If there is one thing I’ve learned from traveling, it’s that making plans is a huge joke. I’m the kind of person that likes to know the when, how, where, and what time of everything that’s going on. But time and time again, life, particularly travel life, has laughed at my down-to-the-minute itineraries. 

The Plan:

Our flight was supposed to depart on Tuesday at 7:35pm and take us to JFK. After a short layover, we would board an overnight plane and land in Dublin at 10:30am on Wednesday, giving us the entire day to ignore our jet lag and explore the city. Since it was an evening flight, we planned to spend the first half of the day doing last-minute packing and cleaning, and take our time getting up to Northern Virginia.

What Actually Happened:

Around 10:30am, Kathleen and I were sitting in our dining room putting the last of our belongings into our backpacks. All of a sudden, we heard a light but consistent dripping. We looked in the kitchen and the entire sink was filled with this skim-milk colored liquid, slowly spreading onto the countertops and leaking onto the floor. After a solid 15 seconds of “What is that??” “What do we DO?” “MAKE IT STOP,” we threw every piece of absorbent material that we own onto the kitchen floor and called maintenance. 

45 minutes, two flustered maintenance men, and one very overused shop vac later, our mysteriously clogged drain was cleared. Although we had to soak and wash our top two silverware drawers, plus mop the entire 3ft x 6ft vicinity of our kitchen, the incident was over in time for us to leave for Dulles.

Some may say that the timing was coincidental, but I think it was our apartment asking us not to go. 

Anyway, once we packed the next nine weeks of our lives into two tiny backpacks and powered through the Northern Virginia traffic, we made it to the airport. We checked into our flight with plenty of time to spare, found our gate, and went to the bar to kill time before flying to JFK. 


You know that feeling when you’re getting ready to fly to New York then fly to Ireland, but your flight actually gets cancelled and you get bumped to a flight to Paris instead? Well we know that feeling too. We instantly had two extra hours to spend at the Dulles airport (“Bartender, another round please?”) before our flight to France. The three-hour layover there would put us into Dublin six hours later than the original flight, which was going to inhibit our Guinness consumption considerably. 

But everyone rest easy! We have made it to Europe in one frazzled, exhausted, and giddy piece.