The Journey

Over the last two days I made the 2000+ mile trek to Glasgow.  I wanted to share the beginning of this experience with everyone. So here it is:

4:30am: It was tough getting out of bed this morning. Mainly because it was just so dang comfortable. My parents were up and helping me repack my carry on bags to fit the most in the smallest space and reweighing my luggage in hopes that it doesn’t exceed the 50lb weight limit. Cross your fingers! Casey and Bridget came by for their “see you laters.” I am proud to say there were no tears. Yet. The weather was gloomy but I suppose it’s fitting considering I’m moving to Scotland.

8:30am: My luggage weighed in at 48 and 47.9lb respectively! Score! I had to remove some of my books from my carry on because it was too thick. My mom said she’ll make sure they get sent to me. Saying see you later to my family was hard. A lot harder than I imagined. Now, I understand why people can’t look back. I thought if I glanced back and saw my family waiting for me I’d lose it. I’m pretty sure the TSA agent felt bad for me and my tear stained face because, although my passport wasn’t signed and therefore not technically valid, he let me pass and told me sign it when I got a second. Once I made it past the initial check I did glance back and it wasn’t bad. I’m proud to say I didn’t lose it. My carry on was searched and my butter knife got confiscated. I packed a set of cutlery until mine arrives at my flat. So I hope in the meantime I don’t encounter some tough butter that needs to be cut. Now I’m just waiting to board my first connecting flight to JFK.

2pm: Layovers suck.

1am: Overseas flights suck.

4:30am: I just landed in Dublin. My flight was a bit uncomfortable. My poor feet had no room and were constantly falling asleep. I managed to get absolutely zero sleep on the long flight over and I’m bitter about that. I have an eight hour layover in Dublin to look forward to. I’ve gotta admit, the long uncomfortable flight had me massively cranky. I was craving the comforts of home. My bed. My family. My dog. I’m not going to lie, I cried a lot when I first got to the airport. Especially when talking to my mama. Everyone says I’m brave and it’s going to get better and I surely hope so. This is hard. No bones about it, but I’m proud of myself for getting here and if I find out this isn’t for me then I think I can live with that.

9:30am: I repeat, layovers suck. I did manage to get some sleep but I woke up freezing. I’m also feeling better. Not as weepy. I still miss home but I’m okay. I just can’t wait to get to Glasgow and get into my apartment and crash for two days. I still have 3 hours to go until I board my final plane to Glasgow so let’s hope it passes quickly!

9:30pm: Well, the last 6 hours has been insanity. I had experiences I’ve never had before! When boarding the plane in Dublin, you first get on a bus that drives you onto the tarmac then you get off and board the plane.  It was incredible to see the skyline of Ireland’s hills, with planes taking off, while waiting to climb on my plane. It was a bit cold from the wind whipping on the tarmac. Finally we got everyone on and we set off for Glasgow.  I got off the plane in Glasgow and tried to use my check card at an ATM only for it to decline. Okay, so I started to slightly panic. With no way to withdraw money I was left with $40 in US currency.  I went to the currency conversion desk and my $40 got me a little more than 19 GBP.  A taxi cab ride costs roughly 20-25 GBP.  Okay, Michelle. Don’t panic.  Luckily, I was able to meet with some student ambassadors from Strathclyde who were able to help me. One of the girls got me a taxi for a fixed rate of 16.50 GBP. Bless this girl.  My taxi driver was incredibly friendly and drove around until he got me exactly where I needed to be. When he dropped me on the curb this older couple offered to help me with my bags into my building.  I have to say, I am overwhelmed at how kind everyone was to me.  I probably would have freaked out had I not had so many lovely people helping me.  I finally made it to my flat and it is adorable! It’s small but perfect for just me.  I also have a nice view out of my window! There was a welcome pizza party where I met a lot of new friends! It’s really encouraging to meet others who are in the same situation you are in.

Final thoughts: While this journey has not been an easy one I am so glad I made it.  The Dublin leg of my trip got me down, but finally arriving in Glasgow and seeing the city I’ve dreamed about living in for so long was incredible.

And don’t worry, once I get unpacked I promise to post pictures of my room. And of course I’ll be posting photos from Glasgow when I get to go explore!

Sláinte, darling!

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3 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. Michelle, this is some of the most succinct writing I have seen from you. It screams, “from the heart.” I’m certain that the ATM thing was not a coincidence and instead it was your first and most important test. It proved that you could stay cool in the face of terror and the unknown. I’m not worried about you being able to make it. This is your dream. This morning I listened to “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables. It speaks of a time when dreams are spent and wasted. I hope you will keep this dream. Listen to the Glee cast Version. I think you will like it. http://youtu.be/Xp7ARm2Lwdo

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  2. Michelle, I am so proud of you for pursuing your dreams! Reading this entry made me tear up and want to hug you! I am excited to read more from you while you’re on this new journey!
    xo, Connie

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