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Greetings: I've enjoyed so much the posts about everyone's train travel that I thought I would take a shot at another topic: Epiphanies during travel. I had one in my mid 30's while travelling to a conference in Oakland, CA. I had never been an easy traveller, probably because my father was travel-phobic( he refused to fly among other things) so I had absorbed many of his travel fears by osmosis( except I did fly which only intensified the anxiety).
Long story short: by mistake I got on the plane with only $5.00 in my wallet. I was quietly but demonstrably freaking out when the man sitting next to me asked what was wrong. I told him and he listened and then asked if I had a credit card. I said yes and he said that I should go to any bank the next day and ask for an advance on my credit card. I had never heard of this but I did it and it worked. From that time forward I realized that in travel ( as in other aspects of life) there is usually an answer to even the most upsetting occurence. I have been a much better solo traveller since then.
Any other such epiphanies out there?
I don't know if you would call this an epiphany or not but one time back in the early eighties the company I worked for always sent us first class when we traveled outside the US. They had their reasons but I did not see the logic at the time. I was traveling to Guayaquil, Equador. I was told by another passenger on my flight over that Equatoriana Airlines bought their planes from US companies after the planes no longer met US FAA mechanical safety standards. This bothered me a little but when the plane took off the vibrations and noises made a true believer out of me.
On the return flight we were informed after we boarded that the flight would be delayed because a small single engine military plane had blown a tire on the runway and that the planes could elect to take off from the tarmac ( with all of the little speed bumps) or simply wait for the small plane to be removed. While several planes elected to take off anyway, our pilot decided to wait, thankfully. To my utter amazement the travelers in first class were told that flight service would begin immediately.
Well, we were served drinks for an hour or so then we were fed a meal. After even more drinks the lights were turned off and most passengers began to sleep but some continued to drink. I went to sleep easily. About 5 hours later we were awakened and served breakfast ( and more drinks). After breakfast the pilot announced that the small plane had been removed from the runway and that we would take off. We did and after we were airborne flight service started all over again. I can only assume that the plane was restocked again while I was sleeping.
Needless to say this turned out to be the most unusual, interesting and different flight experience I have ever had as a single traveler. I felt sorry for those passengers in coach. They only had the benefit of air conditioning and lights out during this entire 8 hour delay.