With new places comes new experiences.
Nothing rings more true than this statement. Not once did I think that my flight to Alicante, a new place, would lead me down a rough 28 hours.
January 5th was the day I had engrained in my mind as the day of my departure from my home in Reading, Pennsylvania to the beautiful city of Alicante. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans and brought forth a winter storm the night before, canceling all flights at the JFK airport. As you can imagine my initial flight was delayed 15 hours! Of course I was a upset but, I’d much rather be safe than to risk anything from happening to me. So, my out look on this was fairly positive until I reached the airport.
With thousands of flights cancelled and delayed the night before, there was no doubt that the airport was full of frustrated and tired people anxiously waiting to board any plane back to their homes. When I arrived to check-in at 11am on January 6th for my 1:30pm flight, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lines for check-in weren’t even open and the flight before mine didn’t even board yet.
So, long story short, my 1:30 flight had been delayed 5 hours extra. Why? Well, because the aircraft wasn’t even at the gate, and when it did get there it needed fuel and a quick clean inside. What was I doing during that time? I got a $20’s worth meal at McDonald’s courtesy of Air Europa – the airline I was flying with – as a way to compensate for my troubles. I also spent a lot of time observing people especially the Spaniards that were traveling on my flight. The majority of them traveled with their families, and with all the chaos going on they were not afraid to hold back their feelings of frustration. One man for instance, went up to the front desk and started yelling at the worker because they initially told everyone that we would be boarding at 4pm, but it was now 5:30pm.
Okay, so as you can see things don’t always turn out the way you plan them especially when you’re traveling across seas. In my case, things only got worse. Once I had arrived to Spain, my first stop was Madrid at 8:45am (their time). At this point you could imagine how tired I was, but sadly enough Madrid was just my layover stop before arriving to Alicante. If you realized before, my initial flight from NYC to Madrid was at 1:30pm, but it had been delayed. Due to that, I had missed my flight from Madrid to Alicante at 6:06am. I know….its was terrible.
Moments later, I was informed that my new connecting flight would board at 2pm, 5 more hours of waiting. Looking back I honestly don’t know I did it. Sitting at the airport, trying to connect to wifi, and trying to find the best place to eat was complete torture. All I wanted was to arrive to Alicante safely, meet my host family and lay in bed.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I got on the 2pm plane to the Alicante airport and took a taxi to my home stay. Minutes later, I met my wonderful host parents and their daughter. The welcome was so sweet, they did whatever they could to accommodate me and make me feel at home after such a long journey. After having spent a week in their home, I’ve learned so much about them as a family as I have the city of Alicante. There’s honestly nothing to complain about. The food is terrific and the people are so kind.
In the end, I arrived safely and my horrible travel experience in some strange way was worth it.