dream delayed

Ice_Day1Akurholt Farmhouse Lodge Iceland – Day 1

For half my life I’ve had some version of a recurring travel nightmare. In the dream, I am at an airport, boarding a plane for a spectacular destination, and just as I walk toward the plane, I suddenly realize that I don’t have a passport and cannot go. I’m overwhelmed with shock, regret, angst over how I could have possibly let that happen. Consequently in my waking life, I triple check my passport before any international travel. Sometimes even triple checks cannot change the oracle. I arrive at SFO international check-in at 8pm with Greg, packed and pumped for our Iceland adventure. The agent asks me, “Do you have another passport?” I’m stunned, what an odd question. He informs me that even though my passport is dated valid for another 6 weeks that it has actually expired from use due to international regulations that require a passport expiration date up to a year. The nightmare unfolds. Greg goes on without me, sleeping for the next 9 hours on the flight to Keflavik. I spend the next 4 hours on the phone and Internet to change my flight, his car reservations, research the requirements for same-day passports from the government office in San Francisco. The following morning, my daughter is chauffeur for the day,… to the drugstore for passport photo and copies of flight details, then across town to long lines through security followed by multiple levels of numbers for various queues completing paperwork. Eight hours later I have a new passport in hand. All I can feel is gratitude that a government office even exists to expedite a passport in a day. We head to the nail salon to celebrate and four hours later I check into the airport once again. Throughout the day I read Greg’s posts about the extraordinary farm guesthouse, Icelandic horses, hand-knit sweaters, and cumulus clouds. Throughout the next week we discuss all the interesting Icelandic stories that his history major host imparted in that precious lost day. I sleep soundly on the plane and wake up to spectacular clouds and the crest of ocean against the jagged coastline of Keflavik as the sun rises into a new day.

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