Thursday, November 05, 2015

Blogging the Travel (Leaving ANC for DFW)

I want to blog this little getaway of mine for a couple of reasons. The main one is that I'm hoping to clear my head and jumpstart my plans for the future. I've been extremely frustrated with this because I think that my situation is so misunderstood. I'll talk more about that later.

One of the reasons I have had so much anxiety about traveling is my problems with memory. For days before leaving Anchorage, I had night (and day) mares about wandering around lost in some strange airport. I'm serious.

I have made it to Dallas safely and I even mangaged to enjoy some of the travel here. I met a few really nice people and all the crew and staff of Delta was more than pleasant.

Alaska was freezing on the morning I was leaving. Nothing like last year's "non-winter" winter! The day before I left, I had 2 appointments - one early morning and one later in the afternoon. I was totally stressed out by the 2 mile drive to the first appointment just because of the icy roads and maniac drivers... I had to cancel the afternoon appointment that was clear across town. My nerves just couldn't take that.

Since I was to travel from Anchorage to Dallas, I decided to layer clothing for the plane ride.

I started with jeans, boots and a sweater over a shirt.


Went out to my car to get a phone charger and almost passed out from the wind that blew up the back of my jacket, so I added a vest!


Then, because my shirt was kind of heavy, I changed to a lighter one. Much better.

When I took this photo of myself, I stood in the mirror for another few minutes, having a random panic attack. I seriously thought about postponing my trip for a few more days. It went through my mind that I could just crawl into bed and hibernate in the dark until I had more energy. Then I went and sat in the garage and had a good cry. This is what my moods have been like for several weeks.

Everyone in the house is sleeping while I am praying and trying to get my anxiety under control. Just before I have to go and wake my niece to drive me to the airport, I check the weather. This is what Anchorage looks like:


And this is what Dallas weather was doing:

 That was motivation.

Ever since my memory and confidence got so bad, I found workarounds to help make life easier. When I drive, even around my own town, I use Google Maps. Sometimes, I have no trouble, but there are times when I can get mixed up on the way to or from a familiar place. This gets worse, depending on my stress levels. Traveling alone is extremely stressful for me, so I do a couple of things that I will share in case someone else needs to know:

Always download the app for whichever airline you are using.

I've used Delta and either United or American. I like American's app better, but Delta's was bearable. You can "check in" and even pay for your baggage before you get to the airport.

When you do a mobile check-in, you also get to bypass some of the hassles of going through aiprot security. At least you don't have to remove your shoes. That's worth it right there.

Your boarding pass will be electronic/mobile. There's no extra piece of paper to keep track of. Best of all for the nervous type like me, I can refer constantly to my travel information: flight times, gate changes, layover times, etcetera. It just feels so good to have everything right there on the phone.

Limit what you carry around.

I keep only the very essential things on my person, and any carry-on is something I can attach to myself. I use a backpack and a very small messenger type purse. This way I'm less apt to leave something behind in an airport or on a plane. I have a good attachment clip on my phone so that it's always hooked onto my clothing or one of my carry-ons. On one of the flights, someone turned in a passport they found on the floor under the seat in front of them. A passport! 

Put snacks in your carry-on

I always do a Walmart run and grab some granola bars. Thank goodness I remembered this time. For one thing, I had such short layovers that there was no time to get decent food at the airport. For another thing, I couldn't afford the food that was available. (One snack bar offered a tuna sandwhich with lettuce and some condiment packages for a mere $8.00. I'm not kidding.) I did fork out about $7.00 for a muffin and some juice at one point. I could have bought pack of six bigger and better muffins at Costco for that price. #ripoff)

Use the bathroom at every layover.

Even if you don't have to go. You probably will anyway. It gives you the chance to freshen up and check your purse in privacy. I usually rinse out my mouth and puff some baby powder under my clothes. No need not to smell somewhat fresh while sitting next to strangers in the close quarters of an airplane, right?

This wasn't a bad trip. I was so tired anyway. And I had great seatmates all the way. One of them was super-sweet and I sure wish neither of us had been so shy. Makes me want to go to Denver and look for him!

I woke up long enough to get some photos of wherever we happened to be flying over. Can't sort them out now...



I'm SO glad that I layered my clothing. The planes were always chilly so I could keep on my jacket at least, and I used my vest for a pillow at one point. When I got into Dallas, it was muggy but my niece was there to get me so...

I've got to say how proud I am of +Gabrielle B . She navigates this city like nobody's business. I just admire her for her independent spirit. It also makes me feel a little weak and silly. There was a time when I traveled the States to writers' camps and conferences, and even went solo to England before I was out of my teens. I was always so confident and adventurous. Last night, as we left the airport, found a Whataburger for dinner, then headed for Gabby's place, I kept thinking how terrified I would be out there on my own.

When Marla made me smile with her compliments about my travel-ready looks, she hadn't seen these photos!


My evil niece took this when I just passed out sleep on her couch

Lovely, yes? LOL


Notice that her puppy, Kenai, has decided that we are new best friends! If you can see him at all. He's jet black and has the most beautiful coat of hair. I'd steal him if I could. He's such a cute little booger.


"I'm gonna just rest here in the crook of her knees!"

And... I'm not looking so hot here. Around 6-something this morning before Gabby heads out to work. I'm still tired and still wearing my twist-rows. I don't even fully remember twisting up my hair before I passed out last night!

Too early to care!
That last photo is to send to my little Boo-Boo (DJ). I miss him, but, boy, it was real nice to wake up and just enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet this morning!

Since I do have time to rest my nerves and pull my thoughts together, I'm going to do some short-story writing (and maybe post some?), and try to examine my life. Hopefully, when I get back home, I will be able to go to work and sort out some of my life tangles.

Peace
--Free                                  

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