I was recently talking to a NYC friend who I barely squeezed in my crazy calendar between running errands and other work commitments – I was apologetic (which is a disturbing pattern in my life lately) as I told her that I feel like my trips to NYC are like a tornado. She laughed, agreed, and went on to say that if a person is lucky I brush by them and they get caught up in my crazy, exciting life. I liked her positive ‘spin’ on it – as I often feel quite the opposite.
I feel like a category 5 tornado in NYC trying to get everything done, see everyone, sort through my storage unit, and get prepped for another adventure – and it all feels completely out of control as if I’m leaving a huge path of destruction as I fly around always late and always out of time. I’m left wondering why my friends put up with me.
This week I blew out of NYC to start my next set of adventures that will take me through February. And I really mean that I blew out of town – hurricane Sandy was on my heels – and I barely made it out on time. In fact I found myself even crazier than normal when 36 hours before my flight I had a call from United Airlines telling my flight was cancelled. That was the lightening strike that set in motion a big storm that rained down upon United. After an automated message said I would be on hold 3 minutes, I sat on hold for 2 hours and listening to advertisements about how wonderful United Airlines was as I was brewing more and more with a thunderous fury.
Finally a young man finally got to me broke up the familiar ‘United is great’ message. After much maneuvering he was able to put me on a flight leaving earlier than planned and essentially earlier than the storm was supposed to hit NYC closing down the airports. I was also able to rebook my girlfriend, Michaela, who was coming with me to Lanai – yet we would no longer be on the same flight. You have to take anything you can get when the perfect storm is brewing.
However the catch was – I had to leave in 11 hours. It was midnight currently, and I looked at the huge pile of stuff lying on the floor that wasn’t packed or organized and went into red alert. My upcoming travels were going to take me away from NYC again for 4+ months and there were piles of things that needed to be put in storage, things that needed to be packed, new gear needed to test out and pack up, and there were a pile of things that needed to go back to friends.
I literally had to go from this:
Unfortunately this photo doesn’t really do it justice – but it’s the only one I had!
And add on the fact that since I don’t have a home I have to store all of the leftover stuff somewhere or ship things I need to where I will be next – this is planning and packing on an advanced level.
Luckily I had just done 2 loads of laundry earlier in the night – else I would have been packing all dirty clothes! I stayed up until 4AM packing, organizing, notifying people of my itinerary change, and making new arrangements to accommodate the change in flight arrival. I collapsed on my air mattress for 2 hours, got up in a foggy haze and set out for Newark to hop on the direct flight to Hawaii in which I got the very last seat.
What’s on my upcoming 4 month travel radar?
I head to the smallest Hawaiian island of Lana’i for some pampering, hiking, and eating poke. In addition – I plan to do some of the more unique things the little island has to offer such as Snuba, clay shooting, and hula dancing! I am also going to be checking out the ‘green’ side of Lana’i and experience some of their eco system in more depth. I’ll be back on the mainland for Thanksgiving with family and shortly after stuffing my face with turkey my father and I head to Buenos Aires , Iguazu Falls, and Antarctica for December. I send my father back home for the Christmas holiday and I plan on staying on solo in Buenos Aires for 3 weeks before heading to hike and explore Patagonia. The thought of being more active again makes me tingle with happiness!
Even the perfect storm could not keep me from kicking off this fun itinerary for the next 4 months. Oh yes – and on top of it at 3AM in my packing fury I found out that the Honolulu airport was closed due to a Tsunami. Clearly Mother Nature was doing her best to challenge me – throwing at me everything she had. But thanks to some very accommodating friends, fast packing, and the ability to function on very little sleep – I got in front of the storm. I’m predicting sunny skies ahead!