LA – 23/11/15
Stephanie and I have arrived in LA after a 12 hour flight. Our long haul flight was punctured with screaming babies and awful food. I have finally woken up after sleeping for dozens of hours and Steph is dozing beside me.
At 4.30 the preceding morning we piled our ludicrously large luggage into a taxi and travelled to the to the airport. Fearing visa issues, we had left plenty of time before our 12.30 flight from Gatwick; turns out this was a good decision.
While checking in our baggage, we were informed that for me to enter the US on the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (I’m English and Stephanie is American), I would have to show evidence that I will be leaving the country before the 3 months are up. Tickets to any country other than Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean Islands are accepted. Buying our $10 bus tickets to Mexico City was clearly a waste of time.
It was around 9 am when we were told this information, so we quickly found a Wetherspoons and started to look for flights. We were not planning on making life-changing decisions this early into our travels, so we had a quick chat over champagne (it’s not a luxury, it’s a way of life), and decided that Australia was a clever grown up choice, as we could both legally work (Sealand is out of the question, at least for a while).
After a couple of hours trying to find the cheapest flights to Melbourne we struck gold. £145 ($220) for a one way flight to Melbourne from LA. We promptly bought the tickets and celebrated by having a pint and eating some awful ‘Spoons food.
An hour before we were scheduled to board our Iceland Airways flight (£280 each – Gatwick -> LAX), I on a whim, decided to recheck our bargain Melbourne flight.
In 1867 Richard W. Goode, John Goode, Cornthwaite John Hector, Captain Peter Wright, Balaam Allen, and Thomas Mason first settled in Melbourne, Florida. Nothing particularly notable has ever taken place here (maybe with the exception of Jim Morrison’s birth). Why these gits decided to copy the real Melbourne’s name is beyond me (Melbourne, AU was named thus in 1837). Either way, their lack of imagination cost us more than the price of an In & Out burger, and for that, there will be a reckoning.
Upon realising that we had accidentally booked tickets to the home of the Florida Power and Light Company Ice Plant; we once again frantically searched for cheap flights to Melbourne…Melbourne, Australia. £550 ($835), a 12 hour flight later, mental & physical stress plus endless episodes of Always Sunny in Philadelphia have left us exhausted but happy to be out of London’s freezing November streets.
Gallavanteer top tip: Always double check where an airport is located…
– Nathanael Rush-Underhill