New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles

New Orleans – My First Solo Adventure – Waiting For The President

Air Force One

Have you ever thought about what happened when the Air Force One and Mr. President is in the air? No? I did not either, and I did not assume to find that out in my life ever. But it happened, and it caused a couple of issues. I have not expected that, especially not during my first solo adventure.

My First Solo Adventure

To see the world with my own eyes was something I wished for since my time in school. Unfortunately, all the time a lot of circumstances held me back. While studying, I had not enough money. Later I had no one who wanted to accompany me or shared the same ideas of traveling. Of course, I was too young and not brave enough ignoring all that and taking off by myself.

It took me into the year 2014, till I made a choice for me and my first solo adventure. After just I recovered from a broken heart, worked in a new job for a while and got again a “No” from friends of mine regarding a special vacation trip. It seems 30 is a kind of a magic number as I was about turning 30 that year. However, I was ready for a fresh start, and I was tired of postponing my wishes and desires just because of “external” circumstances. I decided to stop waiting! I took my life into my own hands and did it. Although my friends did not want to join me on the trip I wanted to do, I kicked myself in my ass and just did it.

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To travel alone, I chose the “Big Easy” New Orleans, Louisiana, followed by another two weeks of a road trip through Florida. The city was on my list for a while. Eating some delicious Cajun food and take a boat ride on the Mississippi were things which I wanted to do on this journey. It would be an excellent place to create my very own adventures, I thought. Indeed it was.

New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles

So said, so done! I booked the flights, the car, and the accommodations. How excited I was! Almost euphoric! As soon as I finished my first reservation, I had to call my mum, my best friend and I even told my boss immediately what I have done. For the rest of the day, I had such a massive smile on my face. I was full of enthusiasm and happiness that I really would do it. Traveling by myself, no need for compromises, no waiting for someone else. I could not wait for the adventure to begin.

A First Surprise

The time went by, and the departure date came closer and closer. One day I got a message from the travel agency that my flight itinerary has changed. The plan was to have a stopover in Chicago without waiting too long but enough time to get my bags checked back to the other plane and found the other gate. The agency told me that this has changed to a stop with about six hours waiting time. No good news, mainly, because it was my first run being by myself with no experience at all. But “no worries,” I told myself. I called the travel agency and asked them to help to re-arrange the flights in a way, that I still meet my schedule. As I agreed a specific time with the host of my apartment in New Orleans, I was delighted and eased to hear that everything is back in order and my original flight was still available. Once again I thought everything is fine and nothing else could go wrong. I also was a bit proud of myself that I managed this situation so well, mainly because it was my first solo adventure. 😀

The Check-In

Flight day has come, and I went to the airport thinking everything is okay. When I checked in successfully, for both, the first flight to Chicago and also for the second one to New Orleans, still, everything looked good. I dropped off my suitcase, passed the security and passport control without any incidents and sat in the boarding area relaxed, calm and full of anticipation.

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New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles

Stopover In Chicago

Until the moment I entered Chicago O´Hare Airport, the journey went very well. Besides this little issue with the changed flight, which I could put back in order beforehand. I was so pleased that I thought I could rule the world. 😀 After I got my bag and checked it in again for the second part of the flight, I went to my next gate. On the way, I got myself a coffee and sat down to read the book I took with me. Reading a good book while waiting is a great way to kill some time and relax.

So I was sitting there in the waiting area, and I looked onto my watch from time to time realizing that the boarding time came closer but nothing happened. Of course, now the time has come to become a little bit nervous. The minutes went by and the time was running, and still, nothing happened. No information, no explanation! I started to become more than just a bit nervous. I tried to find some free wifi to inform my host of the delay so that he could adjust his schedule as well. With the less experience I had in traveling alone, I think it was just natural that I started to panic that I will miss the check-in for the apartment and to sleep somewhere on the streets of New Orleans.

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Waiting For The President

Suddenly, the Co-Captain of our airplane came to us and explained why we could not start the boarding and the take-off to our final destination. He said that he and the crew were waiting for the Captain, who is still in Detroit. As it is not on the other side of the world but the other side of the lake, was wondering what could stop him from flying over to Chicago. Usually, it just takes half an hour to fly from there to the “windy” city. So why the heck he could not only hop over? I could not imagine any acceptable reason.

Then the Co-Captain continued his explanation. He found out the reason for the delay. At that time, we were not the only ones who have to wait for our flight. It was because of the President of the United States, Mr. Obama himself (at this time). When he was in the air with the Airforce One on his way to somewhere, no one else was allowed to be in the air. At least, the Co-Captain told us so. According to him, it is not allowed to start or land any airplanes as long as Airforce One is in the air. The president himself was the reason that the Captain could not take-off in the Detroit and land in Chicago. And that is why we could not take-off in Chicago with him or another Captain. No one else could leave the airport by plane. We were waiting for the President.

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Every half an hour the Co-Captain came to us and informed us that the situation has not cleared up and we still have to that the President has landed. He repeated this status for the next four hours. Overall we waited there for about five hours until the president arrived and was back on the ground safe and sound. Afterward, the regular processes at the airport could start to work again. The Captain could fly from Detroit and take over our plane and finally, we were able to board.

Happy End In New Orleans

After a neverending time of waiting, the plane arrived in New Orleans. I shared a taxi with some guys from England, I arrived at my apartment and met the host. Eventually, I fell into my bed exhausted but happy that I survived the first struggles of my journey and to continue my adventure. Five hours later than planned but, at least, an excellent story to tell. The next morning, I was ready to explore the city. I did my boat ride with this old fashion steamboat on the Mississippi and had my first Cajun food. From that point onwards, the journey went on without any further issues.

New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles

My time in New Orleans and the following in Florida was incredible. Not only it was my first solo adventure, but I also had so many new experiences; I even met new friends who I still meet again once a year. In these two and a half weeks, I felt a development of myself more significant than in the past ten years.

I would never miss this experience, and I never regret the decision of choosing myself and just do it. The decision to take action and make myself happy was the greatest achievement in the past years, for my personality in particular.

In the end, waiting for the president, nevertheless, if the story they told us is true or not, is a funny story and an experience. You will always have anything which makes your travels a bit inconvenient. But if one thing is for sure then, do not let anything holding you back.

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New Orleans: My first solo adventure. #neworleans #louisiana #travel #inspiration #struggles

Do you have such experiences? Have you chosen yourself? Hit the comment button and tell me what your most significant achievement in life is?

38 thoughts on “New Orleans – My First Solo Adventure – Waiting For The President”

  1. Hi Pia. New Orleans is beautiful . I’ve only been there once and that was in the summer. Way too hot! As for waiting for the President , yes unfortunately since 9-11 and due to security reasons, no planes are allowed to be in the air when Air Force One is in the air. People from overseas don’t know this and a lot of Americans aren’t even aware of this fsct. Planes have to wait. It’s inconvenient but with the times that we’re living in now, it’s necessary .

    1. Hey Jo, that´s awesome that you visited my site and jumped in to confirm this experience. You´re the first one who could “verify” the fact about waiting for Air Force One. Thank you for that. And yes, I totally agree with your opinion about New Orleans. I´m so happy and excited that I will go back soon. 🙂

  2. Hi Pia,
    great story!
    To the USA I flew alone for the first time. Before that only short flights in Eruoope and always witz company. But I wanted to visit a friend in Florida, so I was traveling alone. I remember how excited I was back then, too. Will it all work out? Can I find my own way? What if something changes and I don’t understand anything (although my Eglish is quite okay). S I can feel your nervousness.
    But as you write: Everything worked out fine in the end and you have a great story to tell!

    1. Exactly, Magdalena! First times are always exceptional experiences. Every time, when I travel to a new country, especially, when I don´t know the language, is once again such a special time! The only difference will be, that you already know that everything will work out in the end. What do you think about Florida by the way? I´ve been there a few times. It was so easy to travel there and so much fun! And the beaches… 🙂

    1. Roger, same here! I love it, and I am already booked a little studio near french quarter for my next stay in April. I´m so excited going back to New Orleans.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by, Kristyn! 😀 I´m glad that you like it. Do you have a solo travel experience yourself?

  3. Great post. What an adventure truly. I recently went on my first solo trip to Toronto and let me say, I could totally relate! The solo-traveling experience is such a great one though.

    1. Katherine, thanks a lot! Toronto is also a fantastic city, and even for a first solo adventure, this is a great place. Did you have a fabulous time there?

  4. Wow. I’m not sure I could be brave enough to go alone somewhere. And who knew you couldn’t fly when the president did. Glad everything worked out.

  5. Dear Pia,

    thanks to share this very personal and funny story! I can totally imagine how you have felt! Travelling alone is a special situation, because you can´t rely on someone else and you have to do all decisions by yourself. But when it is your first trip and in addition, something is going wrong, than it is very adventours! Maybe in that situation kind of too adventours! 😀 But you can be really proud of you that you managed this situation!

    Looking forward to your next adventures!

    1. Thank you, Breena, for your kind words. You´re right. It was a bit too adventurous for the very first time. But hey, I survived and now nothing else is a problem anymore. HAHA! Just kidding! I´m sure there will be other situations, which will challenge me. 😉

  6. I would have been soo angry! LoL I’m glad you had a good ending to your solo trip. Can’t wait to read more about your time in NOLA.

    1. Oh yes, it was a mixture of being angry and desperate. Summer, I will be back in NOLA in 2018. And this there will be a couple of posts I guess. 😀

  7. What a crazy story! I’m glad everything worked out for you after that long time of waiting! I love your article and especially your photos. I plan on visiting New Orleans next year – can’t wait!

    1. Hey Isa, thank you for stopping by and read my post. 😀 It was indeed a crazy story. I will be back in New Orleans in spring next year. Just in case, we are there at the same time, we could meet up and have a Jambalaya or a Hurricane (not higher than category 2 for me 😉 )

  8. New Orleans has been in my dreams since I’ve read Anne Rice’s books. Definitely visiting in the future. Thanks for the insight!

  9. Ah, this one must have been quite tiring. In India, we keep facing these situations quite often due to VIP movement. Nice Storytelling

    Alok |

  10. I love that story and would love to visit New Orleans for myself. I have heard it’s a lovely place.

    1. Kelly, New Orleans is so amazing. It is one of my favorite cities in the US. It seems that I will go back next year. I´m planning another article about my past stay and things you could/ have to do.

  11. 5 hours waiting!! But it always happens during travel. I missed a flight,,, I took a wrong bus.
    I got panicked everytime when I was traveling. But it’ll be good story to share later.

    1. Hi Fumiko, you´re right. If everything goes smooth always, we wouldn´t have anything to tell later. It was not the best situation at that very moment but it´s a great story to share now.

  12. Jesus, I didn’t know that at all! And I would have never thought that’s what happens when the president is in the air… Doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to deal with that situation does it? Hope it won’t happen to you again anyhow!

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