I’ve embarked on a trip. On Saturday January 20 I set off on a trip that I’d been planning for over 6 months and was so glad to finally be on my way. Before I go on however, I just want to warn you that I feel very strongly that this trip is cursed, and reading this post could in-turn lay the curse upon you. So beware, beware, read on at your own will, the following excerpt contains misfortune, foul language and an eerie sense of “shit gonna go wrong”!
To begin with, my brother should be sitting next to me. He actually planned the whole thing, booked the tickets and sorted out our itinerary, but he’s not here – he’s in Manchester. The same poor luck that slapped me in the face last summer now has him firmly in its grip, tied down to Manchester with absolutely no sign of letting him go. The Home Office have his passport. They’ve had it for about 5 months now. Our UK visas expired during 2012 and we both have had to go through the process of getting them renewed – a simple process on the surface, but deep within lies a hope-crushing beast that loves nothing more than fuck up your holiday plans.
Last summer we had a trip to Barcelona planned to go to the Sonar festival. We’ve been the last couple of years and it’s awesome – great music, great people, and Barcelona is such a great city that it makes for a great trip. But unfortunately I couldn’t go because the Home Office had my passport and of course you can’t travel without your passport. My visa was due to expire in May, so I sent off all my papers and everything a good 4 months prior to the trip but didn’t get anything back until July – so I missed out on Sonar. I stayed at home by myself and smoked weed all week long. With that tragedy in mind my brother tried to get his visa renewed a good 5 months prior to this trip but unfortunately it seems its going to take far longer, as its now been 5 and a half months and we haven’t heard a thing from the Home Office – bullshit! So I’m sitting here, on my own, flying LA to Hawaii with an empty seat next to me. We got his flights changed to sometime in October, so it’s ok he’ll still get to go – but this trip was supposed to be the two of us. Heading back home on a round-the-world tour to LA, Hawaii, Sydney, Tonga and Tokyo, we were going to eat loads, drink, see the sights and just have a blast…! Well, the reality is that he’s in Manchester, I’m on a flight to Hawaii, and I’m doing my best to make the most of it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am having a good time. But when you make plans to travel with someone and then at the last minute it suddenly hits home that you’ll be travelling alone, it kinda sucks. I’ve travelled alone before and loved it, but this time I wanted to do it with my bro. Oh well, too bad. So I’m getting on with it, stay tuned as I’ll be documenting the trip with food related bullshit, although due to some network connection issues I’ll be uploading each post retrospective the trip…
….oh yeah, the “cursed” thing… So yeah that stuff happened with Niall’s passport which totally sucks right? But just to fill you in on where I’m at at this point; I popped into the travel agent last night (the night before my flight) just to make sure everything was sorted – visa’s flight details etc. I use an app on my iPhone called TripIt which is actually really good and one which I highly recommend. TripIt gave me a free trial of their Pro version which tracks your flights and frequent flyer points and stuff, so I sat down in the travel agent and opened it up to be greeted with an alert notifying me that my flight from Manchester to London had been cancelled. I had to get to Heathrow to connect to my LA flight which was leaving in about 12 hours time… “Hmmm” I said puzzled, and was surprised to hear that the travel agent knew nothing about it – that’s good isn’t it. So here I am making sure that everything’s ok, totally excited about my trip and I find out before my fucken travel agent that Manchester airport is closed and my flight’s cancelled! WTF? Apparently I have a couple of options: postpone my flight to London until Manchester airport is open and connect to LA (prob in a couple of days), catch a train down London and connect myself, or catch a bus down and connect.
As you can imagine this was a shitty situation. Fuck postponing the trip, I’ll connect myself. How hard can it be? Well, the last train leaves at about 22:00 tonight which is in 4 hours and arrives 11hrs before my flight, and the first train in the morning leaves at 6:00 getting me to Heathrow about 2 hrs before my flight – that’s cutting it too fine and I’ll be fucked if I’m gonna sit in Heathrow for 11 hrs overnight. The bus was my last option which leaves at midnight, I arrive in London at 6:30 tomorrow morning, connect to Heathrow getting me there at about 8:00 which will be just enough time to check-in and make the flight (as long as nothing goes wrong….).
Anyway, I made it, I’m on the flight. Heathrow was a shit-fight as everyone was trying to do the same thing as me and they had nowhere near enough staff helping people. I saw a girl line up for an hour-and-a-half to check-in, only to be told she was in the wrong line and had to line up again elsewhere – she probably missed her flight. I saw others in tears as their gates had closed and weren’t checked-in – it was fucken chaos! Luckily I breezed through and literally made it just in time – perhaps my luck was turning….
Soon to come – LA…