Sunday, January 19, 2014

Goodbyes and Hellos

The time has finally come. 
I cannot believe that I left for London yesterday! 
I am writing this from my dorm room and I have so much to say, so let's start with the goodbyes. 

The goodbyes were the hardest yet wonderful. 
I am so lucky to have so many great people on my life to support me and encourage me. 
Thank you to anyone who has given me support and well wishes for this trip. It means the world to me. 
Saturday I said goodbye and was finally on my own to make this journey, it was hard but I was so ready to make it. 

Here's the fun part. 
I had the WORST flight ever. 
First off, I had a delayed flight from STL to Chicago because of low visibility due to snow. My flight was delayed almost 3 hours! By this point I was a frustrated and panicking mess. 
Anyone who knows me knows that I don't do well with chaos and delays. 
I seriously thought about giving up and coming home. I'm glad I didn't. 
Let me just tell you about this oh so wonderful flying experience. Here's the condensed version.
1. Flight from STL to Chicago delayed 3 hours.
2. Miss my flight from Chicago to London because of delay. 
3. Almost miss the second flight from Chicago to London because of the first flight being slow and stupid. 
4. Finally get on a plane to London. 
5. Crying baby on this plane, so cliche!
6. Cannot sleep because of terrible seat. 
7. Worst meals EVER. I ordered pasta, not sure what it was they gave me. 
8. Almost missed my meet time with the KEI group because of late London flight. 

Now those are all my complaints of my interesting experience, but it wasn't all bad. I happen to meet some really interesting people on my flights. 
Most of you know that I'm kind of shy in nature and won't talk to strangers. 
But you put 60 people all upset because they're missing their flights and they start to talk. 
The first person I encountered was an elderly gentleman who sat next to me from St. Louis to Chicago. 
He was the sweetest man ever. 
He asked me questions about my destination and told me about the places he has traveled. 
I returned the favor and asked him where he was headed. 
He had a flight the next day to Shanghai!
This was his 29th trip to China since he has retired!
I thought that was incredible!
Plus there were quite a few other people who swapped stories with me and then wished me good luck. 
Most of them helped me make my flights on time by letting me go ahead of them in some sort of line. 
You have to love that American hospitality. 

Then we get to my London flight. 
My seatmate was an elderly woman who did not say a single word to me until we were outside of London and about to land.
When she did she started asking me questions about my trip and telling me about hers.
She and her sister were renting a flat for 10 days to spend time away in London. 
They go for tea and shop the entire time they are here. 
Basically I make friends with elderly people and I cannot wait to get their age. 

Finally I arrive!
At this point I was ready to drop to my knees and kiss the ground. 
Except, there was no time for that! 
I had to book myself to customs and get through the UK border. 
My agent terrified me and made it seem like I wasn't going to get in.
Sir, if you ever read this. . . HOW RUDE!
I did get through and I finally met up with my group. 
It was a big round of hellos and who are yous. 

I just thank God that he got me here safely and soundly!
It was an interesting trip that I will always have to tell about. 
Thanks for reading!
Check out my next post to learn about the rest of my first day in London!

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