One major topic of conversation on this blog has been about flexibility and spontaneous traveling. And yes, my travels are still very much spontaneous and about being flexible.
But if you’re like me, sometimes you like to know what’s coming up ahead. And that’s even an understatement- you always want to know what’s coming up ahead.
I am at a point in my life right now where I don’t have any immediate plans. I don’t know what tomorrow has in store. Or next week. Like I literally don’t have plans. And that freaks me out.
But it seems like every time I make plans something steps in and deters me from going somewhere.
Prime example: I have been paying rent in a New York apartment since April 1st. It is currently the end of May and I have only spent 6 nights total in that apartment.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to be there. Or that I had previously made many plans that conflicted with being at the apartment. Literally every time I was supposed to be at that apartment, something came up at the last second that took me away from going. An audition, a meeting, etc.
And get this:
It’s getting closer to my last few weeks in my apartment in New York City. I decide to fly up to finally stay an extended period of time; to dive into the City life and take dance classes, meet with friends, and do things I don’t normally have the time for.
I hop on a morning flight to LaGuardia with my bags packed for 2 weeks. From NYC I plan to head to LA for a few days and then hit Florida for Memorial Day Weekend. It was a 3 hour packing job that I meticulously designed for my long trip away from home base.
My parents were to drive to Florida with our dog the morning that I left home. This meant that there would be no cars available for me to use since my personal car is stored in LA and my parents’ cars were on the way to Florida.
But that’s ok, right? Because I had a two-week plan laid out and I wouldn’t need to return home for anything.
I sit in the Exit Row of my 737 plane with a good book, dozing off in between chapters, my head rolling on my neck like a tetherball.
The flight attendant announces over the intercom: “Ladies and gentleman, we are now starting our initial descent into LaGuardia airport. Current local time is 10:15 am, weather coming in at 75 degrees. Welcome to New York”.
A hot summer’s day in The City. I can go meet friends for coffee; people that I never have the chance to see because I always just pop in at such short notice. I could take some dance classes at Broadway Dance Center, go out for dinner afterwards, stop by my favorite cookie shop afterwards… the possibilities are endless.
Upon deplaning, I head to baggage claim and refill my MetroCard, this time making sure I buy an unlimited week-long pass since I will FINALLY be spending at least half of a full week in New York City!
The M60 Bus comes (a cheap way to get into the City: read my post, “It’s Been Waiting For You” for more info!)
I plan on taking it all the way to 125th and Broadway, then transferring from there to the 1 train and taking it Uptown to my apartment.
I settle into the seat that I snagged on the bus- a single seat with lots of room to put my bags at my feet- and pop my headphones in to begin my “Bus Life” soundtrack for the 1 hour ride.
And now is the perfect time to check social media, since the plane didn’t have Wi-Fi. I head to my email first: a habit that has formed from wanting to hear some good news, check for new opportunities, and just try to advance my career. It all happens over email.
I see in bold letters: CMAIL NOTIFCATION.
A “Cmail” is a portal message on a website profile for actors. When you get an agent, you sign up for this service so that your team can submit you for auditions and projects. Once you get an audition, it pops up in the form of an email, otherwise known as a “cmail”.
Which means I had an audition.
I open the email immediately and see that it’s for a taped audition. Which means I must go to a service that I trust and know well in order to get the best result.
I search for the due date, looking to see how much time I’ll have before the audition has to be in to the casting directors. Maybe it will time out perfectly for when I head to LA, and I can tape it there with my trusted coach?
Friday, May 19, 2017.
It was Wednesday, May 17, 2017. I had two days, and I had just hopped on a bus in New York City.
You would think I would have a trusted taping service there for problems such as these, but I don’t. Well, I used to, but the service went out of business. My second resort is to ask a friend to tape me with one of their nice cameras and buy them lunch. But this idea would not suffice for this particular audition because…
It’s a big one. A Guest Star role for a TV show on a major network. And the audition came from my Atlanta agent; getting a role of that size out of Atlanta is hard to come by. So I knew I had to do this right.
I felt a pang in my gut tell me, “Kelly you know what you have to do. You have to go back to Atlanta. Right now.”
And my gut was right, of course.
I was on a moving bus to Manhattan, the heart of New York City, where I was to finally settle in for a couple days and live my fullest City Life… and something dragged me back to Atlanta.
I got off at the next bus stop, walked across the street to the stop going the opposite direction, and hopped on a bus back to the airport. A total of about 20 minutes in New York, and I never even made it to Manhattan. I just brushed the edges of Queens.
I listed on the next flight out of LaGuardia to Atlanta, and made it to the airport in time. Easy right?
Well I got to security and they decided to do a bomb test on my bag, meaning they open it up and dig to the bottom and scrape a plastic tester all around the edges. I was a little miffed because little did they know I had literally JUST come from the airport and I breezed through security in Atlanta. But of course I kept my mouth shut.
But the worst part? The TSA agent ruined my masterpiece, my 3 hours of meticulous packing. When the test cleared through my bag looked like a garbage can that was ransack by a hungry raccoon.
Just a little stumble in the process, no worries.
But then I get to the gate and realize that I have no ride when I get back to Atlanta. My parents are gone. I have no car to access. How am I going to get to my house, then to my audition and back to the airport the next day?!
My best friend. Kaley. She was home from college and agreed to be my Uber ride for the next 48 hours. Shoutout to Kaley for being the savior of the day!
I was back in the Peach State by 3 pm, less than 12 hours before I had previously been there. Essentially, I flew to New York to hop on a bus for 20 minutes and come right back to Atlanta. Fun, right?
But it was an adventure. And it all worked out- the audition went incredible well, I had lunch and got to spend time with my best friend, and was back up in New York sleeping at my apartment the next night.
It’s just funny how life works sometimes. You feel like you have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to do and then God comes right back and says, “Nope!” He redirects your path in an instant and takes you on a different adventure, usually a better one.
Because I wouldn’t have this blog post to write if my travel plans had gone my way!
I am a paper airplane, crafted by God and thrown into the world with elegance and ease. Because He knows where I am going. I don’t, but that’s ok. Because I am guided. And I am going
Where the Wind Takes Me.
-The Fly Girl