Since I am unable at this time to visit Europe. I am living vicariously through the adventurous free spirit of my son! He flew to Paris on Sunday. My very generous friend let him use one of her passes to go. Even though he is 21 years old, as his mother I cannot help, but worry about him. A natural instinct that I need to curb, using various techniques. I focus on the fact that I am not in control of what happens, and pray!
We drove 3 hours through the first storm of this winter season and I dropped him off at 3:00 p.m for his 5:15 flight. I get a call from him about an hour later saying his flight has been delayed until 8:30 p.m. due to technical difficulties. Yikes. Then a call…departing at 9:30 p.m. Then a text at 9:30 p.m…I am boarding the plane. No more texts. I go on this fantastic website that allows you to track a flight (stalk much?!). 10:00 sitting at the gate waiting departure…10:30…11:00…A bit after 11:00 p.m. the flight finally takes off. Throughout the night (yes, I did sleep a little) I watch this little picture of a plane move across the Atlantic. Destination France. I see the plane lands safely just after 6 a.m. our time.
Due to this delay, my son misses his flight from Paris to Italy. Why not a straight flight to Italy? For whatever reason, the price difference to fly into Italy from the U.S. is substantial, especially for a college student. Even though he has a pass, there are still fees attached. Then begins the race to find a new last minute flight that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Google has a flights page that gives you every flight there is and the price! It makes it very simple to see your choices. Even with google, he can’t find a doable fair. He has to wait until the next day to fly out. Hotel time. I will tell you, Booking.com is a great source to find a hotel on the cheap! You can find just about anything from a hostel to a five star hotel. it is very descriptive and has so many reviews. You can find whatever suits your needs!
Okay, so enough of the commercial for Booking.com. He finds a hotel for $65 and tells me about a $72 flight to Lisbon that he needs to book by midnight. He has a friend there. Italy is just to expensive last minute. I receive a text that his card won’t work, asking me to try and get it for him…then nothing! I don’t hear from him again. What?! I’m left hanging. I begin to worry again and decide, there is no point. He is 21 years old and can take care of himself. Still, I bought an international plan for him to be able to use his phone to text. Common courtesy would dictate to let me know what happened! I mean, hasn’t he seen the movie “Taken?” I would like an itinerary! Where are you at all times! Slap…oh boy, wait. Get ahold of yourself, Wendy! I know people would agree, he should let me know where he is. Fact of the matter is, you can talk to someone until you’re blue in the face about the way you would like things handled, but you can’t change anyone or force them to do things your way. You can only control your reaction to a situation. I choose to chill out and know he will contact me when he can.
Wait – I can’t help myself! I e-mail the hotel where he is staying asking them if he has checked in!!! They probably read it and said “Crazy American!” Click – trash. Either way, I wake up at 6 a.m. to a text saying he’s okay and catching a flight to Lisbon at 10 a.m. my time. What fun! Crazy, but fun! Life can be so exciting if we want it to be. I know some would say the way we do things is crazy. He really doesn’t have the resources to be doing what he’s doing, but he did it! At 21 I was working three jobs. i would never have dreamed of leaving the country. I was so responsible and so set on taking care of my mother that I never thought of traveling. It’s funny how we get stuck in our lives, set in our ways, never thinking that there is more out there that we can be a part of. Well, I know now. And while I am still responsible and I still have the overwhelming need to take care of others needs above my own, I at least know now that it is possible. I know you can’t just do whatever you want when you want, but when the opportunity arises, I am outta here! Take the golden ring whenever you can. Life is short! Live it and live it well!!! I recently had a friend say they wanted to go to New York because their son’s school band is playing at Carnegie Hall. Her husband responded, “Wait, can we afford that?” I said, “The question is, can you afford not to?! (I know, a bit cliche, but still true). 🙂