… And so it begins. Almost. Sort of. At least, it’s the final stage of waiting at the airport gate, before boarding the plane. Which won’t happen for 1.5 hours. Still, nice to be here, bag checked, through security. Just “enjoyed” a Cup O’ Noodles for the first time since college (the only offering, besides nuts, in the lounge at 11:40pm. #Memories)
Befriended by a nice woman in the security line. She was off to Bangkok for two weeks to visit family. And she was so tickled that I was also going to Southeast Asia. That was apparently enough of a connection for her to decide we should hang out. I’m normally the “overly (by Seattle standards) friendly to strangers” person in my group. It was a bit startling to be on the receiving end. But also really nice. Hooray for human connections.
So, how did I get here? This winter I received one of the best emails a person can receive; my pal Jessica asking, “wanna take a trip somewhere?” To which I answered enthusiastically, “Yes! Absolutely. When? Where? Let’s make this happen!!!!” This is the first travel adventure of mine where the flights were booked before I’d done a lot of travel dreaming and researching about the destination. (I’ve been on a search for my next dream destination for a few years now). In fact, we were basically spinning a globe, overwhelmed at the choices. We settled on Thailand, and then found that May is still monsoon season. Nix Thailand. Found that Bali in Indonesia is supposed to be lovely in May/June. Rains end in April but it doesn’t get crowded or expensive until July when the Australian tourists flood in. Perfect. (but someone forgot to tell this predicted weather pattern to the Weather Gods, as forecast calls for clouds, rain, and thunderstorms. But adventure awaits, even if it’ll be a soggier adventure than originally anticipated). Also, I am not expecting sympathy for this. “woe is me. My amazing two week trip is going to have sub-par weather. Cue the world’s tiniest violin.” *laughs*
Jessica lives in Michigan, and I was initially very unhappy about the prospect of such long flights in coach without a buddy. Even considering maybe having her fly to Seattle first so we could go together (because the universe is capricious, she ended up having a work contract in Seattle right now, so had to fly back to Michigan to take her flight). (I initially typed, the “universe loves irony,” but ever since that Alanis Morissette song, I’m gun shy about using ‘irony’ incorrectly. Plus, capricious is a much more satisfying word). I then had a wonderful idea: maybe I can take this trip with miles. And I could, and am. Seeing I had enough for business class, I may have hooted aloud, by myself, at my computer. International business class is THE dream!! I’ve watched a fair amount of YouTube Videos of different cabin experiences. The fact that my seat will become a bed is beyond amazing!! Had some issues trying to actually book the rewards travel, though. Some airlines don’t update their partners when mileage seats are no longer available. So it was a frustrating three days, as I felt like this DREAM of business class was evaporating before my eyes… Each time I’d pick a flight, fill out all the information, submit credit card to pay for the taxes, and then get an error message. Getting all the way to final booking page to get yet another error message. *cries* Until someone suggested I try booking one way. Success!!!!!! This also means I’ll be circumnavigating the globe! And trying out two new airlines for me. I fly through Taiwan on the way there with Eva and will be flying home with Emirates through Dubai and then LAX (ugh!). Not my favorite airport. But I’m really looking forward to exploring Taipei and Dubai airports. And I find the idea of flying AROUND THE WORLD terribly romantic.
Whelp, typing this stream of consciousness ramble has taken up 30 minutes. Excellent.
About to be on my way to find monkeys, visit Hindu Temples, go snorkeling, eat amazing food, CANNOT wait. Do an online image search for the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, a UNESCO site. Excitement!!!!!! Honestly, most image searches for Bali are pleasing.
(Edited to add: Included a picture at the top of the EVA flight in business class so this post wouldn’t be bare. Even though, strictly speaking, that is not chronologically accurate since the post happened prior to boarding.)