Every time I fly, I have this recurring nightmare in the weeks before flying. I am standing somewhere and realise I have a plain to catch. I start to run, but I am so tired and can hardly run and the busses aren’t going and my mum doesn’t know where to go and I am at the wrong gate and I have to make a test I didn’t study for. Usually, that’s when I wake up. But this time, my nightmare turned out to be real.
We expected delays to occur in Africa, but actually, this happend on the first flight out. We’d already been delayed for about thirty minutes when all the lights of the plain went out in the middle of the safety instruction. To be fair, I didn’t notice because I was so engrossed in my book, but apparently it caused some trouble. The pilot started to check everything, restarted the plain – apparently they don’t just reboot computers – and after about an hour, we just flew off without ever knowing what happened.
But, with over an hour and half of delays, we missed our connecting flight. For the first time ever, I missed a flight. There was nothing I could’ve done, but I still missed a flight for the first time in my life. Turns out, the nightmare was grossly overrated. Because when we got to the helpdesk, the people there simply booked us another flight for the next morning, booked us a hotel, got us bustickets and an overnight bag filled with shampoo, a clean T-shirt and some toothpaste. The only downside would be arriving in Zanzibar twelve hours later and missing our afternoon on the beach.
But this is travelling as well. A wandering life means sometimes enduring a bit of a hassle to get where you are going. We arrived at 1 a.m., went through the tiny low-tech airport, got our bags – the miracle of logistics – and went to our hotel to get some sleep. The next morning we were still dead-tired but exploring. Went to our next hotel. And as I am watching Erik play soccer with the local kids, I feel so completely relaxed. I have to remember. This is it.
This is what I want to do. The hassle and the tiredness and inconvenience. These are all of my choosing. I choose to do this, in spite off what would turn off a lot of people of this kind of travelling. When people ask me, is all this trouble worth it, there is only ever one answer: “Hell yeah!”.