Or the next few months, really.
05.01.2012 - 06.01.2012
Leaving behind everything I've ever known was both harder and not as hard as I thought it would be. Once my feet started moving, I was already on my way and just blindly walking was easy. The hard part was when I started thinking about everybody and everything and where I was and what I'm on the precipice of doing. Yeah, yeah. Emo-schmemo. Get over it, right? But just let me say this. After being a particularly special treatment from CSA that pretty much only was missing a patdown, which still allowed me to wave back through security to my mom and boyfriend, I turned and faced down the hall toward where I needed to go and I cried like a baby all in public. Love and fear do that to you when they're all mixed up together.
The flight to Chicago was pretty brief, but I met a few people on the way. Behind me was sitting a family that was missing the father figure in it, who was also in possession of everybody's passport. Curious by it, I turned around and asked them where they were headed. It turns out the mom, who I did all the talking with, worked for a non-prof in the Dominican Republic and that was where they were headed. They were 'sort-of missionaries' which is cool in their own right. They, and the woman who was sitting to the left of us, were all pretty nice and we chatted for a bit. But the flight was really short and then we set down in Chicago and all went our seperate ways. Honestly, I may have spent more of the flight taking pictures of stuff and videos of take-off and landing than actually have time or spend time doing something else.
Chicago, in a word, was kind of a nightmare. It was huge and ginormous, and I thank the everloving crap out of whatever genius did my flights so that I landed and left out of the same terminal. O'Hare is crazy large and I was overwhelmed. I stepped out and was like, "Uhhh... where am I?" Lucky for me, some helpful guy said that the internationals all happen usually between K12-20ish and I was off in the right direction. Unfortunately, I still had five hours between my flights, and only really learned what gate I was supposed to be at in the last few seconds. Until then, I had enough time to find out that Chicago is ridiculously expensive. It was $8 to get on the Wi-fi! Crazy, no? And it was about that much for a McDouble, small fry, and a bottle of water at the McDonald's. While there, I spent some time talking to a guy headed to Delhi because he and I were sharing the same charger port. He was all right, and I understood him wanting to have someone to talk to. It was crazy being there in the middle of all those people and not having a shred of contact with any of them. The traveller's bug gets you! But the good part is it's usually for the better, and you meet someone with an interesting story. When I went to go sit in the waiting area for my flight I came across two other travelling students and struck up a conversation with them because of the tags that were on their luggage. The girl's said she was from a Texas University, so I asked her where she was headed. She, like me, was headed over for 5 months but to Seville, and the other guy was headed over, too. It was nice talking to them.
Aaaand now I'm on the flight to Madrid. We've been in the air for about three hours now, which is pretty cool. It certainly doesn't feel like that short a time, though. It's hard getting used to the feeling of not descending yet, to be honest. But the flight's only about 7 hours, so hey! Not bad, about halfway there. The dinner they gave us was pretty good.. I chose the beef and got a meat and potatoes bowl that had some mushrooms and onions thrown in and there was some weird veggie thing that looked like coleslaw that I didn't eat, a roll, a drink (Fanta... something I'm probably going to have to get very, very used to with how obsessed everybody is with Coke), and some flan. I've never really had flan before, but it was pretty good, and I was so hungry I was in no position to complain.
The guy who I ended up sharing a seat with on the flight is also cool. His name is John, and he's a teacher over in Madrid. He's on his way back to there after having spent Christmas at home. We talked a lot and he gave me some tips on what Spain's like and we swapped some stories about travel woes and not-so-woes. He said he'd spent time in Valladolid back when he was in high school as a transfer, which I think is pretty cool, considering.
The atmosphere on the flight is pretty friendly, even if I can't understand -a word- of what the pilot's been saying to us, no matter what language it's in. The bilingual aspect of all the airports I've seen make me excited and also nervous for what I'm headed into. It's going to be a difficult run, but I'm ready for it, and psyched. I'm missing everybody terribad, and it's kind of sort of y'know totally crippling my enthusiasm, but I'll get over being homesick eventually. I think. Hope. Something.
We stopped seeing lights, however dim they were, from the ground a little while ago and they've shut off all the ones in the cabin except for the personal ones. So for now, I think I'm going to try and get sme shuteye and hope for the best... especially for a good morning when we come in to land.
Hello, world. Good bye, Ohio.
Can't wait to see you again soon.