oh the places we will go…
I have always been one of those girls who has to have someone with her at all times. No matter where I go, I love to have company with me as a security blanket. The people who know me can attest to this, but I tend to get lost. A lot.
As I said my goodbyes, I didn’t want to let go. But, I knew it would all be worth it when I arrived to Italy and finally reunited with Rachel. I was a big mess of tears and excitement!
When it came time to begin my travels alone, I had butterflies in my stomach as I left the Des Moines airport lobby and meandered my way up the elevator. I had never traveled solo before – so going across the world with four different flights was a big task I was ready to check off of my list as fast as possible.
My flight from Des Moines to Chicago was a piece of cake. It wasn’t even an hour long!
I arrived at my terminal with just enough time to grab an iced coffee (goodbye Starbucks *tear*), then off to NYC I went.
When I landed in the JFK airport, I only had an hour to get to my next flight that would take me across the pond. With my bags in hand, I struggled to find the train that would take me to my needed terminal. Let’s just say it took forever.
I finally arrived to my terminal after 25 minutes on the train, and chaos hit.
I searched for a Norwegian Airlines sign in a sea of people. As I approached the desk, someone told me that my plane had already left.
Stomach to the floor.
As they continued to tell me it was gone, I frantically started going through my options as they radioed the gate my plane supposedly took off from.
After a few minutes of worry and miscommunication, I was told to quickly get my boarding pass and find my gate as soon as possible. The plane hadn’t left yet.
I grabbed my boarding pass and stood in the biggest security line I had ever seen for what seemed like hours. Then I sprinted with my two bags all the way to my terminal to find out that the plane hadn’t even started boarding yet.
Phew, I could breathe for a second in attempts to stop sweating.
I made sure I had my passport and off to Norway I went – an overnight flight filled with movies and not a wink of sleep. I was almost to Europe, how could I contain my excitement?
Once I arrived in Norway, I relaxed and ate a few snacks that my dad packed for me during my four hour layover. Rome and Rae were only a few hours away!
During my flight, I read my book and peeked my head over to watch the European sunset go under the clouds from my aisle seat.
As we flew into Rome, the city lights were twinkling and thunder was crashing. We had to circle the city for almost a half an hour before it was safe to land. I was so anxious to get off the plane and meet up with Rachel – it had been long 24 hours of traveling for me.
When my plane finally landed, I contemplated kissing the ground.
I was so excited to see Rachel’s smiling face. She even bought me a sandwich because she knew I hadn’t had a meal in a full day.
It was time to get on the bus for a three hour ride to Martinsicuro and a 3 a.m. arrival. Or so we thought…
We couldn’t stop talking the entire ride and caught up on all things Madly Amusing. When it came to the last bus stop, we got off and were completely lost. Figures.
The adventure began the minute we stepped foot on the ground. We were about two miles away from the home we were staying in, so we started our trek with big travel bags on our backs. We got closer and closer, until we came to a roundabout that led us to the interstate – the only way we could get to where we needed to be.
In the back of my mind I thought, “My mom would kill me.”
Although deliriously tired, we used our better judgement, nixed walking across the interstate and found a nearby hotel where we could call a taxi.
20 Euro for a .3 mile drive. Not cool. But so worth it. You’re welcome, Mom.
We arrived to the beautiful home Rachel’s family is letting us live in – we are so thankful! After a few flights of stairs, we dropped our bags and went straight to bed.
14 hours later, I woke up to a beautiful view and realized that all of the stress, travel mishaps and lack of sleep were worth it. It is a dream here.
I am so happy to be in Martinsicuro! I have learned so much already (I’m still mastering basic Italian), am working with a view and definitely haven’t starved!
This is without a doubt a once in a lifetime chance, and am so glad I took it.