Tune In To TravelBudd

Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico…

Sunday, January 2, 2021

I’m getting used to being in places I don’t want to be, because I understand it’s where I must be, to get where I want to be.

Appreciating that place takes character, patience and many deep breaths—maybe a bit rare for some of you, but however I feel won’t matter at this point—I’m there.

My travel commences with a morning where I’m lying on my mom’s couch, filling out an EHAS form that’s required to enter the island of St Maarten—a Dutch and French country of The Netherlands in the Caribbean. After paying their $15 health insurance fee, I submit the online form and await its approval.

Thirty-seven minutes later I get an email from the St Maarten government, and in the subject line all I see is, ‘AUTHORIZATION DENIED’.

When I, Budd, was in middle school, I’d go into a rabbit hole on YouTube watching airplanes land, take off, and go about their airport stuff. There was one airport often catching my eye as plane spotters would record from a beach, and out in the ocean, there’d be airliners approaching. Within 30 seconds planes would be 20 feet above the spotter’s recording device. This was before camera phones.

Princess Juliana’s Airport runway 10 is 20 yards from Maho beach and that’s where my first stop was, just to see what I used to watch on YouTube. You’d think Vince Carter could be able to run and touch the landing gear, or a dumbass would duck.

But nope, I had to wait two days and ended up rerouting my first stop to Puerto Rico. That’s where I’m flying to now, as I type.

As of January 1, 2022, St Maarten put ALL countries on their COVID ‘high risk’ list—and as my flight was departing December 31st, I was supposed to fly into the new year, through midnight.

I’ve braced myself for these types of let downs. Or in the worst case, I’d try flying back home and America gets decommissioned as a country, invalidating my passport

And yes, it can happen. Look up Merhan Nasseri…

But this ain’t about Tom Hanks, or Krakozhia’s fake ass fallen government—but rather, me flying on my first Boeing 777 and playing solitaire. Then, falling asleep to wake up to the lady behind me, whose luggage I helped lift into the overhead bin, her cat was meowing loud as f*ck.

I told the cat to shhh, be quite, this is where you must be, in order to get to where you’re meowing…


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