How I Found Myself in the Back of a Military Cargo Aircraft For 12 Hours {Part III}

I let myself cry for approximately 60 seconds, just to get it out. I reminded myself that this was a completely free, direct flight to the states, and how lucky I was to get a seat. I played some Sudoku. I looked around at all the little kids that were on the plane, and thought if they could do it, so could I. (Of course, I also thought sure, but they have a parent who will let them curl up on their lap and give them juice. They also won’t be judged if they soil themselves mid-flight.)

Mid-takeoff, I had a strange sensation of going backwards. After stupidly thinking for a moment that the pilot had made a mistake and accidentally kicked it in reverse, I realized the passenger cabin faced BACKWARDS. I had gotten all turned around while boarding and finding my seat and this fairly important fact had escaped me. Take everything you know about the sensations of flying on a plane – turn it BACKWARDS.

I read my Kindle. I ate my baloney sandwich. I actually slept quite a bit, considering. It helped that it was an overnight flight and I had a row of seats to lie down on. Still, when we landed, I thought I might kiss the ground.

After the flight I had just endured, and saving about $1800 getting myself home, I had absolutely no qualms about shelling out cash for a cab straight to San Francisco. I made friends with my cab driver, who was awesome, and got to look at California for an hour while he took me straight to the hotel Tim had booked.

Tim had surprised me by upgrading my room to one with a view of the bay, which was absolutely beautiful. The room was amazing, with a king sized bed I could have lived in forever. I ordered some pizza, watched some TV, and despite having slept for hours on the plane, went straight to sleep.

The next morning I woke up early and took some photos of the foggy bay out my window. Having only a single, direct, domestic flight to catch that day was practically a vacation after my usual trips to and from Okinawa. I took my time getting ready, enjoying my room and my leftover pizza for breakfast. I headed to the airport, breezed through security, and enjoyed one of the best flights ever (Frontier, of course). My mom picked me up in Kansas City, and before I knew it I was home.

So ends my last, and most eventful, journey from Oki to the states. Tim will join me here this weekend, and then we can start our next adventure! (And no more space-a travel for me, thankyouverymuch.)


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