The Journey Begins: Flying Solo

Flying Out

I’m sitting in Heathrow, checked in and ready to fly with three and a half hours until my actual departure. I expect I’ll be spending most of this time wishing I could be spending it in bed, or able to have just a few more home comforts, or one final, decent cup of tea. I’m refusing to buy one at the airport after the events in St. Pancras last year with the first and worst tea of the entire trip. Instead, I’m staring at a departure board, watching the minutes pass by.

Soon enough the announcement will come across the loud-speaker that the AA057 to Miami is open for boarding and I’ll spend the next nine hours tossing and turning, trying to read, sleep, or write. Shortly after that, I’ll be in Miami and actually have something interesting to talk about.

Landing in Miami
The flight was almost as predicted, only I didn’t try to do anything, I just watched as much inflight entertainment as possible. First up; Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, then Mission Impossible Four, and finally a film filled with amazing scenes of humanity; War Horse. After cramming in the movies I tried to catch a bit of sleep but none came.

Instead I found myself chatting with a Lebanese flight engineer who services a Saudi Prince’s private jet. He insisted that Miami was a wonderful city and I would love it there, especially Ocean Drive, where I happen to be staying. Eventually the flight landed and we parted ways.

American customs was a novel experience having travelled across borders unquestioned and unchallenged in Europe. After plenty of question, security finally came round to the idea that I probably wasn’t going to break any laws and started chatting more amiably about my trip. Then came the real highlight of my day; baggage pick-up. I got to the carousel to find all the bags had been removed and placed to one side, grabbed my bag went to remove the padlock and found that it wasn’t there. I picked up the scent of panic. Opened my bag and found a coat hanger. What? Why is there a coat hanger in my bag? I then notice the other objects aren’t mine either. I checked the tag to find Claire Thompson didn’t have her bag; she had mine. Turns out this stuff doesn’t only happen to other people.

After a lengthy chat with American Airlines about how I would get my bag back, I jumped in a taxi and headed through the city to Deco Walk Hostel.

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