I’m more amazed with this than anyone I think.
That after 6 years of being single and planning a solo pan-American trip, I would meet someone who not only wanted to join my adventure, but that I’d actually want to have along! And “want” doesn’t even describe it,
after Sayulita I no longer could imagine myself traveling alone – but not with anyone other than Tom.
All I can say is, I am so happy the universe knows what it’s doing!
The trip was what most would consider a disaster from the get-go. Tom overslept and didn’t wake up until 5 minutes before the cab showed up, in his hurry he forget his charger – to the only phone we brought. We made our 1st flight but a few minutes before we were scheduled to land we were told we were being diverted due to the weather. So there we were in Dayton while the plane taking us to Mexico was leaving from Cleveland in less than an hour! We sat waiting for the mob at the ticket counter to die down while I used the phone to have my mom check flights from Dayton to Puerto Vallarta. Once we knew there were flights Tom joined the line… an hour later he was still standing in the same spot. I went to join him and as we waited for the line to move we called the airline to try to get another flight out that day. We were in line for about 3 hours and on hold for maybe 2 when all of a sudden Tom got someone at US Air to call someone at the United ticket counter (they were in the middle of a merger) and we miraculously got a new itinerary that would put us in Mexico around 9pm.
When we landed in Charlotte we were floating on air, so happy to be moving forward. We found our gate and with hours to spare, bellied up to a bar right next door for some food and a well-deserved drink. After we were finished eating we double checked our tickets and got the time.
Tom with one ticket, me with another, simultaneously shot our heads up and met each others look of panic – departure was 5 minutes ago?!
Tom ran around the corner to the gate, “Where’s the plane?” he yelped, the answer, “That plane is gone, Sir”, still echos in my head, All I could do was laugh, I felt a little helpless at that point, surely we wouldn’t be so lucky to get another flight; but all I could do was smile at Tom as we walked to the ticket counter. We pleaded with the lady to help us find another flight that would have us in Mexico that night but it was too late. The only option was fly to Phoenix and catch a plane to Puerto Vallarta in the morning.
The flight from Charlotte to Phoenix was the longest 4 hours of my life – I swear the flight was really 6 hours due to the time continuum we seemed to be stuck in! The airline gave us vouchers for discounted hotels and Tom made reservations for us at the only one with a pool for we deserved some vacationing! I barely made it through dinner without passing out from sheer exhaustion; not before touching the water in the pool on our way back up to the room though.
Refreshed and ready to try again, we boarded our last flight in the morning and finally arrived in Puerto Vallarta around 3 that afternoon.
That entire week was life changing. If I had any doubts regarding my travel plans, they were washed away with the waves on that beach in Sayulita. By the end of the week we had more friends than tan lines, I secured an apartment in exchange for cleaning and was offered a small job with the zip-line people. It was really hard to get on a plane back East but I had to stick to my original plan. That trip gave me a taste of what my life was about to be, I couldn’t wait to be out there, free, really living life!
Tom and I shared a special time on that trip that could never be recounted through words or pictures. The weekend after Mexico we found ourselves in another airport awaiting a plane to Florida. As we picked at our appetizer and chatted about our futures there was an unusual air when abruptly Tom said, “I want to do this with you”.
I honestly couldn’t have been happier!
“Good! ‘Cause I want you to do this with me!”
By the time we touched down in Ft. Myers, Tom had come up with a plan to leave with me in a year. By the end of the trip we realized our love for one another and decided that I should move in with him, and that’s just what happened on March 3rd, 2012.