Vanajeros Day 74
“I’m going to let you board this plane” the Hawaiian, United Airlines attendant, said as she turned to put my newly checked bag on the carousel behind her. “But you need to understand, that it is well within the Mexican customs abilities to deny you in Cancun”.
I had left the Vanajeros once again for a wedding, the last official break I would have from our 6-8 month voyage to attend a wedding for close friends. The wedding took place on the west side of Kaua’i and although it was stressful to leave the van and a project myself, Aidan, Madison, and Joel have worked so hard to achieve, remaining stressed in Hawai’i with a gang of old friends was close to impossible. But as it often does after a vacation, life, and its twisted sense of humor, was reminding me I was never in control. This reminder was coming in the form of potential country denial at the Cancun airport where the van, and its three other passengers, were patiently waiting for my return.
Apparently, and this was news to me, if a passenger flew to a foreign country without a return ticket, they could be denied. No questions, denied entrance.
As I stood at the ticket counter in Lihue International, coffee in hand, staring blankly at the ticket agent, trying to figure out which set of words to string together to make this sudden breaking news O.K. one of her co-workers chimed in from the neighboring counter. “board the plane, its an adventure”.
Like a hard, quick, eye opening slap in the face it was all clear again. I’ve waxed poetically in updates about the heartbreak of leaving new/old friends, or the excitement of life on the road, or the sense of achievement involved in this project. But, before piling all of that on, the root of it all was nailed on the freakin head by a ticket agent who was attempting to lighten the news that I could potentially getting stranded in a Mexican airport.
It’s an adventure. During the last two months thats been an easy bit to forget and sitting in the Houston airport awaiting my looming flight to Cancun its a phrase that quickly and unquestionably wakes up the kid in me. Whatever comes of this project, whatever relationships are created, whatever lies 4-6 months down the road, exist because at some point I had the presence of mind to think “this sounds like an adventure, I want in” and hopped on board.
There’s a fair amount I'm going to pull from this trip, as you do with most any trip. The bits of knowledge that you attempt to apply to your everyday life after the return flight. The bits that you cant help but think will better you as an individual. The bits that define an experience. But I think one of the better bits I want to remember is to get on the freaking plane, it may seem risky but theres adventure afoot.