Getting to Saint Martin was an adventure in itself! I arrived at Gatwick with hours to spare, for the first time in along time I was sure I’d got this travelling thing down. I’d even planned a blog post on how to travel stress free! Things didn’t, however, go to plan.
Having got to the check in desk I was asked when I was returning from Saint Martin (an island close to America but one half is French and the other Dutch) I said that I had no idea!! I was planning to book when I was there as I wasn’t even sure if I was going home or onto somewhere else. The lady (very kindly) let me know I couldn’t travel unless I had a return. This was a condition of my visa to America (I was to fly to NY and then onto SXM) I was so sure I’d be fine as the area of the island I was to move to was French and so a part of the EU. As it turns out I was totally mistaken! Because the island is in US territory I was told I had to have a valid return within 90 days of leaving or I couldn’t travel. I quickly grabbed my phone and searched skyscanner for the cheapest flight out of the area within 90 days. Unfortunately, every island in the area I came upon was also not valid as they were still too close to America. Having spent over an hour searching for the cheapest option I realised my only option was to buckle and fork out for a return to England. I booked my plane fast and as they held the gate for me and sped through Gatwick like a mad woman! I’ve definitely learnt to make sure I read the small print in future…
I’ve never been so relieved to see over head lockers, hear the safety announcement and smell plane food. My fear at missing the trip of a lifetime began to subside and I once again was taken over by excitement. I flew with Norwegian airlines to New York. I was pleasantly surprised at how lovely the flight was (I think this may have something to do with how relieved I was to actually be en route!) The flight one way only cost me £280, including baggage etc, which I thought was a total bargain (considering economy in both Virgin and BA was over a thousand one way). It was a 787 Dreamliner and the opening video explained all the mod cons I was going to enjoy (the video is here if you’d like to give it a look https://www.norwegian.com/longdistancerevolution/)
At 5ft 10 I often struggle with leg room on flights, though I wasn’t able to stretch out as much I’d have liked I wasn’t cramped either, for the 8 hours I found I was perfectly comfortable. Their main USP is the lighting. Don’t ask me how but somehow the way it changes throughout the flight is supposed to combat jet-lag and I must say I’m yet to feel any! I don’t want to bore you with all of the details, but it really was a great journey- especially for the price tag.
Once I arrived in NY I had a 12 hour lay over until my next flight, I checked into the nearest hotel to JFK and got some much needed shut eye (having ordered one of the hugest pizzas I’d ever seen!). The following morning I caught my Delta flight over to SXM with (thankfully!) no issues.
(This is my poor attempt to capture my excitement!)
Something I’ve begun to tell myself recently is that if you do kind things and give out positive energy the world will repay you, I’ve begun to, if you like, to believe in karma. When I boarded I noticed I was sat in the middle of a hen party, but one of the girls was sat alone at the back of the plane (I know how awful it is to be sat alone whilst all of your friends gossip about the upcoming adventure!) So I offered to swap. As it happens no one came to sit next to me in my new spot, so I was able to lie down over the three seats and sleep like a baby! I felt this was my karma for the small gesture of giving up my seat, who knows!
The flight flew by (excuse the pun!) and as we began to descend over the islands the view was beautiful, the crisp, clear water and golden sands beckoned and all I wanted was to jump from the window straight into the sea! Thinking better of it I waited till landing. I sped through immigration grabbed my bags and jumped into the first cab I could find. Filled with both anticipation and excitement I crossed the island to my apartment ready to begin exploring…
Sorry for the lack of pics, I promise I’ll be better behind the lens for my next posts! If anyone’s been to Saint Martin before please let me know where you loved and where I should check out. I’d love to get your advice!