At some point in my journey during the pandemic, the U.S. made me quarantine, by accident. I’d say, if you travel often, it’s normal to face unexpected situations.

What do I mean?

I was on a return trip from Madrid, after three weeks in Europe and my layover was in Mexico City. I had a doctor’s appointment in four days, with a follow up the week after.

I’m gliding through the beautiful airport of Mexico City and I finally check in. After security checks, I grab a cup of green tea, while waiting to board. Forty five minutes into boarding, I went to the gate, over to first class, and sat on the plane.

Five minutes before the door closes, the captain says ‘ Okay! Departing in 5! Cabin crew, get ready’

As I closed my laptop, I see a man in a yellow jacket, walking down the isle, frantically looking for someone.

He approaches me and whispers..‘Are you Miss Ajala?’

‘Yes, that is me’

‘Can you please, come with me for five minutes?’

‘Sure, should I leave my bag on the plane or?’


After informing the agents that I was called out, they said ‘Take your bags, just in case’

I take my bags off the plane and he says ‘Your credentials are intact, but the U.S. immigration customs want you to quarantine for 14 days’

Confused..and nervous, I said ‘I can legally stay in the U.S, why do I need to quarantine?’

After a while, I was told I wouldn’t be able to fly that day, till I had received an exemption letter from UCSIC aka  immigration.

I decided to stay in  a hotel for a few days, while I sorted the issue out.

I emailed immigration, and contrary to what I had assumed, they responded quickly, apologised and said I didn’t have to quarantine. I had spent so much money, and just wanted to go home.

It was clear that the agents weren’t communicating properly with each other , and they made me miss a flight and an appointment. Whether they care or not is another thing.

So here I was, stuck in Mexico city, unable to leave.. Three days passed, and I didn’t  receive my exemption letter as promised.

I went to the airport to enquire about the first flight heading to Los Angeles the next day. This time a little bit more hopeful than when I first landed. 

On confirmation, they apologised, updated their systems, and I was able to board  a flight.

I was so nervous, because I didn’t want to be disappointed again. I had so much work to do and  little time.

The next day, I get checked in, and right in my seat, my heart is beating fast, I couldn’t wait for the doors to close. Well, last time it didn’t close before I was escorted off.

The Doors close and I have a sigh of relief… I’m in the air..

I still wasn’t fully relaxed because anything could happen, even on board, but thankfully, I have global entry..which also means that I’m not a danger to anyone.

We land, and I get to the global entry line, my passport is checked.

‘Welcome to the United States, Miss Ajala’

Finally..I can breathe, because the last four days were filled with anxiety.

  • When travelling with strangers, there’s a higher tendency to have a more interesting trip. There’s a whole lot more to talk about!
  • Going on a trip with a stranger is another way to try something new.

So have you ever done something you have never done before?? If not, do it.

Here are fun tips that come in handy for planning your next trip;

  1. Find someone you’ve known for a while, ideally the same sex, to avoid complications.
  2. Travel with someone who doesn’t know you well. It gives you so many things to talk about.
  3. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on trips.. It zaps out the fun. Travel with an open mind…see…feel…and be present in every moment of it.
    Have a great trip!