A woman who couldn’t take a birthday trip because of the coronavirus scare, recreated the vacation in an imaginative 4-minute video without ever leaving home.
Dana Jondahl of Saint Paul, Minn was excited to spend her 34th birthday somewhere epic, however the coronavirus stopped her plans. Still wanting to celebrate, the contract tour manager and travel lover filmed a skit of her faux vacation with detailed props and characters. “I was looking for a way to [make my birthday] memorable,” Jondahl tells Yahoo Life.
“They told me no traveling for my birthday this year...#challengeaccepted,” Jondahl wrote in her May Facebook video with almost 10,000 shares. Jondahl plays a traveler wheeling her suitcase through the “airport” (her home) through glass doors, then following a departure sign to a computerized check-in kiosk. Passport in hand, Jondahl retrieves her plane ticket, then heads toward TSA security screening.
Portraying both a TSA agent in full uniform — a blue blazer with a name tag using an old passport photo and fake patches — and herself as the traveler, Jondahl places her luggage on a makeshift conveyor belt and walks through a full-body scanner made from a cardboard box and other materials.
Unfortunately, Jondahl gets caught with a bottle of alcohol in her backpack, but the agent kindly overlooks it. To walk to the “gate,” Jondahl set up her father’s wheelchair ramp in her garage, then sat on a lawn chair to wait for her flight. She is greeted by a flight attendant (played by herself), then boards a plane-shaped pool float previously purchased at a discount warehouse.
To play the crew member, Jondahl watched in-flight safety demonstrations on YouTube and took advice from her pilot brother-in-law, crafting an emergency inflatable cushion from yellow-and-red pool noodles. Jondahl also impersonated an aircraft marshaller with a neon safety vest, her evening dog-walking gear.
Details were never overlooked, down to the snacks (biscuits, crackers and nuts) and the aircraft window made from a $5 toilet seat with a cloud-patterned balloon as the skyline. After dozing off, Jondahl lands, emerges from the airport’s sliding doors (pulled off-camera by her mother) and celebrates her birthday with a festive banner.
According to Jondahl, who challenged herself to visit 50 states and 50 countries by her 50th birthday, the video was shared in Facebook groups for the deaf community, who could appreciate the video since it didn’t have dialogue. “It beautiful to learn that,” she says.
The only hole in Jondahl’s plan: Her fictitious final destination. “I couldn’t decide on a vacation spot,” she tells Yahoo Life.
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