Yesterday I arrived at John F. Kennedy airport in NYC at 4:15pm to discover that my Delta flight was delayed again for the third time. After speaking to a special service agent I realized I would not make my connection flight in Atlanta to Chile with the rest of my travel group. I was disappointed but then Dr. Schmidt's PowerPoint on travel Zen popped into my head. I realized that I needed to practice mindfulness (the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm). This helped me to accept the situation for what it was and make the best of it.
On the bright side, I was early enough to make alternative travel plans. A nice special services agent found a direct flight to Santiago, Chile on a different airline called Latam. I googled the airline because I had never heard of it before. I found out that it is a South American airline that travels to many countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and of course Chile. I was excited to fly with Chilean natives and intrigued that I would be the foreigner now.
As I entered the plane, I was greeted by lovely flight attendants "Bienveindo" (welcome) they said as they helped me find my seat. The first thing I found fascinating was that everything was said in Spanish first and then in English, even the safety instruction video, which had English subtitles. Also, the flight attendants spoke to me in Spanish first until they realized my prolonged smile was a smile of confusion (haha). My 10-hour flight consisted of movies, sleep, food and more sleep.
I landed in Santiago at 5:00am, I got a little lost in the airport but I spoke to people on my flight that helped direct me to baggage claim. I love the fact that although I do not speak Spanish, I was able to communicate using gestures and the few Spanish words that I do know to get around. I cannot wait to learn more Spanish at ECELA (Spanish school in Providencia, Chile) as well as from my host family.
I enjoyed my travel experience and I am excited to rejoin my travel group in a few hours. In the mean time I get to explore the airport and publish this blog post.
Until next time,
¡Hola! I'm Jameelat and welcome to my blog!