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Life > Experiences

The Not-So Dreamy Side of My First Vacay With My Boyfriend

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

I’m sorry what?! Did his family just invite me to accompany them on their vacation? Shivers ran through my skin at the thought of spending part of my summer with my boyfriend and his family. As much as I wanted to say yes, there was a minuscule, yet crucial piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t miss placing: I didn’t have my parent’s approval and I had never, ever, stepped in an airport unaccompanied. This is the story of how I managed to survive the airport and convince my parents to let me travel to Connecticut and New York with my boyfriend’s family. 

My boyfriend and I met back in 2017 when I moved to Orlando post-hurricane Maria and we’ve been together ever since. His presence at my house was normal. Although, it never went far from home. After graduating high school we began a long-distance relationship, which means we see each other once or twice a year, and it’s been like that ever since. It was probably because of it that the trip was something I’d spend my Last Wish on. 

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The planets and gods seemed to be in my favor. But there was a problem, how exactly was I going to obtain my parent’s permission? Communicating was the first barrier I had to overcome. Let’s say I’ve never been a wordy person, which made my voice tremble whenever there was an opportunity to ask my parents about the matter. Dinner stopped being my favorite meal of the day since it was the torturous time where I got sweat cold trying to formulate the golden question. Regardless of how confident I felt before dinner, my bravery evaporated every single time I exchanged looks with my dad, who usually sat in the chair across from me. After every failed attempt, I encouraged myself with the lie “I’ll be braver tomorrow.” The hesitation lasted months (seriously, months) and his family already counted on me going, although we all knew my parent’s approval was the final verdict of the situation. The pressure of procrastinating for so long pushed me into randomly telling my mom about my mother-in-law’s invitation. It was after a teeth-clenching pregnancy talk and writing a thorough testament for them, pathetically titled “The fear of pregnancy as a tool for restriction,” that they gave me the greenlight weeks before my departure day. 


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The date came, and the planets and gods seemed to be in my favor. Surviving TSA and the boarding process went on with ease. It all went smoothly, except for the fact that I had to wait 9 extra hours for my plane to finally appear. At that point, I doubted if my plane even existed. Its appearance didn’t lift my hopes since I was informed that I had to make a stop in Washington to board the other flight that would take me to my final destination: Connecticut. This meant that, due to my first plane’s delay, I missed my second flight. And there I was, in the Washington airport, spending the night, waiting to see what I could board on, first thing in the morning. At least I didn’t get lost inside the airport. Sleeping hours on the carpet didn’t compare to the gravity of hearing that my luggage got lost. At that point, I was certain that my parents wouldn’t allow me to travel anymore and that was probably more concerning than going to Connecticut and New York with only one outfit, wearing the same shirt every day, and using the same underwear. Of course, my parents didn’t rest until we got notified that my luggage was found in Connecticut’s airport or until I was able to board the final flight.

The airplane luckily landed in Connecticut where my luggage awaited… wheelless. Yep, my plastic luggage had a crack in the middle, the handle passed to another life, and it was also missing a wheel. At least my clothes were there…

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Visiting Connecticut was a dream. From there, we traveled by car to the big city of New York. Lovely, but it wasn’t all roses and butterflies, as mentioned before. After our appointment with Lady Liberty, destiny had another dirty card under their sleeve: my flight to Puerto Rico, with a stop, got delayed… AGAIN. Going from New York to Florida took more time than expected, making us land minutes after my flight home.

Because of my late arrival, I had to tell my parents that I missed my connection and that there were no flights available (yes, I hesitated to communicate again). By a miracle, there was an available seat on a flight I had to wait 3 days for. That meant staying at my partner’s house in the meantime. His happiness was so evident, you could perceive a non-existing tail wagging from excitement. I was trembling, and it intensified when I got to the luggage carousel and… My belongings were nowhere to be found, literally. Nobody knew its location, if it had been sent to another flight, if it was somewhere in the airport. Nothing. We went to my partner’s house after we were notified that my wheelless, handleless luggage was sent to Puerto Rico. So, I spent three days wearing my boyfriend’s anime shirts in Orlando. On the third day, I was able to meet with my luggage in Puerto Rico and retold my family about the most adrenaline-rushing experience I ever had: traveling alone.

The first time I traveled by myself was a real rollercoaster. There were tears, laughter, and a lot of frustration. Uncertainty never left and the thought that life didn’t want me to go on vacation with my loved one crossed my mind more often than not. I did develop an airport ick, but experiencing new adventures and visiting unknown places were worth all the uncertainty I went through by myself, luggageless, and with the fear that my first vacation alone was also going to be the last.

Kiara Roman is a writer and Social Media Co-Director of the Her Campus at UPR chapter. Through her articles she discusses a diverse spectrum of topics ranging from research analysis on animal abuse to listicles about cozy room decor. Her writing inclinations vary according to her momentary interests, which makes her one of the most diverse writers in the chapter. She has been part of several organizations including Pulso Estudiantil, Puntos de Fuga and Awkwardly Vain magazine. Her academic aspirations diverge as she studies Human Resources Management and Interdisciplinary Studies while engaging in multidisciplinary extracurriculars. Internship-focused experiences are at the top of her resume alongside communitary participation in her institution, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. A kaleidoscope of interests drive her curiosity into exploring new hobbies in art, literature, gastronomy, and sciences. Her free time is filled by imagined universes or video game-raging. Explore her next hyperfixation in her upcoming articles.