I flew from London Stansted to Lisbon on the 9th and I have to say that it was a hell of a day.
The day began with my bright and early train. The one that I had been fearing for days now. But I was ready with gloves and a mask, I also had more in my bag to change throughout the day.
I have been at home since quarantine was implemented in the UK. I don’t get out of the house, maybe once every week. I used to get anxious everytime I would have to go through a ‘travel day’ and this time my anxiety was over the roof. I didn’t sleep, I was anxiously awating the 5:30am to get an Uber.
What gives me most comfort in a day like this is knowing the plan, knowing my every step. This way I don’t make mistakes that worsen my anxiety.
As I arrived to the train station, I went straight to the ticket machine.
My train was at 7. ‘But my ticket says 6:30, I won’t make it in time if I leave at 7!’. The nice staff man gave me a new itinerary and I had to catch another train so I won’t get delayed and lose my flight.
I go through security and notice on the big screen that my flight is the only one that day. How surreal. This panel used to be full of wonderful destinations, I even struggled to find my modest flight to Portugal. Now, we are the only ones.
I was hungry. I went to the only place that was open ‘Boots’ and got a sandwich. It truly is weird to fight with an invisible being. Just to eat that little sandwich I had to go through a whole play of hands and desinfectant that was truly something and I still didn’t feel safe.
There were about two people per row of chairs. Social distancing at its best.
When the gate was made available we all made our way.
At the arrival of the gate I continued with my distance but everyone in front of me were not respecting it. A girl from the airline distributed pamphlets about how to make out flight safer but everyone in the queue was still all in one place.
Getting in it was also very hard to find that social distance but we managed. I was also very surprised and glad that the middle seats were free so we would be safer, that must have cost thousands to the airline.
I was all buckled and ready to go. Finally.
30 minutes after we were still in the same place. There was a problem with the AC and we had to wait for repair. Long story short, they couldn’t repair it so we had to exchange airplanes.
There were two buses available for that long airplane. We were all SQUEEZED. It was manic. While the staff was walking to the next airplane we were like little sardines. Everyone was truly unhappy and most recorded what was going on. Unfortunately I have no recordings.
However, someone sent the news channel this video that I believe to be us in the second airplane. Do have a look at the news and have in mind that the bus was much worse.
Anyways, after all of that I got to Portugal and had my parents waiting in the parking lot. It was really weird to not being able to hug them after not seeing them for about eight months or more.
I have concluded my two-week quarantine today and I am finally able to see my family from a distance.
I am grateful to be able to be home and all of us being safe. I do still get scared about the fact that Portugal is opening stores and people are free to go to the beach even if with precaution.
I hope everyone is okay and thank you for reading my story in these weird times.