One way tickets, they're so romantic, leaving with no return date. People ask "When are you coming back?", I reply "I haven't decided". It's a dream.

The staff in Miami airport don't quite dream the same dream.

Security in the US is thorough, in the slow and laborious sense, with three hours connecting time it can be a somewhat stressful spending close to half of it in security. But then I was through and heading down to the check-in desk.

"Hi, I'm here to check in"

"For how long will you be in Colombia?"

"A month, I'm heading to Ecuador for Christmas"

"Do you have proof of onward travel?"


"You need proof"


Oh crap.

I had little over an hour before the flight, my backpack was already on board and about to be heading to Colombia without me.

The lady on the desk then called her supervisor, and together they agreed that they could sell me a "return" ticket, Bogota to Miami. It was enough to get me on the flight, and fully refundable too (minus foreign currency credit card fees).

This is a common solution, and since I have met many travelers experienced with same problem. Now when people answer "I don't know" to the "How long are you traveling for?" question we share our stories of temporary refundable tickets, and then continue to discuss the romance of one way tickets.