I did it! I bought my flights! This is real! I’m going!
I don’t even know how to begin to describe the feeling of clicking “purchase itinerary” and seeing the confirmation come through. I guess I’ll try, starting from finding the perfect route.
I had played with lots of options in Indie and decided on the airports for the major legs of my trip (as described before). Then I experimented with length of travel time, departure and arrival times, and price options for each leg.
Initially, the cheapest route was going to take over 90 hours of travel, thanks in large part to an 11 hour overnight layover in Dubai between Buenos Aires and Auckland. This did not sound appealing to me. What am I supposed to do in Dubai between 11pm and 10am? Not to mention the crazy long flights from BA to Dubai and Dubai to NZ. So I found a flight that, by paying a couple hundred more, would just have a layover in Santiago and save me around 30 hours of travel time. Having found what I believed to be my best options for all the other legs, I saved the details and told myself to take a day or two to think about paying more for the Santiago connection option. This was Monday. I prefer to buy flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays anyway (they’re supposed to be the best days to purchase, you can find better deals).
Then Tuesday happened. I looked at my saved route again and repriced it to current prices, and it spiked. A couple thousand more now to not go to Dubai. Back to playing with this leg, I tried some options on different days and found that, by leaving BA 3 days earlier, I could not only go through Santiago but it was actually cheaper than the initial Dubai flight. This was not an option I’d seen before. Did it even exist until now? How did this happen? I have no idea. But I had to jump.
I did a quick check on all the flights to make sure they were still the ones I wanted, got to the purchase page, entered my credit card info – and stopped. Was I really about to buy this? This is huge, this makes it real, this means I’m going.
I quickly panicked to everyone I was talking to on gchat while my purchase page was hidden in another tab. After resounding encouragement (thanks friends!) I jumped back to the tab and clicked purchase without thinking anymore. Then agonizing seconds went by while the website had to think. It does this sort of movement of dots darkening and lightening in a row while it’s thinking. This visual was like torture. My heart was racing. Then: confirmed.
CONFIRMED. Thank you for your purchase!
Commence total freak out.
I ran outside, almost breaking down in emotion as I got in the elevator. I hit the ground floor and took off walking. I didn’t have a destination, I just needed to walk, as fast as I could. I went in circles, wherever the green walk light would let me go. I probably passed the same places 3 or 4 times. I called my dad, I told him I’d bought them, he talked me through it, amazed that the flights aligned so well, equally excited and shocked as I was. Thanks Dad. I kept walking and called a few more people. People I passed looked at me strangely as I visibly freaked out in my speedwalking. But they also smiled. They could tell it was an excited freakout, that something huge had just happened in my life.
The confirmation from Indie said it would take up to 72 hours for the airlines to confirm the flights. So I settled down and tried to not think about it, I had time before that would come through.
4 hours later the airlines confirmed. I have ticket numbers. I am going.
At this point I lost all focus on my day and went out for a celebratory drink. Still totally freaking out, I realized that while I was freaking out I was smiling. This was excited freak out. This was knowing I made a huge step toward completely changing my life, and being not just okay with it, but ecstatic about it.
The flights I ended up with are, in my mind, as perfect as I could get them. With the longest layover at 4 hours, I don’t forsee a lot of sleeping in airports like I thought I would when I was finding 9 or 11 hour layovers. I’ll have to deal with a few early morning flights, but those also saved me a lot of money. It ended up being even cheaper than I expected. Again, I have no idea how. I found a lucky time and I jumped on it. My advice: search as much as possible in advance and explore all your options for each combination and individual leg, then save them to buy on a Tuesday.
My first flight is booked for June 21, 2014. My last is booked for February 9, 2015. And that last flight is to India, not back to the U.S.
My One Way Ticket Around the World has been purchased.