ATL Airport Blackout Experience

On Sunday, December 17, I was on my way to West Palm Beach, Florida for a work conference (SAS by Turning Point USA) my flights went from BNA > ATL > PBI. However, my flight never made it to PBI. I made it into ATL around 11am and my next flight was due to take off around 1:30pm. I was so excited to be able to work this conference so I was very anxious to head to Palm Beach. Next thing I knew, 15 minutes before boarding the lights went out, completely black. It was raining so many of us assumed that maybe the rain/storm knocked the power out and airport employees assured us that our flight would be on its way soon. Two hours passed… still no sign of regaining power and none of the employees had information on what was going on. There was hardly any cell service and people’s phones were dying due to the fact that we couldn’t charge our phones. Restaurants had shut down and there was no running water so going to the bathroom was a difficult task. I had been calling and texting my parents constantly to see if they had any updates since we didn’t have service. I received a call from my mother saying this was a huge breaking news story that the ATL airport was experiencing a blackout. Thankfully I was with a friend/co-worker so that eased my anxiety a little bit. 2 more hours passed and the sun starting setting and still no information on what was going on. Our flight kept getting pushed back every 30 minutes. Then the smoke emerged. There was an electrical fire in the basement that had caused the power outage and the fire had reached one of the trams.The fire alarms were going off for hours which drove all of us insane. As it started becoming pitch black outside it became eerier inside. Planes were lined up on the tarmac. Passengers were stuck in planes for over 9 hours. People were stuck inside of elevators for 9 hours. Pretty soon it was pitch black outside. The airport has no emergency lights, no food or water, and no heat. The employees eventually started handing out peanuts and pretzels from the airplanes. The only thing visible in the airport was the flashlights from peoples phones. I received a text from my mother saying my dad had gotten me a hotel and I needed to leave. I and my friend desperately wanted to stay in the airport to catch a flight as soon as possible but it wasn’t looking possible at all. We decided to go to the hotel. We were at the opposite side of the entrance so since the trams were not in service we had to walk 2 miles just to get out of the airport. This is when the chaos really happened. People were trying to navigate a dark airport. Handicapped people were being carried up escalators in their wheelchairs. As soon as we reached outside we knew we were in trouble. It was complete madness. You couldn’t even see what was in front of you because there were so many people. We had to take a specific bus to our hotel and we stood outside for over an hour waiting for a bus before we decided we were going to get on a bus, ride with it to its destination and then from there uber to our hotel. We arrived at our hotel baggage-less, cold, starving and scared at 9pm. My main concern was our baggage. Once we checked in we went downstairs to eat only to find out that it was a 2-hour wait. So we decided to go to target and get some essentials for the night and then order pizza. We got to bed around midnight but I was restless. I was so worried about how we were going to get to the conference and our luggage so the entire night I stayed up on Twitter to get updates on the airport. Thankfully one of our advisory board members was trapped in ATL too and was able to rent us a car for the next day. Just before midnight, the lights came back on in the airport but obviously they had lots to sort out. Then around 3:30am, they tweeted that the airport was open. So I woke my friend up at 4am to go to the airport to see if we could find information/retrieve our luggage. We found out that our luggage would be on the first flight to West Palm and we could retrieve it there. At 7am we headed to the rental car to drive 9 hours to West Palm Beach. We made it to West Palm around 5:30pm on December 18 and the conference was amazing the rest of the week.

Unfortunately I do not have any photos or videos of this experience because I stayed off my phone as much as possible to conserve battery, however, I will link some youtube videos/news stories below

by: Michelle Holton via Youtube

If you’re really into conspiracy theories, this next video by Studio News, is very interesting, highly recommend watching it! & there are a bunch of videos similar to this one on youtube!

This was easily one of the scariest experiences of my life. Officials have not ruled out terrorism. Do I think it was terrorism? Absolutely. The news stations were barely covering this story. It was hard to describe the chaos and madness that was happening inside of this airport that night but it was terrifying. 400 flights canceled and 30k+ people trapped in an airport with no information to what is going on. Will we ever truly know what happened? Probably not but after experiencing it, I 100% think it was terrorism. Although it was terrifying I’m glad I went through it. It was a great lesson. Being an adult is already hard but being an adult in a potential terrorist attack is 10x harder.

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Cheers to 2018

It has been almost six months since I’ve written and honestly, it feels like it has been years since I’ve written. To say the least, I have been the busiest these past six months than I have ever been in my entire life, and also the happiest. 2017 has been filled with many ups and many downs. By far this year has been the most growth in my life that I have ever experienced. I’ve learned more lessons than I have ever learned in my life and I really needed to learn them. So I am going to share those lessons with you guys. I tend to keep my personal life off my blog and social media and I will continue to do that, however, I want to share my reflections of 2017 and my goals for 2018.

Reflections from 2017:

  1. Have the strength to be nice in all situations, even to the people who have wronged you. You can never lose by being a kind person.
  2. Words cannot be unsaid. Chose them wisely.
  3. You still have time, for everything. Do not rush
  4. Say yes to adventures. Memories are some of the most precious things in life.
  5. In reference┬áto 4 above, take lots of pictures. With today’s technology, there is no reason to not cherish every moment and take lots of pictures.
  6. Be confident, yet humble. Confidence can take you many places in life.
  7. Pick and choose your battles- some things are worth fighting about but most things in life are worth working through
  8. Dress professionally as often as possible, you don’t know who you will run into
  9. Connections will get you far in your professional life, so go out and network

Goals for 2018:

  1. This is the most important goal for me in 2018. Get rid of toxic relationships/relationships that are not benefiting your life. There are some people who just do not deserve to be in your 2018.
  2. Save money. I (sometimes) have a problem with spending money, especially on food.
  3. Workout 4 times a week, at least.
  4. Continue with a Whole-30 lifestyle. I have never felt better than when I was on Whole-30.
  5. Teach myself French, my middle name is French so I feel like I have an obligation to learn it haha.
  6. Better my spiritual relationship

 

Since I haven’t written in while I will do a life update. I have many things that I would like to write about but since 2018 is approaching so quickly, I wanted to write about my reflections and goals.

Cheers to 2018!! May it be the best year yet!

Lessons I’ve learned In College

I can’t believe in little over a month I will be entering my final year of college. It really hit me yesterday when I was receiving emails from professors and seeing my status as “Senior.” Looking back college has been some of my best times and some of my worst times. Here are some lessons I learned in College. Life is so short. Do what makes you happy.

  1. Don’t enter college with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Chances are it’s not going to work out. Theres so many new people you meet and things can get messy. Entering college is such an adventure and the last thing you should be worrying about is a relationship.
  2. You’re going to change your major a couple times. Don’t stress about it. Don’t force something, chose what you’re passionate about.
  3. Planners are everything. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you have to do and how much time is in a day. Go through your class syllabus and write down every due date, project, quiz and test on there.
  4. Check your planner everyday. It’s not useful to have everything written out and then not check it everyday.
  5. That boy you’re going to fall in love with isn’t worth worrying about right now. He may be everything you want but if he really loves you he will stay no matter what so don’t take it too seriously right now.
  6. Join an organization or group of some sort. Chances are you’ll meet your best friend(s)
  7. You don’t need anyone in your life who isn’t benefiting you. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life who keep you small.
  8. You will miss your mom/dad and they are missing you so text/call/facetime them everyday.
  9. Don’t lose sight of who you are. College has lots of temptations and pressures but stay true to yourself.
  10. You’re going to get your heartbroken and you’re going to be miles away from your mom but stay strong. It will get better. Do things to better yourself
  11. You only live once and you’re only in college for a short time. Don’t waste it. Go to that basketball game or party. Go hiking, bowling etc.
  12. Start a journal/diary and write in it at least twice a week. In a few years you’ll be able to look back at some of your best and worst memories.
  13. Find a good church and stick with it. Don’t let your faith leave when you go to college. College is the time where you’ll need God the most.
  14. The freshman 15 is real… go workout, play sand volleyball, go hiking. Don’t eat ramen noodles everyday.
  15. Friends are so important. They help you get through the hard parts of life so find good ones and treat them right.