Most of my nightmares in life are about being late. When I was a kid, I had nightmares about legitimately scary things, but now that I am older, what wakes me up at night covered in sweat with a racing heart is the fear that I am late for something. I blame this on my highstrung, hyper punctual father. (Who is also very wonderful. Hi Daddy.)
No joke, I have been finished with school for several years now, but I have fairly regular dreams that I am late for class. My travel dreams are no exception. In fact, a couple weeks ago I had a dream that Jen and I were at the Reykjavik airport, where we have a layover in real life next Monday. In my dream, it was kind of magical, like Platform 9-3/4, and for some reason we were in a hurry to catch a train that was about to materialize under the floor. But I was busy looking at glacial mountains out the window and buying a "Tiger Beat." I am not shitting you. I had a dream that I was going to miss a train because I was buying an issue of "Tiger Beat." I just HAD to have a teeny bopper magazine that I've never read in my actual life, even when I was a 12-year-old crushing on Leonardo DiCaprio and the Backstreet Boys (#tbt).
I don't know, OK?
Most of the time though, when I have nightmares about being late for travel, it's because when I pack, the struggle is real. I mean the packing struggle is real in real life and so in my dreams, I am usually late because I can't decide what I will want to wear and/or cannot get my suitcase shut and everything is terrible. This is how I've learned the hard way to pack light.
So far, I've only had the one "Tiger Beat" nightmare. But you know what? Life is providing PLENTY of real nightmares for us right now as we prep for our U.K. trip.
This might make us sound like amateurs, but Jen discovered on Tuesday that in some countries, your passport is only valid if it is X number of months away from expiring. I had no fucking clue about this. Luckily, that number for Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland is zero. I knew my passport was expiring this year, so I checked months ago to make sure it wasn't in August or September. It expires November 21.
Not so luckily, that X does not = 0 in Iceland, where as I mentioned, we have a layover. In order to enter Iceland, your passport needs to be three or more months away from expiring. We are leaving August 25, arriving August 26, so that makes me FIVE FUCKING DAYS SHY of the three-month mark. Commence heart palpitations.
I tried to laugh and tell myself (and Jen) that it would all be OK. Our layover in Iceland isn't even two hours (which is stressful in and of itself). There's no way they would hold me up at customs on my way to London just because my VALID passport was less than three months away from expiring, right? RIGHT!?!!>?!>@
I tried to bury my head in the sand as I am wont to do. I told Jen it would be OK. I would try to get a male customs agent, pull the neckline of my shirt down a little bit, and maybe turn on the waterworks if there were any problems.
But we both knew I had to make some calls. First, U.S. passport services. Then, Icelandair. And last but not least, the Iceland embassy in D.C. Which, naturally, was closed because they close at 4 p.m. and it was 4:02.
Needless to say, I was stressed and went home muttering over and over "I hate my life." But then I went to hip hop spin, had a great workout to my jams, and felt infinitely better. Until I checked my phone and saw a link from Jen.
O RLY, ICELAND??!??! What did I ever do to you? Why you gotta be like that? Jen told me she screamed out loud at the gym. I yelled FUCK and stormed out, went home and cooked dinner, and let me tell you, I KILLED that cilantro with a butcher knife.
Luckily, it turns out my passport is good to go. When I spoke to the Iceland embassy Wednesday, they told me it would be fine, and even humored me when I made them write me a note to take through customs with me. The volcano... well. What can you do besides stock up on travel insurance?
Let's just say if I find myself in the office Monday morning, it's not gonna be pretty.
So yeah, this was supposed to be a packing post, but in an effort to not further jinx this trip, I'm just not even going there. Besides, you all know what I wear. Lots of black and gray and maybe a little bit of white. I told Jen this volcano thing is all her fault for packing so early. Hasn't she ever heard of procrastination? Live and die by it, baby.
And I'll tell you what. If this U.K. trip doesn't happen, you better believe I'm scrounging up what refunds I can get and taking my ass to the Caribbean where I will make Jen get a romantic couples massage with me. Which means all the autumn clothes get chucked out of the suitcase, and my new packing list consists of bikinis and seven gallons of sunscreen.
Hopefully (?) that won't happen.
At any rate, I did already have my airplane outfit picked out, and Jen made the graphic prior to Iceland spazzing out. Like Jen, I'm dressing in layers and wearing slip-on boots because they'll be the bulkiest shoes, and this way they won't take up room in my suitcase. My glasses are happening because DID YOU READ ABOUT THE GIRL WHO SLEPT IN HER CONTACTS AND THEN AN AMOEBA ATE HER EYEBALLS? No thank you. A hat because no amount of dry shampoo will protect public eyes from this Jewfro. And of course, stretchy leggings because I will probably end up with a Chex Mix + gummi bear food baby four hours into the flight, and no one wants to sit next to the girl who has to unbutton her pants to get comfortable.
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for us that Bardarbunga (great name) just takes a giant Pepcid and calls it a day. Or at least waits until after we've landed safely at Heathrow in London.
Til then, I'll be downing Pepcid by the bottle.