I was not prepared for this heat, that’s for sure. I got off the plane, finally pulled together after hours of nerves and was ushered into the customs and immigration line with everyone else. Everything was fine. My first time traveling alone was going smooth and then I was waved forward. It was my turn. I was asked the usual questions as I handed over my passport.
“Is this your first time in Mexico?” Yup!
“What are you here for?” The start of my first big adventure, of course!
“Oh!” It flashed red. I couldn’t tell if she was excited she caught me or nervous for me. “Could you follow me please?”
Up until this point, everything was going well. Gates didn’t change and flights were on time. I even sort of made a friend on the second leg of the journey. I didn’t lose anything and I was able to briefly sleep in the airport.
If anything even close to this has ever happened to you, you know what this feels like. Thoughts ran though my head as my heart pounded and my stomach fell to the floor.
“But I’m innocent! I didn’t do anything!”
“I’ve never even smoked cigarettes, I wouldn’t smuggle drugs!”
“I can’t go to Mexican prison, I would never survive, I’ve seen locked up abroad!”
I was sat in a small office with a hallway leading to the left and the right out of it and enough room for my knees with a few inches to spare to let people walk by.
Still filled with panic as the immigration guy sorted out some other problems with an angry man with who knows what kind of problem, it felt like hours passed, when it was really no more than ten minutes. I was asked the questions again.
I couldn’t even pretend I wasn’t nervous by looking at my phone or anything. I didn’t have service there. So I sat. I waited. I couldn’t sit still. And I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
“Have you been to Mexico before?” Nope
“How long are you staying here?” Uhh, a few days? I didn’t plan that far ahead!
“What brings you to Mexico?” The start of my first big adventure, of course!
A few more minutes dragged on when he stood up and handed my passport back to me. All I thought was that I hope this never happens again.
Relief washed over me as he released me. He looked almost as relieved as me when he told me the news. Turns out, there was another Megan Johnson that got our name flagged forever at the Cancun International Airport for who knows what sort of crazy shenanigans.
So, Other Megan Johnson, thank you. Thank you for teaching me how terrifying it is to be in trouble at the airport, even if I didn’t do anything wrong. Now if I’m ever contemplating illegal activities, I can think back to that hot January day and remember, “Oh, right, I don’t ever want to really be in trouble at the airport ever.”
What are your airport stories?