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Chasing the Sunrise: My Adventure of Crossing the Country

Chasing the Sunrise: My Adventure of Crossing the Country

 
By:  Mission Team November 1, 2021
#AmazingNation, #God, #Humility, #love, #Struggle, #Wisdom

I’m a bit of a storyteller. I love telling anyone stories from my life, whether it’s about when I was bullied in fourth grade or when I was stuck in a bus bathroom or when I got impaled by a bicycle handlebar. All of these were awesome fun in their own rights. This time, it’s about how I got stuck in various states and how it turned out for the better.

The first time I flew into Syracuse, there were no issues. It was early August. I flew from Pasco to Syracuse in three flights. Everything ran according to schedule for a total trip just shy of 24 hours. After that, the standard in my mind is that a trip from coast to coast should take close to 24 hours, but as I was booking flights for Christmas, my mom requested I find flights that don’t go overnight. This meant leaving Syracuse around 5:00am and arriving home around 11:00pm. Although my flight home ran according to schedule, my return flight did not necessarily go as planned...

For my return, I was up at 3:00am for my 5:00am flight. As boarding was about the begin, the airline rep asked for volunteers to check their carry-ons for free to save overhead compartment space. I said to myself, “I won’t need this. I’ll be back in Syracuse tonight anyway,” and offered my bag to be checked to Syracuse. I made it from Spokane to Dallas when things started going a bit awry. I had about a 20-minute layover and no time to eat. I booked it to my gate and made it just as they were boarding.

Upon boarding, I found myself between a DJ headed to Michigan for a gig and a gal in her 20s decked in Michael Kors. The three of us talked and talked. Thirty minutes on the ground turned into an hour on the ground. Occasionally, the pilot would hop on the intercom and let us know we would be leaving soon, but there had been some technical difficulties they were working out. Finally, the pilot told us to deplane and reconvene at the gate in 30 minutes.

I took the opportunity to grab a cheeseburger to-go from TGI Fridays. 20 minutes later, they announced a gate change to entirely different concourse. Off I scurried to my next gate. I made it to the airport train (not sure what those are called) and was waiting to board.

Out of the blue, a Latina woman approached me and asked in very broken English how to get to Concourse C. I pointed across the way and responded, “La puerta C? El tren está allá.” (“The C Gate? The train is there.”) At first, she simply thanked me, but then she had a moment where she realized I had spoken in Spanish. The immense gratitude in her eyes was so shocking to me. In my mind, it was a simple, courteous gesture. If she was lost and I had the capabilities to speak to her in a language more familiar to her, I ought to, right? I don’t think I could ever even pretend to understand her position. What I can say is that I am so glad to have committed to learning even a little Spanish if it could bring this one woman in a random airport some joy and peace.


Once I arrived in Chicago, I had missed my connecting flight and was given a hotel voucher for the Hilton at O’Hare and a meal voucher to use anywhere in the Chicago airport.
By this point, they had figured out a new flight plan for me. I would fly to Charlotte at 5:30am then to Syracuse at about 11am. I left security to go crash for a few hours before my next flight. I stood in line at the hotel for near 45 minutes before approaching the desk to ask for a room. Upon reaching the desk, I realized these young women on staff were not doing too hot. They were exhausted. It was around 9:30pm, they had a lobby full of tired people, and it didn’t amount to looking like a very good day in general. They looked at my voucher and my ID and offered me a room. As I left the desk, I turned around and said, “Y’all are amazing! Thank you so much for being here!” One of the gals just about cried and the other looked at me and started yelling, “Oh my gosh! Thank you SO MUCH! We’ve had such a long day!” That gave me a big smile.

So, remember when I voluntarily checked my carry-on at like 5:30 that morning for the convenience of my fellow passengers? Yeah, so I didn’t think to pull out underwear and socks to have just in case. That night, I was in my room at 10pm, and I washed my socks and underwear in the sink. Shortly thereafter, I hopped in the shower and went to bed, only to rise the next morning at like 3:30am to scurry of to my next flight.

Obviously, the situation of that whole adventure was not ideal. I can say with confidence that I would do it all over again. Although it may seem like getting unexpectedly stuck in Dallas for six hours and washing your socks and underwear in a hotel sink, without decent hot water, wouldn’t seem to be the best of experiences, I can look at it and laugh. I had an enemy trying to discourage me every step of the way, but God worked it all for good. I got to encourage the staff at the Hilton. I got to eat lunch. I got to spend the night in a hotel! I got to speak in Spanish to a random Latina woman lost in an airport.

Perhaps this isn’t a blog about my stories but about perspective. How does that song go? I think it’s “Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street.”

 

https://unsplash.com/photos/TfwYIaj6vOA
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About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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