecting flight because of the delay, and when it came down to it, we were literally SPRINTING from one gate to another in the Chicago airport, stopping the plane just as they were pulling from the gate. I’ve never run faster in my life. Not even for eighth grade track. Sorry, KJH. Just didn’t have the same kind of motivation.

Because of the mass flight cancellations, they really scrambled to find a plane, pilots, and flight attendants for some of the added flights. For our Chicago to London flight… it showed. They pulled an older plane, pulled pilots from other states, etc. I have NEVER been on a older, colder flight in my life. It was like eight hours of low 50s in a freaking time machine, if that time machine had nightmarish back-breaking chairs that you were somehow obligated to stay strapped into. Zero sleep was had. People were just wandering the aisles aimlessly to avoid sitting back down/probably to keep warm. Every single person on that plane was unpacking clothing, layering up, desperately swaddling themselves in those creepy complimentary blankets. Even Cody, the human HEATER was shivering with his hood pulled up the entire flight. It was all just comically bad.

You know that expression, “When Hell freezes over?” Oh, it has.

For a second, there was a miscommunication and we thought there wasn’t food on this eight hour flight. Hahaha, IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN US. I was like, “Oh, no food? Yeah, okay, that’s fine. Just pull over here.” And Cody said, “Oh, okay. And how far of a drop from here?” We were ready to build our own parachutes and drop down to the nearest McDonalds mission impossible style. I wish we had.

Because instead, we had the WORST airplane food I’ve ever had and that is saying something (looking at you, Korean Air… that bim bim bop did me wrong for a solid week). Like the salad was literally two sliced tomatoes and a single piece of lettuce. Cody just held it in his two little hands and shivered out, “OH MY GOSH THIS SALAD LOOKS AMAZING.”

So then we became delirious and just laughed for like the last two hours because it was SO BAD YOU GUYS. I could have kissed the ground of the London airport when we landed. All flights after this one were a dream come true, even if they were subpar, we didn’t know. It was pure luxury just to sit in normal temperatures on normal seats, man.

BUT WE GOT THERE. So it was worth it.

So I guess, we needed to learn that Part 1) Things don’t always go as planned, there are last minute twists, and sometimes they really suck, but just hang in there, you’ll get there. There will be people who care and help along the way. And you’ll be okay. You might even laugh about it someday – or while it’s happening. It really WILL be okay.

-Also. Part Two (what I actually wrote this to say) turned so long I had to break this up into two blog posts, so… TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW THX-

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Jen April 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm

So well written, Shelby! I heard your voice telling me the story in my head the whole time. What a miserable flight but such a funny memory. Can’t wait for PART 2!

Shelby April 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Jen! Thank you. You da best. I love you. And your sweet baby girl!!


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