It all started as I was arriving at San Francisco International Airport as I was about to depart on my way to Aston University in Birmingham UK. I knew that there was a possibility that I might run in some difficulties on the way so I ensured that I packed a carry-on item with a couple days clothing as well as all my electronics and valuables. As I was boarding my first flight, I discovered that my airline (Air France) was having a strike, and that I might run in some delays with my connecting flights. At this point, I knew that the next 24 hours was going to be interesting. My 10 hour flight to Amsterdam actually turned out to be rather smooth and the time went by quickly, even though I didn’t get a wink of sleep. As I exited the plane and was walking through the airport I noticed the friendliness of all the locals there, but I also noticed the MP5’s that the security guards were carrying, which caught me a bit off guard.
The next encounter I ran into was the news that my connecting flight was to be delayed, and even though I went up to the counter and gave warning that I would probably miss my next flight, they said there was nothing that they would be able to do. Well as you can probably imagine, I did miss my flight in Paris, and I had to be re-booked on another airline (Lathander), which wasn’t for another 6 hours. At this point I am completely exhausted from traveling and was trying to catch quick naps in the airport while guarding my personal belongings. Finally after a long 6 hours I boarded a quick flight to Munich and was on my way. As I awoke from my nap on the plane I was greeted with a very impressive sandwich and a glass of wine, which I have to say was quite the unexpected treat than what I was used to in the United States.
After boarding my final flight to Birmingham for one last quick flight, I counted up all the hours I spent traveling and I realized I had spent over 25 hours flying within 5 different countries across Europe. I assumed I was finally finished, but of course I had to run into one other dilemma, which of course is to say that my luggage was “misplaced” and because of this I had to stay an extra hour at the airport before I could finally get into a black cab and make my way to the university.
Overall, it was a long and tedious experience, but I know that this experience not only will make my entry in the UK a funny story, but it will give me more confidence for future endeavors that I may face.