Before coming home to NYC, I was stuck at a police station in Honduras, the city’s airport blacked out and I almost missed my connecting flight in Miami.

Adios, #Honduras! Next #travel destination – #Cancun, #Mexico!!! #latergram

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

I thought that being held at La Guama’s police station the night before my flight would be the last hurdle I had to over come before landing on American soil. I was wrong. I woke up bright and early the following morning to catch the chicken bus to San Pedro Sula.

It was cramped, crowded, fly infested and extremely hard to keep my mouth shut as the bus bounced and swerved on the highway. I’m pretty sure I had a few flies for breakfast. When I got off the bus at San Pedro Sula an hour and half hour later, my behind was still vibrating.

It had been a long and eventful week in Honduras and I was exhausted. I was anxious to get back to NYC. But you know how the more you look forward to something, the longer it takes for it to come? As it turned out, our 2PM flight was delayed for two hours.

During that time, the airport had four blackouts! It left me a little uneasy and wondering what would happen if the control tower shut down during my take off. I’d have a conniption!

When my plane arrived at 4PM, I was so relieved to be on board. We landed in Miami at 8:30PM, but had a connecting flight to JFK at 9PM. Even after we left Honduras, there was another hurdle keeping us from getting home. My friend and I were contemplating the worse case scenario. If we missed our flight to NYC, we’d have to crash at the airport for the night. Though it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, I longed for my own bed and a clean shower.

As soon as we stepped off the plane in MIA, we jetted through customs. It was conveniently located a mile away from our gate. I went from a full speed sprint to jogging to speed walking to limping. I felt the same burning sensation I had when I was running down Taishan in China when I was trying to catch the very last bus back into town.

After my Charlie horse subsided, I picked up speed and zoomed past eager family and friends who were waiting by the arrival gate to greet their loved ones. In the corner of my eyes, I saw the look of bewilderment on their faces as they watched two little Asian girls carry backpacks twice as big as they were run by like chickens with their heads cut off.

We managed to avoid the long line at customs as the people ahead of us saw that we were out of breath and in dire need of catching our connecting flight. We said our thank yous as we ran past them and threw our backpacks through the screener. We zipped by so fast, I wonder if they even heard us. Our gate was the first one at the end of the hall and we boarded the plane with 5 minutes to spare. All eyes were on us as we arrived breathless, disheveled and grinning from ear to ear.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.