(note about this post: while typing this during our layover in Amsterdam, my free wifi expired and left me unable to upload. So instead of midnight Tuesday CST or 7 AM Wednesday Amsterdam time, you’re receiving it now.)
current status: sitting at a gate in Amsterdam, trying to decide what time it is.
Wandering this far around the globe is a lot of work: the packing, the waiting, the sitting, the many security checks that surmount to customs – it all feels never ending.
After getting to the Minneapolis airport shortly after noon, our 3:20 PM flight to Amsterdam boarded around two o’clock and went wheels up around three. The eight-hour flight met and exceeded expectations, with in-flight entertainment better than Netflix and constant food & wine. Including Diet Coke, which turned out to be one of my hardest goodbyes. My only wish? That I had slept > one hour.
Midnight when we arrived CST, and 7 AM local time, we all exited the plane bewildered that we had missed an entire night of sleep – typically a triumph in college. But with the sun starting to rise and a solid 5 hours before we reach Rome, the intial excitement is veering toward excitement to reach our new apartments, eventually, and catch up on some z’s.
Regardless of the amount of travel left, there’s no denying just how close my final destination is. After all, I already crossed the big blue and made it to Europe!
This morning (and night, for what it feels like), and amongst brand new friendships, we’re all sitting at the gate waiting to head to Rome, quiet and dialed in to our data-free iPhones in this foreign place. Because you can feel distance. Because goodbyes are hard. And because four months didn’t feel like a really long time, until now.
Once we get in and settled I know time will start to go by quickly and homesickness will fade. I’m reading, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff” on my new Kindle (thanks, Mormor and Gramps!). It’s has helped me keep an adaptable attitude and optimistic outlook for myself and towards others. While homesickness and longing for family, friends, boyfriends, etc. is inevitable, there is a time and a place for everything. Personally, I know this experience will change my life, and I have sacrificed the comforts of home to learn to enjoy a completely new culture. Feeling uncomfortable and doubtful is just part of the process. In the essence of life, time heals everything, and it moves fast. That being said, my layover is almost up. Next stop, Rome!
Ciao, for now!
Here’s a picture I snapped over the U. Distance is St. Paul, Center is TCF, and lower left is my apartment!