The One Who Let Me Get Away
My guardian angel didn’t look the way I expected. I had always imagined big wings and a halo of sorts. Instead she had a sharp Eastern European accent and told me to hurry up; she didn’t have all day. And yet, it was undeniably, her. She was the Delta airline representative who singlehandedly saved the airline’s reputation (at least for me) and saved me 32 unnecessary hours in the Atlanta airport. She’s the one – the only one- I met in my recent airport adventure who agreed me that there must be another way; that having to wait an extra three days because of one delayed flight (that caused me to miss my subsequent connecting flight) was ridiculous. She was even the one who recorded that my first flight was delayed due to mechanical problems, not the weather, so I could score a free hotel room for the night (*note to travelers: airlines offer no compensation if delays are caused by weather – go figure). She is the one who let me get away – away from sweltering heat Atlanta and back to lovely Cape Town.
(She even threw in a free Delta t-shirt that I’m wearing right now. Que magnifico!)
This encounter of the plane kind has made me stop and ponder the difference one person can make to your travels; the power each person has to contribute positively – or negatively – to how you will think back on your vacation. We’ve all encountered that one person in a group who won’t stop complaining about the food, the bus ride, the weather. There’s the person who insists you follow their itinerary, which generally includes getting up at six in the morning and going to bed at nine at night. These are the people who manage to screw things up for everyone.
Then there’s the person who looks on the bright side when you miss your train; the one who shows you around a new town and gives really good restaurant recommendations. There’s the person who’s not in too big a hurry to sit down and chat to you. This is the person who brings a whole new (positive) dimension to your time away from home.
The stark difference between these two types of people serves to remind me that you and I can be either. Like any other person, we can choose to add to, or take away from, other people’s travels, even their happiness. So hopefully I’ll remember the example my guardian angel set, even if she didn’t have wings.