Traveling woes: to Oxford I go

Oh my goodness, traveling to Oxford has been a nightmare. I woke up with a squirrelly stomach, which continued to plague me for about 12 hours. My gameplan was to get dropped off at the Buffalo airport, where I would catch a bus to Toronto. I chose to fly out of Toronto, because it was about $400 savings.

The bus was an hour late, which just started the myriad of ridiculous events….

When the bus finally did arrive, it was packed out with people, so we were all cramped on top of each other. My stomach was still a mess, which made snuggling strangers even worse.

Then we got detained at the border. The border crossing was a huge pain because we all had to get off, get our bags, and walk through customs. Then they kept searching the bus and we ended up being there for two hours… On TOP of already being an hour late.

When the bus dropped us off, I then began to try to figure out the subway situation, which proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated, despite everything I had written down and printed off google (everything was labeled differently than google maps!). The subway only took cash, unless you wanted to buy a weeks pass… So then I had to go traipsing all over trying to find an ATM.

I finally found one, but neither of my cards would work in it. Completely aggravating and nerve-wracking.

So I decided to ditch that plan because the subway was going to take an hour and 15 minutes, and with the late bus and the lack of cash, I was getting too nervous to stick it out and risk anything.

So I heard about an airport shuttle, and was directed to a corner where they said that it stopped. I didn’t see any signs for it or any sign of a bus coming that way at all, much less one specifically for the airport. This whole time I had been searching for a place with wifi so I could google some information, but no such luck.

I asked many people about it and no one seemed to know. I was pretty nervous, on top of my already disgusting stomach, and was getting a bit panicked.

I ended up asking someone for the nearest hotel, thinking that surely an airport shuttle of some nature had to go there…. And thank the Lord, it did. And it was scheduled to arrive 10 minutes from when a walked up, which was so relieving.

I quickly found another ATM and got this silly maple syrup money, nervous that they wouldn’t take card and I would have to wait for the next one which wasn’t for another hour.

The bus came, and I happily forked over money in exchange for peace of mind…

Or so I thought.

Toronto has two airports. I was taken to the wrong one, but realized it too late to catch the same bus to the right one. I tried talking to someone about possibly switching my flight to leave from there, to no avail. At this point it was 4:30, my plane boarded at the other airport at 5:15.

I paid $58 for a cab and prayed the whole way that I wouldn’t miss my flight.

The airport is apparently on an island, and you have to take a ferry to get there…. So I was in line waiting for the ferry at the time my flight was boarding.

I was rushing everywhere, and ended up leaving security in a full sprint with my shoes in hand.

I made it to the gate just at last call, incredibly relieved. I was laughing to myself about how everything had gone wrong, but the important thing was that I hadn’t missed my flight.

That was when I started noticing the time for my connection. Our plane was anticipated to land at 7, and my next plane started boarding at 7:10. We weren’t let off the plane until 7:15, at which point I was sprinting, once again, to my incredibly far away gate. They called for last call when I was 4 gates down, all while I was still sprinting. I’m not sure I’ve ever run that fast in my life. I made it because there were so many people, thankfully.

Once on the plane, I again was grateful to have just made my flight and was excited to eat some food (my running around had left me no time to eat all day), and sleep for my whole flight.

The air conditioning was not working properly, so our flight was delayed to fix it. It ended up taking an hour and 45 minutes before we finally started taxiing.

Once we were finally in the air, we hit crazy turbulence and they announced that they would do dinner service after it was calm. And I was famished, so I knew I needed to eat and didn’t want to fall asleep and miss it.

So I stayed up. I had time to watch two movies before they finally served dinner… Which left me with about an hour and a half to try to nap.


Thankfully, I had no hold ups at customs, and my pack arrived safely.

I’m currently on a bus about 15 minutes away from Oxford.

Next time I get a hairbrained idea to try to pull these crazy routes to save money, remind me that I’m an idiot and it is not worth it. All in all, it cost me about $150 and 10 hours of absolute stressful malarkey.

I would like to think I got all bad juju out of the way for the rest of my month. Despite all of this, I’m excited. Exhausted, hungry, and in need of a shower — but excited.

My pictures so far… Not many because I have yet to officially arrive in Oxford.

Xoxo Gretchen






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