March 3, 2020
We were on our way home from our dream trip to Europe. We had a few hiccups along the way, but it was a pretty smooth trip overall. When you’re on the journey home, you’re not as worried about what could happen. All you’re focused on is getting home and sleeping in your own bed.
Our flight from Paris to Reykjavik was easy. We got off the plane to head to our connecting flight. If you’ve ever traveled internationally, you know you have to go through customs. We waited in a long line at customs, but as we got closer, I noticed they were stamping passports. I could hardly contain my excitement about adding another stamp (super lame, I know).
Families go up together, so Weston and I made small talk with the customs agent, got our stamps, and walked toward the turnstile. I went through first. Immediately after Weston went through, he got whisked away to another room for a “random” search. I asked if I could go with him and they laughed at me.
Here I was, suddenly alone in a foreign country. I didn’t know where they took my husband, how long he would be gone, if I should wait there or wait at our gate. Clueless and frantic, I asked someone what to do. They pointed to a door and said he would come out of it when they finished searching him.
I paced the floor for what felt like hours. He was maybe gone for ten minutes. Here’s what happened (from his point of view):
When I got detained in Iceland, I had a couple of thoughts run through my head. “Why did I get asked to go to another room? I’m the least intimidating person there is.”
I wasn’t really that nervous, which is weird because when I travel, I like to have every detail in place. This obviously threw us off schedule and I knew we only had a limited amount of time before we had to catch our connecting flight to the U.S. I got in the room and they went through all of my stuff assuring me that it was just a random search. Although, I bet it didn’t feel random to the Muslim in the other room. They swabbed my hands and I had to take off my shoes so they could do whatever to those.
Then I thought, “What happens if we miss our connecting flight?” Like I said, I like every detail to be in place when we travel but that doesn’t always happen. I enjoy traveling, but the actual travel days stress me out. I thought for a moment, “This is like our honeymoon all over again!” The possibility of experiencing another missed flight and staying in an unknown place stressed me out! When they finally let me go, I walked out of the room and Ashley was standing there chewing her nails with a worried look on her face. I smiled as if nothing happened, but deep down I was worried for a bit.
We made it to our gate with just enough time to buy food and eat it as we stood in line to board the plane. Little did we know that we were about to board the most miserable flight of our lives. But that’s a story for another day!
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