Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Traveling Phenomenon

Whenever I travel, weird stuff happens.

In 2010, at the end of my very first trip, I sat in a hotel restaurant in Bulgaria, enjoying my breakfast while watching  the BBC news on the big flatscreen mounted on the wall. The scroller at the bottom of the screen caught my eye. "European airspace closed. Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupts in Iceland."

I turned to my travel companion. "I didn't do well with geography in school. Where is Iceland? Is it far away from here?" She assured me it was. I turned back to the TV. "Thousands of flights canceled leaving travelers stranded in Europe." We were supposed to leave the next day and were flying through Frankfurt. We returned to our hotel room and turned on the world news.

And then we panicked.

I was lucky enough to spend an entire extra week in Bulgaria, thanks to that volcano. People here at home helped me buy new tickets home, which were three times the normal rate because the airlines were all price gouging. I flew EAST, through Russia, Seoul, and all the way around the world, to get home.

Six months later I returned to Serbia to adopt Axel. Just days before I was to leave for Kragujevac, a 5.3 earthquake hit the neighboring city of Kraljavo. It was felt as far away as the capital city of Belgrade.

Four months later I returned to Serbia again, this time to give a deposition and also participate in a hearing/vision/dental screening clinic in Kostanjica, Croatia. I carried with me a duffle bag full of donated toothbrushes, which happened to to have little blinking lights on them. I arrived at the Nikola Tesla airport and waited for my bag to come out of the baggage claim tunnel. Its a huge, neon green duffle bag. Hard to miss. Only this time it came out of the thingy with bright yellow security tape wrapped around and around it. I casually lifted the bag down and noticed the flashing lights were visible through the zipper. Oh good grief! I walked casually but with authority, dragging my bag out of the customs area when a customs agent caught my eye. She stood among a group of several other agents. "Madam. Won't you please bring that lovely bag over to us so we can have a look inside?"

That was almost three years ago. I'm pretty sure my toothbrushes are still sitting in the customs holding area, however I'm also sure there are a few customs agents whose kids get new toothbrushes more frequently than is typical.

Then there was the time I landed in Belgrade and the pilot had trouble parking the plane. That was fun, watching all of the passengers use momentum to rock the plane so it would roll over a speed bump on the tarmac. Knowing that pilot had just flown the plane, in the air, was a bit unnerving. I was glad to be on the ground!

Every trip seems to have its own little thing. So? What will happen on this trip? Please God? One uneventful trip would be really nice. Thanks.

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