Departures and Arrivals

April 28-29, 2015

Journey to the Past and to the Future
We have finally begun our newest journey to travel the world together! We met on eHarmony, an online dating site, attempted to buy a house and condo (but failed miserably due to being outbid from multiple offers and rising home ownership prices), to then finding an apartment and moving in together. Our love of travel led us to complete numerous road trips throughout the neighboring states of California including Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, travelling overseas to Japan to meet Josh’s Japanese family. After getting engaged at Crater Lake, planning our wedding, getting married in the forest at the Redwood Regional Park in a months time, quitting our jobs, and moving out of our 2 bedroom apartment and getting rid of most of our stuff feels like the last three years has been a whirlwind of an adventure already.

Our New Home, From 850 sq ft to a 65L Backpack
Deciding to downsize and travel was an easy decision considering the rising rent we faced each year to lease what we called our home, a 2-bedroom 850 sq ft apartment in the sleepy and foggy coastal town of Pacifica, CA near San Francisco. We quickly learned that it is not as expensive to travel as we had thought. With some planning and budgeting we figured we could travel the world for about the same cost as just putting a roof over our head in the SF Bay Area.

Downsizing to a 65L backpack was a little more challenging than we had imagined it would be. It is amazing the amount of stuff a person accumulates over the course of ones life. After asking ourselves “do we own our stuff or does our stuff own us” we decided to donate or sell most of our possessions. The hardest part was deciding what was important to keep took as we seemed to have emotional attachments to the things we owned. But as each item disappeared from our lives we could could the weight of those emotions leave with them. It feels amazing to to have been able to consolidate down from 850 sq ft to 65L or 2.3 cubic feet at 35 lbs! We will surely miss everyone back home, but we are excited to start on this journey to travel and see the world.

Pre-Departure Anxiety
It was an adventure just to get the journey started. We nearly missed our flight because even though our flight departed at 6PM, I wanted to head to the airport at 3PM just in case security checkpoint was long. We managed to arrive at 4PM, though we went to the wrong terminal. We thought we were going to go to International Departures, but ended up finding out that because we have a layover at LAX, it was really a Domestic Departure, which was in terminal 2, on the far opposite side of SFO! We asked an airport staff how to get there and he said with a sigh showing the journey was long, we had to take a tram, and walk to the other side. I felt like we were on Amazing Race and had to race against the clock. Fortunately, I rushed back outside and found my mom still there, so we hopped in and she took us to the right place.

American Airlines’ Flight Delay Due to an Anomaly
Our flight arrived on time, we had all boarded the plane and were seated, until the pilot said there was an “anomaly” that he has never encountered before and we needed to head back to the gate. Turns out American Airlines were early adopters to use iPads on their flights so they could be more efficient by not printing flight charts and they are legally required to have 1 of 2 working iPads before taking off. Both iPads didn’t work. Then the pilot found out it was a systemwide error where all pilots of American Airlines were grounded due to an update glitch. So we went back to the terminal to wait and their back up plan is to run the Apple update again, and also have someone deliver a printed flight chart to them. After waiting at the tarmac for an hour and a half, we finally took off and arrived. Good thing our layover was for 4 hours, and we wouldn’t miss our next flight to Fiji.

More Legroom Please
Our next leg of the journey was to board Fiji Airways for an 11 hour red-eye flight from LAX to NAD, or Nadi, Fiji. The flight was painstakingly long. I’m 5’8″ and Josh is 5’10” and we barely had enough leg room once the people in front reclined. I had about 10″ of personal space before the monitor on the head rest reached my face or 3″ of space from my knee to the seats. How do taller people fly? The airline, however, did provide us with a pillow, blanket, headphones, and two (mediocre) meals. Once I discovered that the restroom had 3x’s as much space, I deliberately found excuses to get up to go to the bathroom to stretch and hang out there. Though Fiji Airways was a cramped ride, the flight did go smoothly, no delays, nice staff, and we arrived safely. I ended up watching “Kingsmen” and part of “Ex Machina” on the flight when I wasn’t drifting in and out of sleep or going to the bathroom to hang out there. Upon arrival we were greeted with a Fijian musical group, flowed through customs smoothly, and arrived right at baggage claims to retrieve our bags. It was a small airport and there was no room to get lost. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a big Bula (hello) and Welcome from a Fijian music group. We knew then we were now in Fiji!