Returning Home by Murphy's Law


My time in Thailand is coming to an end and we have to take that epic journey back to my hometown Chicago. While it does sound simple, there is always a chance that something can go wrong and one must be prepared for when that thing goes wrong. For it me it was the plane ride home or at the very least, trying to get the plane ride home. The journey started off nice and smooth. I got to the airport nice and early for the first leg of my journey from Thailand to Shanghai without incident. This went well I made it through all of the ticketing and security checks without any issues. The trouble started when I was supposed to catch my Shanghai flight back to Chicago. Unfortunate for me my phone did not sync up with the local time zone and it was technically an hour slower than the actual time. To compound on that failure, in Shanghai the check-in station closes an hour before the flight leaves. So me, attempting to be extra by showing up almost two hours early, means that I was actually too late. Protip: Always turn your phone off and back on when you get off a plane so it resets to the local time. Also make sure you view the “World Clock” feature of your phone just to make sure you have the correct time regardless of other tech features.

Luckily, I followed my own advice and had my emergency credit card, so I was able to pay for an emergency ticket on another flight to go back home five minutes before that gate closed... But of course, like Murphy’s law would have it, for some reason the airline had no record of my purchase that I had literally just purchased. So, I had to run back to the ticket agent, get a refund and then buy ANOTHER new ticket to Canada and from Canada I would go to Chicago. Although, this new ticket would have me staying overnight in Canada.

Protip: Have a credit card or some form of emergency money for when something goes wrong. Fortunately, my flight to Canada was on course. Thanks to the adrenaline rush, paranoia and panic, I did not fall asleep during my overnight layover and I was the first one to actually check in at the gate. This had its own downside. Sometimes, you can be too early. There was a line BEFORE any of the TSA staff showed up to the airport. So, there was a lot of waiting… at multiple stations.

However, all’s well that ends well. This is a cautionary tale that a lot of things can go wrong and what to do when they go wrong. The long story short is...be prepared. Emergency credit cards, plus an allowance to arrive a couple dates outside of when you actually want to land is ideal. You then have room for the unexpected, like what happened to me. After all is said and done I have made it back to the states. I incurred some significant, unplanned debt along the way, but at least there is a story to tell!

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