Taking three weeks off definitely hurt our travel adeptness. While getting back into the swing of things, a few missteps landed blows to our travel egos. I am not one to write things down, but trying to keep all the logistics straight in my head (or not) might just drive me to become a list maker. On our departure from Seattle to Bangkok, I was reminded of one thing—my memory is failing me.

Months ago, before we ever set foot in Ecuador, I checked Chris’ visa work for most of the countries we plan to visit. When checking the information on Thailand, I ran into several posts explaining that the US carriers basically acted as immigration for Thailand’s government. If you do not possess a round trip ticket, they would not allow you to board. For RTW travelers like us getting around this hurdle was simple enough though; when the airline representative asks whether you have a round trip ticket you answer “yes”. They don’t ask for proof of said ticket and the Thai visa control doesn’t ask on the other side. Simple enough, right?? Well yes, unless you’re like me and forget this important detail. Reaching the Korean Air counter at Seatac, my mind was a flurry of all the things we didn’t finish not with the intricacies of Thai visas. So when the airline representative asked whether we had round trip tickets, I stupidly answered the truth “No”. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And thus, we were promptly informed we could not board the flight. Panic rather than calm thinking overwhelmed me, I explained our entire routing and that I was certain others were entering without round trip tickets. Stupid. At these moments, it’s best probably just to slow down and THINK. It wasn’t until after I dug ourselves a hole and gladly pushed ourselves into it that I started to gain a vague remembrance of the white lie we were suppose to tell.

In this situation, there are consequences for telling the truth. Our punishment was in the tune of $2400; we are now proud owners of full fare, fully refundable return tickets to Seattle, which we will promptly return for a $70 fee. Chris’ take on the whole fiasco is much more mellow than my agonizing pain of the misstep (as usual). His philosophy? The $70 fee is within our daily budget (of course, he would think about our daily budget!), and at our age this is probably only the first of many memory failings so we might as well get use to it.

Arriving in Bangkok without further complications, we made our way by taxi to our hotel. The taxi driver gave us a full tour of Bangkok from 1am to 2am, stopping off in random locations to ask directions. Finally making it to our hotel, we saw another couple just arriving ahead of us. Entering the hotel, the night receptionist informed us they had no rooms; they just gave away their last room one minute prior. We responded that we reserved a room for four nights. As confusion swept across her face, she looked at our reservation and informed us we booked for the wrong night. We arrived on Jan 10 at 1am and foolishly booked for the night of Jan 10 and not Jan 9. Geez, could we make any more first-timer mistakes! So at 2am, we headed out into the night in search of lodging. Finding a nice place not more than a block away, we hoped the next day would bring less mishaps.

One Response to “Getting back into the swing of things”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Okay, I’m officially done feeling sorry for myself! I would have been completely panicked, too, at SeaTac. What a nightmare! If it’s any consolation, we’ve been to two countries thus far that have required onward tickets, and BOTH of them have asked for proof of that ticket. So you might have been found out even if you had gotten away with your little white lie! So glad you’re back online again!