Rain, Pouring Rain, Sunshine

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “When it rains, it pours!” Well it did for me yesterday. I saw a suspicious charge on my main credit card that I use for foreign travel (because it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees). It was from the company that provides insurance on my cellphone. I called them to inquire about it and they said they knew nothing. They advised me to contact my credit card company, which I did. Chase said they needed to cancel the card. I freaked! How could you cancel my card the day before I leave for my trip?? There was no way I could get a card in the US before I left, the card would not make it to Argentina in time and Antarctica….well considering mail takes 2-3 months to reach North America, that definitely wasn’t an option. So, luckily, they are not canceling the card but monitoring closely until I get back. I am only allowed to use the card in person and not remotely. If there are anymore suspicious charges, they are going to put a security hold on the card (I won’t be able to use it) notify me to confirm I am aware of this and then release the hold so I can continue to use the card until I come back. When I return, I need to dispute the charges, cancel the card and get a new one. It was such a pain to have to deal with something like this the night before I am traveling to the bottom of the earth, literally.

Then I call United Airlines to confirm my flight and find out that my connection in Houston is only 39 minutes. I was told that Chase Travel, who booked my flight, had to make the change. Chase Travel wanted to charge a $2300 change fee. Yes, you read that right. $300 to change the flight but because they don’t allow changes or cancellations and then you have to buy a whole new ticket ($2000). Are you f*@#ing kidding me?? So then I call United Airlines again and explained my situation and also questioned how they thought 39 minutes was enough to get from one gate to another to make an international flight. Initially, the customer service agent couldn’t do much. I asked for a supervisor. Then the supervisor authorized the agent to book me on the earlier flight from San Diego to Houston…FREE OF CHARGE!

Needless to say, it rained, it poured, I shed a few tears and then things started looking up. I packed for about 4 hours last night. This was tricky. I had to pack for Buenos Aires where it is HOT (~87F), Ushuaia where it is CRISP (~50F) and Antarctica where it is COOL (30-40F WITHOUT any wind). I could only bring one big suitcase and one carryon. Keep in mind, my clothing for Antarctica is similar to ski clothing.

There were a few items I packed which added a little sunshine to my day.

The first is a shawl that my aunt knit and used to wear. She passed away at 65 years of age. My aunt, my mom’s sister, was the sweetest, kindest last who adored her family and who was loved by many. When Billy Joel sang, “Only the good die young,” I believe that my aunt definitely fit into that category. It is the perfect accessory while on the ship taking us to Antarctica.

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The next item is the hiking boots. Might not seem like much but I have had these since I was at the University of Calgary in the mid 90’s. I don’t usually hang on to shoes this long but for some reason I did with these boots. They bring back good times at U of C. I’m excited to make new memories in these old shoes.

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The next item is something new that my dear friend Tammy sent me in a “just because” package. It has such a beautiful message about life and connects elements from two amazing places (which I have yet to experience) in the world.

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And lastly, my suitcase and backpack. Clothing for two different climates, cameras, computer, etc. I am ready to go. So even though it rained and poured problems yesterday, this morning brings me nothing but sunshine because I am on my way to Argentina and Antarctica!

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AR

 

2 comments

  1. tameramb · January 5, 2015

    How amazing this journey will be, and glad you are taking a little token from me with you. I think you started writing your blog at the perfect time because you will have a lot of sharing to do and will be learning so much on this journey, about the earth and yourself. Awesome!

    Like

  2. Alaa Razoky · January 5, 2015

    Awe, thanks Tammy. Yes, its going to be the most amazing journey of my life. Thanks for the gift and stay tuned! XO

    Like

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