As many of you know, my fiancé Randy and I are in Spain until next Wednesday. While we’re here we’re spending time with friends in Madrid, sightseeing in Seville and Salamanca. It’s our pre-honeymoon, as some may call it. I consider Randy and I to be great travel partners. It’s one of the many reasons I love him and our relationship. He’s patient with me when I get flustered if plans don’t go as intended, and my strong confidence when traveling eases any anxiety he has. And together, we’re both very easy-going. We’re usually up for anything when we visit a new place, whether it be museums, restaurants, sightseeing, etc. The one trait that equally irks us, while traveling? Pessimism.
Randy and I flew out of Boston to Madrid this past Saturday, and we had a layover in the London Gatwick Airport. Our layover was supposed to be an hour and 25 minutes long. Ya, maybe not the smartest amount of time to leave for a layover, but we thought we’d be okay. Our 9:20 pm flight from Boston to London was originally delayed 35 minutes. I was a little annoyed but my calm, teddy bear of a fiancé told me it would all work out. Our boarding group was called, we boarded the plane, sat, and waited. 10 pm was getting closer and people were still getting onto the plane. I could feel myself get more and more tense. I tried to relax a bit and made small talk with the guy sitting next to us. He was going to London for work and actually worked for the airline we were flying with.
As we were exchanging pleasantries, I noticed that it was a little past 10 pm. The pilot came on over the intercom and said that we would be departing soon and that they would try to make up the time in the air. As this message was made, Randy pulled out a car jack from his carry on and unclenched my jaw (he went from a teddy bear to Bugs Bunny, real quick). I was able to relax and agreed with Randy that it would all work out. We’d figure it out if we ended up missing our connecting flight.
We both took deep breathes when then, our new buddy said, “You’ll most likely miss your flight, especially if you have to go through customs.” While trying to stay calm, I responded, “Well hopefully we can get onto the next flight to Madrid.” He all-knowingly he shook his head and said, “Ya but it’d be the next day. This is Europe and there aren’t always multiple flights out to the same city every day. But maybe they’ll put you up in a nice hotel for the night.” He then shrugged his shoulders and said, “You’re probably not going to make it there tomorrow.” In that moment, I knew I had to stop talking to him about it or I’d go down the rabbit hole of negativity.
The situation with this guy wasn’t the first time I experienced a pessimistic person while traveling. I’ve traveled with people before and listened to them complain about the weather or food or place we were staying in. And those times, I wanted to scream, “WE’RE ON VACATION! JUST BE HAPPY!” Some things you just can’t change, so you roll with the punches. And who does it help? If you’re upset and feeling negative; does it make sense to drag the person you’re with too? Keep a positive mindset, and adapt if things don’t go as planned.
Our plane finally took off at about 10:20 pm, an hour after our original take off time. The pilot reported that our estimated arrival time would be 9:10 am and our flight to Madrid started boarding at 9:15 am. I was so frustrated that I first, wanted to go up the cockpit and punch the pilot in the face. Then go back to my row and punch that Negative Nancy in the face as well. I understand that he thought he was just “keeping it real” but his negative attitude wasn’t benefitting anyone. Randy and I sitting up in the air, thinking about missing our flight, and not being able to look up new flights wasn’t going to do anyone any good. We had to believe that maybe there would still be a chance. Randy and I both made the decision to be positive that it would work out.
And it was a decision. Sometimes you have make the conscious decision to be positive, especially when traveling. The guy next to us, for whatever reason, was trying to spread around his negativity like glitter. It goes everywhere and it’s difficult to get it off. But I rejected it. I wasn’t going to allow his pessimism to make me feel defeated. Whichever way it had to happen, Randy and I were going to make it to Madrid. Whether or not we had to act like soccer moms asking to “talk to a manager,” was up to fate. We had just begun our trip and we weren’t ready to believe that we’d lose a day in Spain and have to spend the day and evening in the airport hotel.
In the end, it worked out. Towards the end of the flight we asked one of the flight attendants if we were going to have to go through customs. We knew not having to go through the line would save us a ton of time. The flight attendant told us that we wouldn’t have to! We could go straight to security but that wouldn’t take very long. He also asked us if our next flight was with the same airline, and if it was, often times that airline will delay the next flight. Smiles of relief spread across our faces and we knew that we’d be most likely okay. Once we landed, we booked it to security and then to our gate. Our flight was delayed 30 minutes and we even had time to have breakfast. Like we told ourselves on the plane, it had all worked out.
Imagine if we didn’t stay optimistic. Would we even have bothered to talk to the flight attendant? Would we have taken our time getting off the plane and through security because we “knew” we were going to miss it anyway? Would we have just missed the flight because we assumed everything was going to go wrong? That guy’s negativity could have had a strong hold on us but we pushed forward with positivity and I got a Croque Monsieur AND our original flight to Madrid.
Comment below and tell me what are some of your pet peeves when traveling? How do you stay positive and upbeat?