13 September 2003

Road Warrior

This humble spot in the net galaxy has been silent for a few days as I adapt to a new job that requires airport hopping and hotel living. It's been some years since I had to do the travel thing and my first foray back into the jet setter realm did not go smoothly at all.

First, this internet thing indeed has transformed travel planning into an easier experience, or at least a more convenient one. Click, click, click and presto, a complete travel itinerary is conjured up. However, one must be cautious as I booked my first trip on Yahoo! Travel, and was unfortunately unaware that Southwest Airlines is not included in the generated lists of available airline flights. So I settled for a stopover flight on another airline.

On the departure trip, my connecting flight was delayed a couple hours, all due to some sort of mechanical failure with a backup generator on the plane. When I finally arrived at my destination, the rental car company I booked a reservation with was closed. Luckily, one of their competitors was still open and had a car I could rent. Then I made my next error. Instead of meticulously studying a map, or perhaps sketching out a route using the aforementioned wonderful internet travel tools, I obediently followed the simple scribbled directions on the back of a discarded receipt. Which got me completely lost in a strange city at a very late hour. I did finally find my way to my lodging selection, but many hours after my scheduled check in time.

The return trip was just as rocky. On Friday, at 3:45 pm, we made a big breakthrough on the project I'm working on, and became engaged in pursuit of accomplishment. But I had a plane to catch. And it was difficult to abruptly disengage to head homeward. So I started my journey back a little later than anticipated but still I alloted enough spare time to accomodate such happenstances. Then I got stuck behind a traffic accident on a busy Friday rush hour. I circled the complete perimeter of the airport, somehow missing the entrance to where the general public enters and exits. Instead, I was scrambling to get out of private airfields. I did make it on time, though. Catching my connecting flight was a close call, too, because the departure gate was on the opposite end of the arrival gate. I hustled to the gate and made it onboard, but after landing in Phoenix Sky Harbor, I discovered my luggage did not. Yoy!
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