The last time we went home for the holidays was Christmas 2019. Flying home was long, but I don’t remember it being hard. We had made the trip across the ocean and half the country more than once, and this trip would be stress-free. Little did we know that we would not be able to fly back to Texas the next year. Coronavirus had not hit the world, and we had no idea that a pandemic was near.
Over the course of the next two years, we would be able to travel, and each time we would face different challenges.
One trip had me almost stranded in the Honolulu airport because they had ridiculous rules on where we could test for the virus. They would not recognize the United States Medical Facility on Okinawa as a US testing site. I cried in that airport. They finally let me out because I promised to quarantine for the next 10 days in my Airbnb.
Another trip, I was quarantined on Yokota Air Force Base on my trip back to Okinawa. If you’re curious about that experience, I wrote a blog about it.
On another trip to the US, I got as far as Las Vegas, and my mom and younger brother had to rescue me. There are worse places to be stranded. We had a blast before we got on the road to get me from Vegas back to Texas.
We are finally almost in the clear, and it feels so freeing to be able to fly back home without wondering what might go wrong or where I might get stranded.
I am SURE everyone else feels this way too, which means the airports are busy, and boy was the airport in Okinawa busy today.
We left the house much earlier than normal because we needed to take our sweet dog to his dog-sitter’s house. That ended up being smooth sailing. We made our trip down south. Once again smooth sailing. I had anticipated having enough time to study for an hour, find a sandwich, and maybe grab a beer too. Little did I know that we would be in line to check in our luggage for over two hours. Then the security line was literally four times as long as it was the last time I flew. Instead of studying and eating, I was running to my gate. The Japanese are the best in the world at managing through-put, and even this time, they couldn’t keep up. There was simply not enough staff.
The rest of the world has managed the influx of travelers after Covid, but because Japan took so long to open their borders, they are late to the game in dealing with very busy airports and long lines.
We made it to our first stop, and I anticipate the rest of the trip will be smooth sailing. I’m not sure when I’ll get the GRE studying in, but I finally found my beer.
I also somehow figured out something to write on day 24 of 30.