Please welcome our guest blogger from My Red Travel Shoe, as she shares the first big step out of her circle ordinary – traveling from Budapest, Hungary to attend school in Flagstaff, Arizona. This young lady is incredible, and I hope she will share more of her stories with us in days to come – enjoy!
2007, August 16. – Outside of Ordinary
It was late afternoon and as I walked outside of the airport, I felt like I stepped inside of a sauna. Ewww what on earth?! I yelled out loud (in Hungarian) and as I looked at my friend I saw the same expression on her face too. We have never experienced such heat before and even though we knew it was going to be warm in Phoenix, actually feeling it on our skin left us both in shock.
We are almost there, she said…and then added in a very sarcastic and disappointed voice: ONLY 2 more hours.
Which seems like nothing, but at that point seemed like forever after the past 19 hours we have spent traveling. I guess 2 hours can seem like forever too.
I am nervous! – I said as we were slowly dragging ourselves towards our (about) 30 passenger flight outside on the runway.
Nervous about flying with that thing or nervous about our new life?
I guess both. But if this plane doesn’t make it, at least I don’t have to be nervous about the rest.
Staying positive, I like it – she added.
And as we were walking up on the narrow steps to go inside the tiniest plane I have ever seen, I started laughing:
Oh man, what have we done?!
2007. August 15. (The day before) – Ordinary
After waking up I was laying in bed quietly, trying to memorize every detail of my room. I was staring at my pictures, my posters, my shelves, the books on my shelves, the chair by my desk, and even the little spider web that has been in the upper right corner of my room for so long. It was out of reach completely plus lately I have felt very generous, so I never got rid of the little guy. I thought it would be bad luck. He was at a far enough distance and we just lived next to each other in peace. I kind of liked him at the end.
I grew up in this room, well kind of. I lived in this room in the past 6 years. This was my home, my life. Outside of this room was the house that my parents built. Outside of that house was the town I have been living in for 10 years. There lived all my friends who I grew up with. That was my everything. Everything I had in the past 19 years. Everything I knew. But this will change tomorrow I thought. I am about to fly 9000 km away without my family, to a place where I have never been to, to speak a language that I barely speak, to live in a dorm room with a stranger. Go me! And as I was mentally digging myself deeper and deeper into a hole, my mom came in running into my room, screaming of joy and jumped in bed with me.
-Good Morning my big, smart, beautiful traveler! – she said
-Gooood Morning moooom!
-Are you ready for your hot chocolate? – she said it with a huge smile
-Always! – I said with a forced/fake smile as I was sitting up in bed
A tradition in our family. Mostly on the weekends but all four of us had hot chocolate/coffee in bed together in the morning. My parents made the hot chocolate/coffee with whipped cream while my sister and I crawled under their covers. They came back with the drinks and we all sat in bed and talked while sipping on a delicious warm drink. Those were the days.
What if I don’t go? – I said
Well then you will throw away everything you have been working towards in the past 12 years. – came the reply from my mom way too fast
If you put it that way…- I mumbled under my breath while zoning out on the whipped cream melting into my hot chocolate.
I know it hurt her too. She is my best friend and I never spent more than 3 days away from her. And now I was going to leave for 4 months to only come back for 4 weeks and then leave again for another 6 months. But we both agreed this is for the best and I really wanted to do this. I just wasn’t sure of it when I was about to do it.
2007. August- Present
As we approached the Flagstaff airport in the air, I pressed my forehead against the tiny window and looked down. I stared at the beautiful city lights and the uncertainty that was awaiting us. The city was new, the climate was new, the cars were different, the people were strange, the food was going to be something we were not used to. Not to mention the empty dorm rooms and plain white walls. Even the air felt new because of the elevation, we were gasping for air for days.
We were standing on the curb with our two luggages in front of the Flagstaff airport, waiting for our cab, exhausted and tired; we didn’t know what to expect next.
Suddenly a cab pulled up and a guy hopped out of it with a huge smile on his face, greeting us warmly:
Hi Guys!!!! How are you doing on this beautiful night?
And as he grabbed our luggage to put them in the car, my friend and I looked at each other and although we knew it was going to be hard to adjust, we knew we were going to be okay because we had each other.
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