All was going perfectly as I got on the first flight at Maui and reached LA safely and on time. After an hour’s wait it was time to board a new plane at LA and head off to Atlanta for the second stage of my three-part journey back to London. The boarding was fine and I found myself sitting between two very lovely people and all was well.
A couple of hours into our flight came the announcement: “If there are any passengers on board who are medically trained please come to the front of the plane where we would appreciate your assistance.” Uh-oh. I’ve been on a flight where this has happened before and knew what might come next.
And so it was an hour or so later we were landing early in Albuquerque New Mexico as the 90 year old woman who had been taken ill on board needed urgent medical attention on land.
This was fine, except then, as we were about to take off, the captain announced that due to refuelling we were now overweight and he needed to sign some legal papers and wait for the plane to be inspected in order for us to take of again. Ugh! Still, I had a good chunk of time between when we were due to land originally and my connection time that I thought things would be fine.
My flight back to London left at 5:35pm from Atlanta and I entered Atlanta airport from the plane at 5:25pm. There was no way I was going to make it, not least because the plane was at the other end of the airport and my luggage certainly wouldn’t get there in time.
And so it was that I spent TWO HOURS (probably more) in a queue at the airport waiting to get another flight, only to be told I would have to wait 24 hours and fly back Sunday.
So right now as I write, I am in a hotel room in Atlanta. I’ve woken to the smell of cooked sausages and bacon and honestly it is making me feel ill! The air is thick with it. Thankfully I had an orange juice from room service last night waiting for me this morning and also some strawberries, but I will be off on a food hunt soon enough!
One of my Twitter friends has contacted me asking if I’d like to meet for lunch at a raw food restaurant in Atlanta so we’ll see how that pans out – it would be great if we can make it happen. Good thing for me (in some ways) is that I’m travelling light as they wouldn’t give us our large luggage as it’s stored ready to load up on the next flight back.
So what’s the bigger picture?
Any time something unusual happens like this I’ll always ask, “What’s this about?”
In this case, it affected probably 100 people other than myself, and while I don’t know what it’s about for each one of them here’s what happened for me:
While on board the flight we had a lot of turbulence. There were storms in the Atlanta area and we surfed around some of it. While this was going on I was reading a book called “So, You Want to Write?!” - a book I’ve had for over a year. If you know me fairly well you’ll know that one of my biggest goals is to have a best-selling book. I am also in the fortunate position of having a New York agent all lined up who has worked with some very big names. All the pieces are in place and yet still I haven’t completed my book proposal even though I love the book idea I have and fully intend to write it. But what happened up there was this... As the turbulence hit and the plane got blown across the sky I had one of those “What if this is it?” moments. And as I thought about leaving this planet without having written my books tears sprung to my eyes – in a BIG way. It surprised even me. Immediately I made a pact to get the book done – as busy as I am, it simply has to take priority. That’s all it is, to take priority and I committed to that goodness knows how many thousands of metres above sea level. (And magically the turbulence stopped - like, instantly!)
So in some ways it wasn’t a surprise to me that I had to stay overseas another 24 hours. For one, I had been asking to stay in Maui for an extra day (but told myself I couldn’t) and for two, I wanted time to start working on my book.
And so it is, that it’s coming up to 9am now local time and I have 3 hours til I checkout of the hotel and 8 hours until I board the plane home. I have some work to do for clients that I have to get done, but I also will have enough time to get my book outline done ready for working on when I get home.
Hopefully next time I write I will be back at my home-sweet-home. It's been quite the trip!!