Insane Packing; Nerve Racking Flights Part 1

5 Mar

Which is the greater task, packing or flying? In my opinion both are quite unbearable so I prefer to avoid both if at all possible. However living abroad for eight months in Australia means strategic packing and long flights. Packing and flying for me was painful yet very rewarding.

First I had to fit eight months of clothes into two suitcases with a 50 pound weight limit. If it wasn’t for my sister and my mom I would have never left the ground. They both helped me choose the outfits that were the most interchangeable and helped me pack it all into the suitcases. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know what I would have done. It was difficult because we had to keep the weight under 50, vacuum bag all my clothes, and smash in some necessities. Took 14 hours to achieve two bags under 50 pounds. As a rule of thumb when you weigh bags on a home scale, always have your bags three pounds under the required weight limit. Nothing is worse than getting to the airport check-in and one bag is a pound over weight which means you have to lose a pound from a bag or pay an outrageous fee. It could even get worse if you have to open a vacuum sealed bag just to pull out a few items which I’m not sure if you can borrow a vacuum from the staff but be on the safe side and assume they’ll be jerks and just laugh in your face.

Secondly I had to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Well call me Murphy because the morning of my flight I awoke to find a foot of snow on the ground. During the night a storm had blown through; don’t get me wrong a foot of snow is easy to drive through, however, when it turns into slush then ice that’s when I start having problems. Luckily I made it to my dad’s house only 15 minutes late and we left to pick up my brother. My dad is a daredevil when it comes to driving and we made it to the airport exactly three hours early liked plan which made for a very fun car ride to the airport let me tell you. Waiting for my flight seemed like a lifetime and as the time went on my flight started being delayed. First it was fifteen minutes, then thirty, and finally an hour long delay. Thank goodness I had a two hour layover in Chicago (where I was taking my Indy flight to) so I did not miss my flight. When it came to goodbyes I was a wreck. Yes I am going on a grand adventure and I’ll have the best time of my life but who wants to say goodbye to the people who make you smile and love you no matter how many times you light a potato on fire in the microwave?! It was hard leaving my dad and brother at the security line and knowing that I will never see them again for eight months. I’ll admit lots of crying on my part.

Finally, the flight from Indy to Chicago went fine but the five hour Chicago to LAX flight was good until the end. The turbulence around LAX was so bad that at one point the plane did a slight drop and I let out a scream. Los Angles from the sky looked beautiful. The lights were in squares and some were never ending so the last thirty minutes I decided that if I died I at least saw something beautiful before I crashed and burned. Obviously I made it but that’s when the problems began. I claimed my bags and had to go outside to the opposite terminal to catch my international flight. Let me get it out now and NEVER fly V Australia. Go with Quantus even if they are a little more expensive because it is well worth the money. It took me an hour to get to the other terminal because my bags kept falling on me and I was scared to the point of wanting to cry. I made it to the check-in gate and they were so behind that the flight was already boarding. Took me 20 minutes to get through check-in and I had to pay a $100 due to one of my bags being overweight. Read fine print everyone otherwise they’ll screw you every time unless you go with Quantus then you’re ok. While waiting in the check-in line, I met a mom and daughter who were from Australia. They totally helped me get checked in, got my bags to the men who took them to the plane, and to security. The fun begins. Plane is going to leave in 20 minutes and we’re not through security yet! Freaking out is an understatement at this point. At five minutes left, I finally make it through security or so I thought. I left my laptop in my carry on bag so then it has to go clear to the back of the line to get put through x-ray again. The mom and daughter looked worried about missing their flight so I told them to go ahead and tell someone that there is a final passenger stuck at security. At last I get my laptop back and run for the gate. Just my luck the hall forks into left and right but there were no signs stating where gate three was. Just choosing a side, I ran for it looking like a complete idiot but who cares. All in a blur, I was standing in front of some gate and asking if this was three. Lady said yes and I rushed for the plane. Made it into the cabin with three minutes to spare and quickly called my parents to say I was on the plane about to fly. Murphy again because there was no room for my carryon so it went to the front of the plane to be stowed away (I was at the back of the plane by the way). Getting settled into my seat, I was soon flying for the land down under known as Oz.

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