How does one pack seventeen years of their life into one suitcase? Simple, you DON'T. Instead, you splurge and pack two big bags and then, if you’re me, you pack two big suitcases, one small rolling one, and an extra large backpack. Then, you still manage to arrive in your host country, thousands of miles away, and realize that you forgot half of your things.
When I got to the checkin line at the airport, the nerves began to hit. As I walked up to the counter, I looked up at the Airline associate and put on big Rotary smile, partially because I was nervous and partially because my bags were both over weight and I didn’t want to pay extra. I put my first bag on the scale, 53 pounds, for a second she hesitated and then took the bag, not saying anything. Then, came the next bag, she was going to charge me extra for sure.
So, I did the most logical thing, with a smile I put on my Christmas tree, Rotary jacket and grinned ear to ear, she recognized the blazer, constantly I didn’t have to pay extra for my 58 pound bag.
After, having a bite to eat, I said the big goodbye to my mom and brother. Anxiously I then waited in line as they stared and watched me with bleeding eyes. If I could just make it through the security check, before they saw me start to tear it would be fine. When I got the the front I realized that I had somehow managed to lose my boarding pass. This made things even more awkward because I had to get out of line, go wait for another boarding pass, and do a whole new now tear-filled goodbye.
When I boarded the plane I felt like I was leaving something behind. I kept checking my bags to make sure that I had everything…
wallet 2. phone 3. charger, everything was there.
I had a layover in New Jersey, the airport was huge, and I had to take a bus to get to my terminal for my final departure flight to Austria. When I got there I bought a chocolate chip cookie, I didn’t think much of it, it wasn’t even that good, but the things I’d do for a bite of that American Chocolate Chip cookie now are unbelievable.
I waited around for a while and ran into a girl from Canada going to Austria too. She was only fifteen years old, I was in disbelief that someone so new to high school could go abroad. We went to the desk and asked to be seated together, the flight wasn’t full so they switched our tickets to be next to one another.
Eventually, we ran into a guy who was traveling with Rotary to Poland and taking our flight as a layover flight. We all chatted about our clubs back home and made small chat about our families and activities we liked until it was time to board. When we boarded we ran into another Rotary student going to Austria as well. He had been left sitting alone the whole time waiting to board, oops!
As we sat in our seats, we stared out the window as the plane zoomed off American soil. As we gazed through the small oval shaped window, we watched down as the plane ascended higher and higher into the sky, as we caught our last glimpse of our home.
*I wore black leggings, a white collared shirt with a cream colored v-neck, light sweater, convers,and my rotary jacket
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