Countdown to Ireland trip, recapping travel disasters: #1 Australia

With only days remaining till the boyfriend and I take off from the good ‘ol US of A and head to the land of lucky charms, I am reminded of all the travel debacles I have encountered since first becoming a seasoned nomad.

Reflection: Travel Debacle #1 Australia

The koala bears are WAY bigger in person but great at spooning.

The koala bears are WAY bigger in person but great at spooning.

Bound for Australia for the first time, with a binder full of pertinent information, including my work visa, my housing information, my plane tickets, and my passport, I navigated my two flights from a small airport on the East Coast, to a big Chicago airport in the Midwest, arriving at LAX where I would depart this fair country and head to the land down under.

I started to the international terminal, two big bags of luggage in tow (I was moving there for a year, after all,  I needed a different outfit and pair of shoes for each day), and approached the check-in desk for my international departure.

As I began to check-in at the Qantas counter, I realized something very important was missing—my binder. My binder full of pertinent information, including my work visa, my housing information, my plane tickets, and my passport.


They don’t let you into a country without that little book of stamps. You can get by without a ticket, even my work visa could be pulled up electronically, but that little blue book, it’s oddly powerful.

There was only one place, if not a thousand, it could be. I took my chances that I left it on the previous airplane.

I made the mistake of asking some local airport workers to hold my bags while I sprinted back to the airline counter at the domestic terminal, they looked at me like I was crazy. The first thing they tell you in flight school, “don’t look after a stranger’s bag and hang the person who makes the request by their toes.”

So, two massive bags in hand, full of shoes, clothes, and superfluous items I never needed, I ran through LAX, knocking over celebrities when necessary.

I was that person. That person you see running through an airport as if their life depends on it.

*Blogger’s Note: I tried to be thrifty and book my international flight and my domestic flights separate. I got such a deal. But that also meant my luggage wouldn’t be automatically transferred and that I had to check and claim and recheck. Never again.

I reached the airline desk in hysterics (normally they detain persons looking as crazed as I did) and begged for help.

Lady at the desk, “That flight is due to head back to Chicago.”

Me flailing about wildly, “Whhhhhhaaaaa? Stop that plane!”

Long story cut short, the binder was returned to me, panic ceased, and I sat on an airplane for 15.5 hours, arriving halfway across the world in Melbourne, Australia prepared to be massacred by any of the insanely deadly creatures that haunt that continent—I’m talking about you, funnel-web spider.


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