13.06.2014 - 14.06.2014
There it was... The moment I had been dreading... The scary silver luggage scale. I walked up to the counter, and while I was checking in I could tell that the lady behind the counter was doubting my packing abilities. Yes, I weighed my bag before I left, but sometimes I feel as if the scales at the airport are wrong... I swear that my 18 outfits, 6 pairs of shoes, toiletries, and my 3 Cosmo magazines are wayyyyy under 50 pounds! This trip was different though, I had to "condense". I am not even sure if I knew what that word was when it came to packing until the other day. 18 outfits quickly turned into a lot of running shorts and T-shirts. 6 pairs of shoes became 3 ( technically 2, because one pair were on my feet during the journey), Toiletries, because you cant condense those ( If you have figured that out then there is some kind of sorcery involved, and I am slightly jealous I don't have those magical powers. I always wanted to have the power to fly, but if condensing toiletries was my future I would be ok with that also... ) and sadly, no Cosmos...
So there it was, the weight tests. At the house we put my large duffel, aka "The Yellow Submarine" on the scale. I jumped up and down, and had my own 30 second dance party because the scale said 47lbs. Now all that needed to happen was for that scale to match the airports, and I was now ready to accept that mission. It was me and Subby ( The Yellow Submarine nickname! That can get long to type, so Subby works) against the scale and the scary ticket counter lady. I slowly dropped Subby onto the silver metal and BAM 47lbs! Life was good, and Subby didn't cost me an extra 200 dollars for being overweight. I am forever indebted to you Subby...
After that intense early airport adventure, I sat down at my gate and relaxed. I thought to myself that this would be the perfect time to get serious about my trip, and make rules for how I was going to travel. So here are the Ten Commandments for Travelers...
1) Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast left them at home, for thou hast left thy home to find things differently.
2) Thou shalt take nothing to seriously, for a carefree mind is the basis for a good study abroad.
3) Thou shalt not let other tourists get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself
4) thou shalt not forget that thou dost represent thy country at all times.
5) Thou shalt not worry. She who worrieth hath no pleasure, and few matters are fatal.
6) Remember thy passport and knoest where it is at all times. A woman without a passport is a woman without a country.
7) Blessed is thy woman who can say thank you in all languages, verily it is worth more than gold.
8) When thou art in Rome do thou as the romans do! If sorely beset, use thou thy American friendlyness and commonsense.
9) Thou shalt not judge the people of a country by one person who hath offended thee.
10) Remeber thou art a guest in every strange land. She who treateth her hosts with consideration shall herself be so treated.
Before I left for SAS I made an oath to them that I would be a traveler not a tourist, and you best believe I will do just that
As quick as I sat down to think, it was time to get on the very long flight across the pond. The flight was easy. I watched a few movies and tried to sleep, but that was an epic fail. After 9 hours and 55 minuets I really did not believe we were in London. I felt like I was flying for an eternity! I swear my flight to New Zealand did not take this long, but trust me it was longer. I got off the plane, and made my way to customs. I have only had one bad experience in customs, and that was last year coming back from New Zealand, but that is a story for another day. While I was standing in line I made sure I had all my documents together so I could get out of there sooner. It was my turn, and before I knew it I was being asked questions I did not know the answer to. "How long will you be in UK waters?" A blank stare must have come across my face because I was immediately sent to the holding area. I sat there patiently waiting next to a girl that was sobbing and a man who looked like he had been stoned for the last two years... It was one question and I was kicking myself for not knowing the answer. I thought I was going to be in some sort of trouble, but in actuality she only sent me there because she needed to talk to her boss on how to classify my stay. Little does she know that I was worrying about how I was going to get out of this one, and how orange is not in my color wheel...
After that slight scare that was absolutely nothing, I walked to baggage claim to go pick up Subby. It only took me a second to spot the bright yellow bag. After I picked it up, Subby and I went to the hotel to get settled in and hopefully meet some fellow SASers. Finding fellow SASers isn't hard I have learned. All you do is look for the abnormally large duffle bags, and some very unique accents. It only took me a few minuets to make some friends whom which I was going to go explore London with. The best thing about this program is that everyone is alone, so no mater who you are or where you come from you are accepted into this really unique community. It has only been a little over 30 hours, and this has been an adventure. I can not wait to see what the next few months have in store!