After spending the weekend with my best friend in Dallas, TX, I had a short 30 min connection in Charlotte, NC during my flight home to CT.
However, the plane leaving Dallas got delayed unexpectedly when a flight attendant was late to work and we couldn’t leave without her, and I had a feeling I would miss my connecting flight (which was of course the last flight of the evening).
After I got on the plane, all of the flight attendants reassured us that we would be making up the time in the air and we would definitely be making all of our connections.
A slight pit in my stomach, I accepted there was nothing I could do in this situation and instead hoped and prayed that I would be able to make my next flight.
I’ve never missed a flight before and it’s one of my biggest fears while traveling. I have this irrational fear of being in an unknown city, lost and abandoned, with nowhere to sleep.
That plane ride was definitely a lesson in releasing control and trusting the universe had my best interests at heart.
We arrived to Charlotte and luckily, my next plane was leaving from the gate next door to the gate I was arriving in. When we pulled in, I could see it standing there. I had five minutes to make the plane and as I rushed off the first one and up to the gate, the flight attendants looked at me, and said “Sorry, it’s gone”.
I felt crushing defeat and noticed feelings of tears and panic wanting to arise. I reminded myself that this was out of my control and that I would be protected. If I had to sleep on the floor of the airport, I would do so!
I walked up to the American Airlines customer support desk with a long line of people who were dramatically upset that they missed their connections due to the fact that one of the American Airlines employees was late to work.
One woman was in tears saying, “we had five minutes, five minutes and they shut the door on us”.
Another complained, “I’m going to have to cancel all of my work meetings scheduled tomorrow.”
Another spiteful one added, “You should fire that employee who was late, or better yet, take everything she cost all of us out of her paycheck.”
Obviously the situation was less than ideal, but I had to remind myself and wish I could have reminded the others that it was not the end of the world, and missing one flight and having to be set back a day wouldn’t end your life. Some of these people could have had a little more gratitude.
The next flight to CT wasn’t until 4 pm the next day, so I had to tell my boss I wouldn’t be coming into work the next morning, took my hotel voucher from the airline, and started looking up things to do in Charlotte!
I was actually excited that I was going to spend the night in luxury – my own king sized bed in a hotel room and a little extended vacation.
After gleefully ordering some food and eating it naked in my king sized bed, taking a bath, and watching TV, I slept for the night excited about exploring a new city.
I got brunch at Roots Cafe and decided that Charlotte was decidedly more “southern” than Dallas, based on the fact my cashier had such a strong Southern accent and was so polite.
If you haven’t noticed already, I like to explore cities by their food, so after I ate this delish salad I walked to an ice cream shop that was famous in Charlotte, called Jeni’s. Never mind that it was 12 pm – I was seizing the day!
After I was sufficiently full, I ubered to the city center to explore and see what was around. I ended up in a more business type district and the place was popping with men in suits on their lunch breaks from work.
After relaxing in the park for a bit and observing the world around me, I passed by a museum with this impressive statue outside.
Unfortunately, the museum was closed so I couldn’t explore inside.
At this point, I was sweaty from the heat, and was lugging around my huge backpack from the weekend, and was beginning to feel like I needed to relax.
I still had about 3 hours until my flight, but I decided to just head to the airport early so I could relax in some air conditioning and catch up on my Bachelor in Paradise episodes.
Although the trip was unexpected, short and sweet, I’m grateful for that unexpected delay for forcing me to explore Charlotte – again a city I would otherwise probably never visit.
I learned a big lesson from this delay to always trust that the universe knows whats up and always has your best interests at heart.
Also, always look on the positive side of things. I could have been super upset that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep in my own bed that night or go to work the next morning like I was supposed to. Instead, I took this as an opportunity to explore (and eat) my way through a new city. ❤