It is 8:00am here at the London airport, and it is 3:00am at home, meaning I have no one to talk to because everyone is asleep. I’m not sure which I’m more upset about; not having anyone to talk to, or everyone else getting to sleep when that’s all I want to do. It’s probably the sleeping one.
This is the first time I have traveled by myself. I’ve never flown, taken a cab, or be in a foreign country by myself. Luckily the first hour or so after I was dropped off on my own, I had the chance to catch up with a friend on the phone. Since then, I really have been on my own. And it’s been fine.
Traveling alone has given me a chance to notice some things I would otherwise be too distracted to see. It has also given me the chance to realize how many ridiculous thoughts one (or maybe just me) might have while traveling.
My first flight was on British Airways, which means that I was surrounded by a lot of British people. So keep in mind that my brain apparently has an on/off switch for the languages it thinks in, and right now it seems to be permanently stuck in English. Not good ole down-home American English, but English that makes me think about tea and crumpets (what even is that?)
Some American thoughts I’ve had in a British voice:
- Wow this line through security is long
- Why are my bags so heavy?
- I have too much stuff
- Can these people tell I was crying?
- Oh yeah they can, thanks security officer for your concern
- I was just saying goodbyes, I’m fine, no people I’m not scared of flying
- Ooh found my gate
- Maybe I’ll use the bathroom
- I should fill my water bottle up too
- Where should I sit that is not too close or too far from this other person so it looks natural?
- I wonder if she’s British
- Maybe they’re all British
- Can they tell I’m not British?
- Is it obvious?
- Maybe my Virginia Tech shirt gives it away
- If they’re British they might not even know what Virginia Tech is
- What a sad life
- Of course they know, we’re awesome
- Too bad I don’t have my phone anymore
- I’ll try connecting to the wifi
- *Connects for 3 seconds*
- Oh I have a missed call (via Facebook if anyone was confused)
- Yes communication!
- *Wifi disconnects*
- Stupid airport wifi
- Oh it’s working
- Hurry, check all messages
- Yay phone call!
- I wonder when my flight will board?
- I’ve never been on a double-decker plane
- I wonder if the top has better views?
- Pilots must see some pretty incredible sights
- Why is my gray sweater turning my white shirt purple?
- It’s boarding time!
- Good I’m near the front
- Yes they gave me a blanket!
- Oh yay I forgot these planes have movies
- I wonder what we’ll get for dinner?
- What the heck is “Tom past?” I think I’ll have the chicken
- *Spends five minutes discussing with the passenger next to me what the other option might have been
- Should I watch another movie?
- Maybe I should read instead
- I wish this guy hadn’t spilled his water on me
- I guess I’ll sleep now
- Oh, we landed
- Wow, 20 minutes via bus/train to get to correct terminal
- Lynn “lift” means “elevator”
- I don’t know what any of this means (11 degrees, 180 meters, etc), I might as well try to read Japanese
- Finally made it to gate
- 4 hours til flight, now what
So, traveling alone has been interesting in that I have been able to observe a lot. I have had a lot of time to myself, time to think, go through ups and downs of excitement and disbelief. I can’t wait to arrive, meet my new roommates, see the area, and take a nap.