When last I wrote, I spoke of packing carefully, leaving early, and travel prep for my internship in Cork, Ireland. Now I am going to tell you that it didn’t really work out like I had planned.
A lot of things aren’t going to always work out. For all the careful planning in the world, nothing prepares you for arriving (two-and-a-half hours from home) at the airport and being told that your flight details have been changed.
Instead of going into sad detail, here's a graphic:
- Original Plan:
- Chicago -> Amsterdam -> Cork
- Plan upon arrival:
- Chicago -> Paris -> Cork
- What actually happened that day (days).
- Chicago -> Paris -> CorkLondon -> Cork
- (Horrible, horrible, horrible)
So. I missed the connection in Paris and got rerouted through London, which I had specifically tried to avoid. To top it all off the airline lost all of my luggage.
Best news ever? I got through customs, my new roommate loves to cook, and everyone in Ireland couldn’t have been nicer. On my first working day, Monday, I wore the same clothes I left home in on Friday.
As all of my blogs before have mentioned, you should probably plan for the worst. Sometimes "the worst" can’t be planned for. If you are stuck in an airport terminal in Paris for five hours here is my best advice:
- Use the airline food voucher. (You deserve the chocolate and the delicious real sugar Coca-Cola.)
- Utilize free airport Wi-Fi. (Funny Snapchat stories and texting the fam will get you through the wait.)
- Make sure your adaptor is in your bag. (Battery life is a joke.)
- Parisian Border Patrol guards like to make jokes. (No you don’t actually look like a terrorist; he’s just being funny.)
Some of that sounds unbelievably silly. Find that place in yourself where you can be silly in situations like those. A sense of humor and the ability to not take yourself too seriously helps in moments of trials and tribulations.
I will end with a short story and a parting remark: Once my mom and I found ourselves in an atrocious travel situation (delays, missing baggage, cancellations, unplanned hotel stays) and my mom was a wreck. I was 13 and I looked at her, put on a winning smile (and meant it) and said “Mom, it doesn’t matter, we are okay.”
Those are the moments I can take pride in, because sometimes things don’t always work out, but we are okay.
Sabrina is currently on an internship in Cork, Ireland. Check out LIM's Study Abroad page.