It was an opportunity too good to pass up. An intensive three week university exchange to Mexico, focussing on my area of interest: Human Rights and Immigration, but also an exchange that I could apply for a scholarship for. I got a travel grants and the jolly good Australian Government added all other costs to my HECS debt, so I’m basically breaking even. That is until I chose to fly out a week early and see some of Mexico while I’m there (or here, now).
So, this is the story of how I got from Adelaide, South Australia to Mérida, Mexico. In summary.
I made the mistake of booking Delta because it was slightly cheaper. This meant that the night before my 6am flight, when I tried to check in online neither Delta nor their partner airline (Virgin were actually doing the flying) would allow me to check in. I had to go to the airport earlier and do it in person. So after staying up late drinking wine with some awesome people, and repacking my bag at 2am, we were in the car by 4am.
The first flight was uneventful; I didn’t sleep. When I arrived in Sydney, the plane ticket Virgin had printed me for my Delta flight was invalid. I got pulled aside as they had to reissue the ticket through their own system. I was starving by then, and this is where it happened, Delta decided that it’s first thing in the morning meal would be fettuccine for us vegetarian-optioned folk. I have travelled rather extensively, but my Delta meals were amongst the worst. One meal had a table spoon of unmelted butter with two pieces of mushroom in it, some glug of spinach and two well done ‘poached’ eggs cooked at least 16 hours previously. I watched movies and did not sleep.
Transferred in LAX, but had not been issued the tickets for the next leg. No problem though. Other than the Delta guy telling me where to line up, and only when I reached first in line did he change his mind and tell me that I needed to go line up at the partner airline, Aeromexico. Deep breath, “thank you, sir”. From LAX to Mexico City, I nodded off, finally. Unfortunately, it was after hearing the “we’re about to land” announcement. The tires touching down woke me with a start. Then, I stored my checked luggage, a bag of shoes for donation to organisations that we’ll visit as part of the course, and caught a late night flight from Mexico City to Mérida. I arrived after midnight, and caught a taxi with a delightful driver to my hostel.
Done. Long winded and unnecessarily detailed flight history. Next step, travelling solo for the first time in many, many years.