International Arrival

 

imageAs soon as we arrived on the ground in the America, we drove five hours to get to North Carolina. Yikes!

Luckily, we got some food on the way. My first encounter with American food was at Chick-fil-A, which was so good. However, the waffle fries kind of weirded me out.

Besides the food, I was overly tired and got extremely overwhelmed by all the people (because the joint was FULL), after 50 hours of travel I was exhausted and could not make any decisions!

So I took a “bathroom break”.image

I actually just needed a moment to compose myself because everything had happened so quickly and I definitely did not get enough sleep or mental preparation for what I knew was to come. So I took a moment and got some strength from Dad. From that moment on, I never turned back. I kept moving forward and reminded myself to stay positive.

Also I managed to giggled a little at this crack in the door (usually bathroom cubicles have a fair amount of privacy), but I realized that EVERYONE could see me, even though I wasn’t using the toilet it was a smidge disturbing. When you come to visit this is what you can look forward to!

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Many more adventure stories to come!

Travel Time

We were so ECSTATIC when we finally got my Passport back with the corrected Visa in it. We thought the worst had passed. That nothing else could really go horribly wrong.

Well, we were wrong…

At present traveling is made to seem so glamorous. It is not! The one thing I did learn from researching and watching YouTube videos about traveling, to get myself prepared, was BE FLEXIBLE. The one and only travel advice that came in handy.

We set out for our journey at 6:30am Cape Town time. At that point we were mentally prepared to travel 35 hours max. 30 hours on airplanes and a 5 hour car ride to Wilmington from Washington DC.

Well… That is NOT how it turned out.

Our first flight from CPT to JHB (Johannesburg) was delayed by an hour. Which wasn’t all that bad since our original itinerary had a four hour layover in JHB before our flight to Dubai. We thought that delay was cutting it fine since we had to go through customs but that we would make it to our next boarding call with some time to spare.

Little did we know at the time…

Our plane was grounded due to technical difficulty. Which meant we had to wait for the next flight out which would get us to JHB a mere one hour before our next flight. BUT… We would make it.

Or would we?!

Once we had finally gotten on to our flight to JHB we did not move for a further 30minutes! WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING!! On one of the hottest days Cape Town has experienced in a while, with approximately a hundred and something other frustrated, sweaty people.

Boy, where we off to a GREAT start!

(That was sarcasm, just incase you didn’t pick it up.)

So … We were off. Not knowing whether or not we would make our connecting flight. Which, by the way, British Airways guaranteed we would. So we were not too disheartened. We just prepared our minds of the race we had to run to get to our connecting flight just before it left.

We landed in JHB and RAN! With four “hand luggage” bags, each pack to the brim, heavy as can be.

Once we made it to our boarding gate, 25 minutes before it was set to leave, we were told we had been off-loaded. YUP!

So our travel journey began. I will try to cut it short from here. I promise.

After chatting or “frustrated-raised-voice-arguing” with a few people we were booked onto the next flight to Dubai and our entire itinerary was re-booked (YIPEEE!), we then set off to find our luggage (my whole life in four huge bags)  because for all we knew they could have been headed to Dubai without us. I was a little worried, okay… A LOT. If our bags were in JHB it would be the worst airport for them to be stranded in. For those that don’t know, Johannesburg International Airport is notoriously know for ruffling through luggage and items from luggage having gone mysteriously missing (someone should set Scooby-doo and his crew on that!).

Anyway, we spoke to a man named Sam who assured us our luggage was in the basement of the airport and that he would personally make sure they were transferred to our new flight itinerary. We chose to trust him and leave it in his hands. Luckily, when we got to Washington our bags greeted us there! YAY for Uncle Sam!

Honestly, the rest of the twenty-five our journey was a heap of fun and new adventures and discoveries.

Despite all that went wrong we had a blast because we knew that Dad had our backs and bags. Lol.

 

Our Visa Story

The process of being approved for this Fiance visa has taken almost a year and I still don’t have it in hand.

Jacob and I have been together for almost five and a half years now. I have been trying to visit him in America for four out of those five years. You know, just to meet his extended family and see where he comes from… I say trying because I have still not succeeded. I have applied for three visitors visas and have been denied every time. Eventually, my last visa interviewer told me the only way I was going to get into the country was if we applied for a K1 Fiance visa. At the time we were not engaged, so for us this was not a valid option.

However, looking back now we probably should have just applied for it immediately, we learnt along the way that you don’t even have to be engaged to obtain this visa. (insert fore-head slap)

Crazy right? Just you wait … the story doesn’t even end there!

Once Jacob and I got engaged we dove into the Fiance Visa process. Only to wait eleven months to receive a visa with the incorrect information on it!! For real!

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In case you did not notice the discrepancy: My fiances name is Jacob Barnard NOT David Creech!!

David Creech is the name of our visa attorney! Who is already married! #someonegotfired

I would have been able to laugh it off if our flights weren’t booked for the very next day at 8am! I did however still manage to laugh hysterically when I found the mistake, although it was out of pure shock and disbelief. This was the last thing we needed. The very last step. We were prepared to get our visa just in the nick of time. We thought everything had worked out perfectly. We were not prepared for this when we woke that morning.

We found comfort in the fact that this was not our mistake, that it could be rectified and that we had all the provision we needed to stay in SA for a little while longer. In and amoungst the chaos and stress we felt blessed and filled with peace.

Our flight is re-booked for this coming Tuesday, 3 November. This time we will be on it, excited to be on this life-long adventure together.

Capetonian.

PaigeWood_20140531-_MG_7060Look, growing up in Cape Town is not for the faint-hearted.

It is a true calling to live the hustle and bustle of pure relaxation that is this city. I mean, not everyone can cope with being less than 30 minutes from the beach at any given time, and being constantly bombarded with the sight of glorious mountains rolling into raging oceans … It’s tough!

But I took one for the team.

… You are welcome!

That’s a lot of sarcasm for one post. Really though, when I say I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, I am not joking! Honestly, I haven’t been to very many places around the world yet and never out of the continent of Africa but tPaigeWood_20140531-_MG_7063hat will be changing very soon. For now I can say with confidence that Cape Town is the most beautiful place I have ever been. I may be a little bias though. It really has been such a
privilege spending a huge chunk of my life in Cape Town, so much so that I am reluctant to move anywhere else. Yet, alas I set off to America in less than 2 months to marry the love of my life.

If there ever was a good reason to leave a life-time of friends that are more like family, your mom and your best friend/sister that would be it.

I am determined to appreciate and enjoy Cape Town to the max in the next while. I have endeavored to be a tourist in my own city. Posts and my best attempts at photography to follow. Maybe I will Just get Jacob to do the photography, that’s safest.

All Photography here in by Paige Wood 

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