Reaching toward all points of the compass in search of adventure
Horror Story
Horror Story

Horror Story

So, I leave with my mom on a 44 day long European adventure tomorrow! Yesterday, I left California to meet my her in Northern Virginia so we could fly out together. I have one full day in between my cross country flight and my trans Atlantic flight. Quick turnaround; I’m already tired!

I left Monterey on a 7am flight with my dog in tow. During my layover at San Francisco International Airport, I was cheersing myself in the Centurion Lounge on how well I was doing toting my carry-on and Calvin, and having easily found the pet relief area and seamlessly moved on to champagne. So far so good!

In between sips of bubbly I’m texting a girlfriend and she texts me, “bags and passport ready!” I text her back, “F*CK.”

I do a complete 180 into panic mode. I have forgotten my PASSPORT at home! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I really did this! I’m just in San Francisco, so I’m not so far from home, but I didn’t drive there, so I can’t just turn around and get it. AND, my next flight is in 90 minutes! Champagne Ashleigh needs to step aside and let problem solving Ashleigh take the wheel.

My husband is away on business. No one has an extra set of keys to our house. There is only one way to get into the house without breaking windows or busting down doors. This way takes a notable amount of agility and a willingness to potentially get a little dirty. I call my friend with teenagers. She can’t do anything until after work, but this is my plan: let a teenager break into my house and then let his mom in so she can steal my passport and overnight it to me. In my head, Nicolas Cage voices this plan.

I call Ben, who is at a conference, to let him know what’s going on. He has an idea of someone else who can get into the house with the help of our neighbor. This plan doesn’t have to wait till after the work day, but it won’t happen for about an hour. It’s not that Ben can’t talk to people while I’m on my next flight, it’s just that I’m only 90% sure of where I’ve left my passport. So it would be great if all of this could happen immediate just in case I have to tell people 10 different places to look.

I turn the house alarm off with the app on my phone and spend the next 30 minutes freaking out and not being able to do anything about it. Ben’s friend Alex texts that he is at the house; neighbor friend Karen goes over to help. And then literally, in maybe three minutes, they have my passport! Karen is on her way to UPS to overnight it to me right after. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This is all going to work! I feel like Justin Bieber, circa 2012.

I get on my SFO to IAD flight feeling like I have angels on Earth! I have some COMPLETELY AMAZING people in my life and I am beyond grateful for them. And guess what? The next morning, my passport gets delivered in Virginia before I’m even out of bed! WHAAAAATTTT???? So blessed.

Moral of this story is to always help people around you because you never know when you’ll need help yourself. And also, give a trusted friend or neighbor a spare house key. Alex and Karen, thank you for saving the day and making it so this adventure didn’t get put on hold for even a moment. Thank you Sura, for your willingness to let your kids break and enter. Thank you Kayla, for saying something about travel documents just minutes before it was too late. Y’all are the best!

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