I was so excited to leave for Australia on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014. I had my bags packed in the car, my gas tank filled, and my anxiety kicked in for one of the longest flights in the world and the 5 weeks I will be away from America. My sister Chelsey and my boyfriend Ryan took me to the tiny State College airport which would connect me to the Washington D.C. Dulles airport. I was getting really nervous to leave America, my family, boyfriend, friends, and my dogs for a little while. Finally, I got to the airport, took a deep breath and felt ready to take on Australia and the distance.
As Chelsey and Ryan were about to say their goodbyes the director of the trip, Dr. Pate, came up to me and informed me that the flight to D.C. was canceled. She was on the phone to try and fix the mess that apparently occurred when the one flight was canceled. Me and five other students were waiting for her to get off of the phone, and after an hour we were told that our flights for Australia would not be until Friday…two more days at home…I was not too happy because I finally got over my anxiety and I was really excited to leave, but then I had to go home and sit there to do nothing (I read “The 5 People You Meet In Heaven” to keep myself occupied).
I feel like I have never had the greatest flight experience. Last year for my spring break I had a trip planned to go visit my sister in Italy where she was also studying abroad with the International Culinary Institute (in NYC). My friend Brianna, my Aunt Cindy, my cousin Frankie, my Mom (who was already in Italy), my sister-in-law Shaina, and me were all going to visit Chelsey. Me and my friend Brianna lived in State College so we were driven from State College to Shaina’s house in Harrisburg. Once we arrived, we were all just waiting to leave for the airport and my brother was making fun of my passport mugshot when he realized it was expired. My heart dropped to the ground in a panic, like one of those moments where you have no idea what to do and you just cry and depend on someone else…and yes I cried my eyes out.
Long story short even though this story is just madness and long, it all worked out in the end. My travel agent Trudy and the driver who took me from State College to Harrisburg were saviors. Trudy canceled my flight from Harrisburg to Newark and scheduled me an appointment in Philadelphia to get a new passport. If anyone has ever tried to get a passport fast, it just doesn’t happen unless you pay a lot of money, know someone, or cry…and I did all three of those things ($200, Trudy the travel agent, and lots of tears). My appointment in Philly was at 1:00 pm, and it was 12:30pm, and the flight from Newark to Italy was at 5:00…IMPOSSIBLE. Well like I said, I had some saints along with me and somehow made it to Newark with 10 minutes to spare (no lie) before the plane boarded. Talk about anxiety attack…thank goodness I did not really get anxiety back then because I would have been a mess and some. My classes this semester are to blame for my anxiety now.
The trip to Italy worked out, and the trip to Australia worked out as well. Being two days late was a bummer, but hey you never know…everything happens for a reason (I am a firm believer of that!). We ended up driving to D.C. Friday morning instead of taking a flight from State College like planned, and thank goodness we didn’t because we found out the flight we would have taken was canceled again! I also will never fly with United Airlines after this trip because the food was not that great, even though airplane food is never that great, and we didn’t have our own tv’s…for one of the longest flights in the world I don’t get entertainment other than sleep and my computer that dies in 2 seconds? Crazy!
Going to another country, a vacation, or even somewhere else in the states is great but the traveling aspect can always be madness and things can go wrong without your control so what I have learned from this trip is to just go with the flow and it will all work out in the end.