Off to a…not so good… start

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So. This journey has not been faring well so far.

I was ready to go as planned this morning — I had everything packed up and ready to go sitting by the door.

What I had not prepared for, however, was the rain.

I ran outside to take the trash out on my way to the bus, and subsequently got drenched in a torrential downpour. I had my suitcase and backpack with me, so of course they got drenched too. I made it to the bus stop to catch the bus to the metro, but the bus I got on took a route I was not used to. I asked the bus driver If I had gotten on the correct bus, and he said yes, but because of flooding on the roads, he had to take a different — significantly longer — route.

This is where panic set in. If I got to the metro late, I’d get to the Megabus terminal late. And if I missed the bus, I’d get to New York late. I’m taking a flight from New York to London, so if I got to New York late, I’d miss my flight!

Of course, I was overreacting and made it to the metro stop only 5 minutes later than planned. The ride was fine getting to Union Station in Washington, D.C., where the Megabus terminal is. I got in line at for the 1:00 bus to New York and waited. And waited some more. Waiting, waiting, waiting. The line wasn’t moving! I then checked my email to find that Megabus customer service sent out an email saying the bus would be 60 – 90 minutes late because of flooding on the roads. OH HELL NO.

So this is where my good friend Panic came back to visit. I calculated in my head that if my bus left at 2:30 instead of 1, I’d get to New York closer to 7:30. Then I’d have to catch a cab to the airport, which adds another 30 – 40 minutes to my ETA. There’s no way I’d have enough time to find my terminal, go through customs and get situated between arriving at 8 p.m. and when my flight leaves at 9:45 p.m.

So, I freaked out. Internally, of course — I still need to appear cool and collected. I asked around to the other passengers in the queue and they had gotten the email too. I explained how I had a plane to catch, and another woman said she had the same problem. She told me she would go to the front of the line and ask the Megabus attendee what was up.

When she came back, she said they told her she could catch the Bolt bus to New York for $25 if she really needed to get there on time. She relayed this information to me and we both dipped out of the Megabus line. By then, it was 1:15 and the Bolt bus left at 1:30. We rushed over to the Bolt bus port, just to find out they only accept cash. And I had only $2 on me. So in that next 15 minutes, I had to run to find an ATM and still catch the bus at 1:30. By some stoke of luck, I pulled it off and was able to get on the bus (for $30 because the driver only had $10 of change for my two $20 bills from the ATM).

So now I am on the Bolt bus headed to New York. We should be there a little before 6 p.m., and I will have enough time to catch the subway to the airport. I’m typing away on my iPad to pass the time, and will probably fall asleep after posting this. Meanwhile, I will be contacting Megabus for my money back.
So while all of this sucks, what’s travel without a few mishaps? I keep telling myself this is all just a challenge to see how well I do in the face of adversity. I know things don’t always go to plan, so I just need to deal with it and keep on keepin’ on. So, keeping that in mind, I’ll enjoy the rest of my ride to New York and hope that everything goes well with my flight. Stay tuned!

4 Comments

  1. Travel set-backs are always annoying , especially after careful planning. Just remember you’re going to get to your destination one way or another and to enjoy once there! 🙂

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