My Plane Ticket Said Cleveland, but I Ended Up at Disney.
I’m the first to raise my hand if you ask a crowd you loves structure and proper planning. I get uneasy if I’m not sure of the schedule for the day, and thrive off of doing research before stepping into any situation.
So if you told me that I was going to end up stranded in Orlando and unable to see my family for a long weekend, I probably would already be trying to figure out a game plan to survive.
Well that’s exactly what happened to me this past weekend. I booked a last minute flight to Cleveland after realizing I’d be off for Good Friday. With last minute flights come high costs so I chose the layover route to save some money. That layover just happened to be in Orlando.
As you can see, I joked on Instagram as we boarded about grabbing my favorite Disney snack, Mickey waffles - and my dream came true because I got two days worth of them!
Now what I’m about to tell you seriously I can’t make up. Our plane took off perfectly fine, no bad weather or turbulence and I slept comfortably for most of the trip (sorry all blog posts drafted, you were easily forgotten). However, upon landing we were immediately met with a massive storm that actually put the entire airport on hold. All flights had been grounded for close to three hours by the time we arrived, so there was no terminal to park at.
So we sat on the tarmac, in the plane, for a better part of 4 hours just waiting to have somewhere to go. As me and everyone else on the plane waited patiently, the storm hit again- the whole sky turned black and we watched as a curtain of rain swept across the landing strip and splashed into the plane. It was quite the site I wish I could have captured on film.
Eventually we started getting updates from our pilot of threats on the other planes on the runway, pushing our arrival back. Additionally by hour two, my flight along with several others were completely cancelled.
To make a long story short, by the time we got off the plane and I waited to reschedule my flight, every flight to Cleveland from Friday to Monday were completely booked. I was stranded in Orlando.
Two amazing things happened in this moment though. One, I realized I was in a city I actually knew people, and two, I felt a wave rush over me to not worry, and just take the rest of the weekend as it came.
Thankfully, one of my best friends was planning on flying in on Saturday to see their family for Easter, and they just happened to work for Disney.
With one phone call I had tickets and hotel reserved as my “plan b”. From this whole experience, it made me realize the importance of maintaining connections, because you never know when you’ll need to ask for help.
And while I didn’t get to spend time with my immediate family, I was safe and healthy, and I got to see plenty of other people I hadn’t in over a year.
My weekend at Walt Disney World was excitedly unexpected - so much so I had to go shopping because I didn’t have summer attire packed. I walked into Magic Kingdom with no expectations and ate at EPCOT blindly picking countries I’ve never tried.
But most importantly, I didn’t check my email, reach out to potential clients or worry about my Instagram growth. Sure I had just launched this brand officially, but last weekend non of it mattered. I NEEDED the break frankly and had been in denial that I did.
The abrupt change in plans really forced me to celebrate the work I had done every night for the past four months; straining over my computer as I strategized and designed and grew confidence in saying “I’m a CEO, I own a company”, and honestly it was so gratifying. I deserved this trip, as my own “self-care” activity.
You deserve a break too. I know it’s so hard to stop and put your design tools away, but you have too. Take a 30 minute break and soak in the tub, watch Queer Eye or bake a cake just because. Don’t forget to use that time to validate yourself though, remember how far you’ve come & celebrate even the little things like cleaning out your G Drive…actually brb going to go do that now.