Tough Travels – AFP Conference

Well It has been about a month now but I am finally writing about my visit to San Francisco. Let me start by saying, holy cow, California is so very far from Orlando, Florida! Thank goodness for my captivating Star Wars book and the ability to nap on the plane. But I wasn’t originally supposed to fly out of Orlando, I was supposed to fly out of Jacksonville which is only 40 minutes from where I live, rather than 2 hours. Something really weird happened that has never happened to me before.

I LOVE travelling (except for the packing part). I have been able to make it all the way to the Middle East and across South East Asia by myself with zero complications or missteps. But this time, I arranged for a car service to take me to Jacksonville to save the hassle of airport parking. Come to find out he was very unprofessional and didn’t bother coming with a sign with my name on it so that I can find him in the sea of people. We were wondering around each other for a better part of an hour not knowing who each other was. I didn’t have his cell, only his boss’s cell, and that rude guy is a whole other mess. Finally, I was able to beg for my driver’s cell number so I can contact him. Next thing I know, I see a frail old man with a surgical tube sticking out of his throat and a Nokia phone to his ear (circa 1990) stepping out of the comfort of his air-conditioned mini van. My face dropped, and so did his when my boyfriend’s mother told him off, furious for making me late and not being readily available. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure he was a nice guy, but at that point he was not happy to drive me anywhere and I didn’t feel comfortable as his back was turned to me the whole time and he said not a word. So I did something crazy. In my nervousness I said, “Ah sorry sir but I forgot something, I’ll be right back.” But I lied, I didn’t come back.


Trying to drive myself to Jacksonville in the traffic, I missed my flight. Then the tears started to well in fear of letting my club supervisor and the Florida AFP caucus down. You see, I was awarded a scholarship to fly me to San Francisco so that I can attend the 633683050_1280x720Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference. I am the President of our college chapter, so I was excited to go and learn some things that can benefit our small club at home. Anyway, I got a new flight scheduled at no extra charge (thank God) for the next morning out of the Orlando airport. As I boarded the plane, I thought to myself, hopefully I can turn this trip around for the better.

Although some other things happened that made that day one I want to forget (like lost baggage to start), it could have been worse! What are some of your travel horror stories? Let me know in a comment. 🙂

Stay tuned for my next blog about the conference, what I learned and the VIP people I met!

Sierra Dawn

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