Looking at my last post here, you would think that I haven’t traveled at all for almost 2 years. The truth is, I’ve taken much smaller trips, and which I haven’t felt like I really have anything to say. I could have written about snowboarding in Vancouver, or hiking the kettles on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, or even walking Cannon Beach in Oregon numerous times over a week during Christmas 2016. There’s been a lot on my mind, but no desire to put it down on paper.
So, here I am, mid-2017, and I needed to use a travel credit to Europe. Namely, I need to use something on Delta/KLM. I originally planned a trip for Luxembourg, but instead, cancelled, procrastinated, and then finally decided on Portugal and the Azores about a month prior. I’m not much for planning things out ahead of time lately. I’ve been asked many times over the last month, why I chose Portugal and the Açores, and basically, it comes down to a picture I saw posted on facebook of Mike “Rooftop” Escamilla (BMX and Adventure Sports athlete) diving in the Açores. It looked amazing, and I felt like I needed to go.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been re-establishing myself financially and continuing to minimize my belongings……. with the intent of getting back out there and doing some globe-trotting for an extended period of time. And 3 years later, I’m questioning why I haven’t left yet. A new found conservative / laid-back approach to life, and a new girlfriend have created an unexpected shift in priorities. But, travel nags at me from time to time, and I felt I needed to rediscover that part of my soul. So I decided on 2 weeks in Portugal.
Like all trips, the weeks leading up to it are pretty much the same. I find myself questioning whether I picked the right place or time to take my trip. I start to worry about being away. Some is paranoia of losing my job or something happening to my living arrangements while I’m away. It’s preposterous – I know – but also a reminder that I need to get out of myself for awhile. The nights leading up to my departure are usually sleepless with worry starting to set in that I’m continuing putting-off packing. Do I really want to go?
But, the night before, I find myself 95% packed (I only pack enough to fit in a carry-on and a small bag that fits underneath the seat in front of me), and I sleep slightly better than the previous week. I squeeze two final moments with the girlfriend into my schedule and ride off to the airport.
I’m already checked in, so I just go to the Delta kiosk to print off my tickets and….. something is wrong. Instead of flying Minneapolis to Amsterdam and then continuing with KLM to Lisbon, they have my flight going through Nantes, France, and then continuing onto Lisbon the next day, which completely screws up my flight to the Açores and plans for the first day that I’m there. After 30 minutes of investigation with Delta’s concierge, I find out the KLM flight was cancelled.
I guess it’s like Yvon Choinard once said: “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when the adventure starts”.