Written by our guest blogger, Crystal
Hola. Mi nombre es Crystal y esta es una publicación de blog de invitado. For those of you that don’t speak Spanish… Hi. My name is Crystal and this is a guest blog post.
My Spring Break Spanish Adventure. Or True friends. Not sure which way to go with this. In honor of it being National Library Month, I am going to interweave my favorite book series I would checkout from the library when I was young, into this post. Choose your own adventure. (Elige tu propia aventura.) So I am going to just write and see where it takes me.
I have a strong fear of flying and have never traveled alone to another country before in my life. Two weeks ago, I arrived at the airport in Korea ready to fly to Spain (by myself) to visit two of my closest friends (Karrie and Elle) who moved there last September. My husband had been planning this trip as a surprise but upon reflection, realized my fear of flying may actually ruin it if he sprung it on me last minute. So instead, he “surprised” me over 6 months ago, on my birthday. Being so excited to visit my friends and knowing the trip was planned so far in the future, I didn’t really focus on the fear. Even though I secretly hoped I would lose my passport so I couldn’t fly when it came time to actually leave. In fact, I worked up the courage to fly so much so that when I arrived at the airport that morning and discovered my ticket had been automatically cancelled (just a small detail my husband overlooked) my first thought was NOT relief, but overwhelming sadness. The thought of not being able to see my friends hit me worse than I thought. I was a complete mess.
But back to the Adventure
So, there I stood at the counter of Korean Air ready to check my bags, speechless. The counter agent looked at me like, ugh… sorry. “Maybe you can buy a ticket at the ticket counter?” She picked up the phone and began speaking Korean to someone on the other end. Then she looked up at me and said, “The fight doesn’t appear to full, yet. Please go to the ticket counter (area B) and buy a ticket.” So there I was, frantically trying to text my husband who had purchased the ticket with airline miles, hustling from point G to point B at the opposite end of Terminal 2. See map below. I know this brand new terminal is probably amazing on most days (see video) but I am sorry, today it sucked.
When I arrived at the ticket counter, my husband still wasn’t responding to my texts and for some odd reason my cell phone wouldn’t make outgoing calls. Thank you to my mom who answered my vox and facetimed him so he would check his messages. I figured he would be on high alert since he knows how much I hate flying… but I also wouldn’t have expected my cell phone service to stop the same morning I faced my greatest fear. In conclusion, God either has a poor sense of timing or a sick sense of humor. Either way – I ended up getting on the plane. All credit going to TBS… the Travel Blanket of Security (long story.)
Now getting on a plane is never easy for me. But getting off, piece of cake. I was so happy to be on the ground I think I ran to the luggage carousel to pick up my suitcase, or at least it felt like that since everyone else seemed to be walking so slow. Going from Korea to Spain was literally a culture shock. Picture yourself walking while everyone around you moved in slow motion. That’s what it felt like. Nonetheless, it helped calm me after the whole ticket ordeal. But so did seeing my friends who rented a car and drove 3 hours one way to pick me up. That is true friendship (aka rental car seatmates).
I went on to spend a whole week in Spain with my friends. There is so much I could write about here, but it probably wouldn’t make for that interesting of a post because I didn’t fly 14 hours across the world to see Spain. I came to see my friends, Karrie and Elle. (And how we spent our time may not interest you that much.) We could have traveled all over Europe, or at the very least to other parts of the country to experience the history and culture of Spain. But that’s the thing about true friendship. None of that really matters. I just wanted to spend my time experiencing what life was like for them — where they lived, what they ate, and how they spent their afternoon siestas. Maybe that sounds lame to some, but it was probably one of the most memorable vacations I have ever experienced. Just the flying alone was enough of an adventure for me.
That is why when asked, “what was the best part of your trip to Spain?” my answer was and will always be, “my time with my friends!” So if I could pick the next place to have an adventure it most likely will be a place somewhere in the world that is home to one or more “true friends.”
Thank you Ellen, Karrie, Brian and Mike for being my Spanish seatmates! I so cherished our time together and can’t wait for the next adventure. I pray next time, you fly to me.
Until then… please enjoy this video I made while sitting on the floor of the Madrid airport. (I may have watched it over and over during the last 2 hours of my flight home trying to get through the worst turbulence I have ever experienced on a big plane.)
See you again soon! (Te veo de nuevo pronto!) – C