A hop, skip and a jump away.
What. A. Day. It’s been a lot longer than 24 hours but it feels like less and ten times more, all at the same time.
I started writing this post a few days ago when we landed in Dubai, but then I fell asleep… That just shows how tired I was. I’ve only been able to charge my laptop today after locating the proper adapter for my charger.
We’ve been in Orlando for nearly three days now. This is my first ever trip to America and I am absolutely loving it. The constant greenery, the lakes that are larger than life, and the food… Don’t get me started on the food.
Now before I jump two steps forward, let’s go back to where this journey began.
On the 3rd of August still in South Africa, we had a driver take us to the airport at five o’clock in the morning. I don’t relish waking up so early (I’m not a morning person in the slightest). Long story short, we hopped onto our plane to Dubai, it turned around halfway (due to the crash landing at the Dubai airport they diverted quite a few airplanes).
Everyone was kind of grumpy but grateful that they were safe. Rushed plans for a later plane quickly ensued as soon as the wheels touched the ground. This is thanks to my parents. They didn’t want to go to a hotel and catch the 5 am flight for the next day that the airline arranged, instead they booked new seats on a flight that was set to leave in only a few hours. We sprinted through the airport to make it in time… and I never run… This and the crowds and my jacket beeping in customs causing the guard to pat me down, all resulted in my anxiety getting a bit out of hand. I was coughing like crazy (apparently an Anxiety Cough is a thing… I just thought I had spontaneously developed asthma) and soon afterwards I was hyperventilating and crying.
My mom was an angel and helped to calm me down. I can’t remember the last time I felt such panic and I’m beyond grateful that she helped me remember how to breathe. Panic attacks are not the most fun thing in the world. My body gets kind of confused sometimes and likes to think that the world is ending.
[Weirdly, I first discovered what panic attacks are, from reading a Fanfiction (it was a Twilight one, if I’m not mistaken, although I can’t remember what it was called or who wrote it). Thankfully I knew what they were when I had my first real panic attack, otherwise I would have thought that I was having a heart attack or something.]
I think I exploded a little bit inside when we got onto the plane and my dad mentioned that we don’t have seats next to one another, and the thought of sitting next to strangers just pushed me over the edge. The cabin crew was a bit shocked when I just burst into tears, but they gave me a glass of water and even a bar of chocolate after I’d calmed down a little. (Rescue tissue salts are amazing. I have quite a few varieties but they all help with the anxiety and they’re much healthier than prescription medication.)
We landed in Dubai after 8 hours in the air and then two hours later my sister and I had to write our IELTS Academic exam. She’s starting Uni and I’m transferring to the same one that she’ll be going to (if everything goes according to plan – fingers crossed) and the IELTS are a requirement. I think they went rather splendidly considering the events leading up to it. We both finished all four parts (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking for those who don’t know) and I may or may not have accidentally taken a small nap in-between the tests… luckily I had finished the paper that I was supposed to complete at the time so technically I didn’t miss anything. Now the suspense begins as we await our results…
Wow I fell asleep again… Jet lag much? I originally wanted to write about something totally unrelated to our travelling mishaps but I’ll do that in a different post.
After Dubai and some packing we got onto the long haul flight to Orlando, Florida. That was 15 hours along with the 6 hour (turn around flight) and 8 hour successful flight to the UAE. That comes to the shocking total of 29 hours in the sky. Some natural sleeping tablets really made it a little bit more bearable and I didn’t get as many cramps in my legs this time, although my feet and ankles were similar to an elephant’s. They were extremely swollen and it took two to three days for them to go back to normal. Hopefully I can find some kind of solution for that before the next flight in three weeks *covers face*.