On November 14th, 2016, after spending a few days in Chile, I was supposed to take a flight from Santiago to Mexico City.
The day before traveling, I looked in my email for my flight reservation and made sure to complete my web check-in on beforehand; mainly because I need to assure an aisle seat as somehow it kind of soothes my fear of flying.
Once the pre-flight preparations were completed, I spent the day on the beach at Viña del Mar where I ate the most delicious empanada –or pasty– that I have tasted in my entire life, and unfortunately, the most terrible coffee too.
When the sun began to hide, me and a group of friends decided it was time to come back to Santiago.
On those days, the media had given a lot of publicity to an astronomical phenomenon denominated as ’Supermoon’. Astronomers said that it was going to be the biggest and brightest moon seen since 1948 and that it will not occur until 17 years from now.
I had the privilege to contemplate this event in a bus ride on the south pole of the American continent. And as the vehicle was moving forward, this beautiful bright moon kept constantly hiding and emerging from behind the Andes mountains, all the way down to Santiago.
During the ride, I could not stop looking at the moon, as if my eyes had been hypnotized.
The next day was very quiet, I had lunch with friends, prepared my baggage, and around 7:00 p.m. I went to the airport. Of course, I arrived extra early to avoid any complication.
When my flight was finally open for baggage drop, I approached the counter and showed my ticket to the young man behind it.
He gave me the most strange look as if I were an alien, and told me one of the most terrible phrases a traveler can hear:
Señorita, your flight took off this morning. You missed it.
Turns out that there had been a misunderstanding with the hour of the takeoff, it was so confusing that every person I tried to explained ended up bewildered. Even now, trying to write about it would be a loss of time.
Fortunately, after a few calls and thanks to my wonderful family who helped me; a new flight ticket was issued. But despite everything ended up well, at the time I felt anger, fear, and guilt.
Anyhow, I spent three more days in Chile, so at the end, it was not so bad.
Why does a person with a fear of flying and who misses flights, wants to be a travel writer?. Mainly, because I love landscapes more than I hate airplanes. and I love to write about it all.
From my personal point of view, to stop minding where are you going to go next, and learning how to face whatever obstacle you find ahead, is an indicator that you have reached that turning point where tourists become travelers.
I believe that my transformation began in Chile.
I have been lucky enough to visit six countries and a lot of little towns in Mexico, and still, I want to believe that there is no such thing as borders; only land, sky, oceans, animals, people, art, food, music, and all kind of things that the human creativity is capable of conceiving.
Anyhow, just so you know, after recovering from the shock of missing my flight, I had a new distress when I realized that I was going to miss the last Black Sabbath concert ever, scheduled for the next day in Mexico City.
So after that, I assure you, I will not miss another flight ever again.
Last but not least: Always make sure you understand the time and date of the ride that you are going to take.