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Three Days to The Beginning

Three Days to The End

GERMANY | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [186] | Scholarship Entry

My goodbye party was coming to an end. It was around eleven o'clock at night and all of my friends and family were rushing to get their last pictures taken before hugging me tightly and running out the door to keep me from seeing their tears. "We are so proud of you," "You are so brave," and "We are going to miss you so much," were sentences I had heard a million times over at this point, though it never made it easier to hear them again. My flight was set to leave early the next morning, but despite my knowing that, I still had not begun packing any of my suitcases for my year abroad. A few close friends stayed the entire night to help me get all of my things packed (and unpacked and re-packed and unpacked and...). The entire trip would take nearly three days in total, and the only time I would manage to sleep would be on the eight and a half hour flight from Chicago to Copenhagen.
I had underestimated the power of a trip like this. That these three days really would completely change my life. I spent eight hours in the Chicago Airport. Part of the time lost, all of the time freezing. Chicago in January is not nearly as kind as Florida. I spent twenty-four hours in Copenhagen- well, in one terminal of the airport. These twenty-four hours were my first time in a foreign country. I had traveled through some of the U.S., but had always longed to go into every little reach of the world and this was my first stop. While I was in Copenhagen I spoke with some of the other travelers, some coming, some going. All of them, as exhausted or as enthusiastic as they seemed, had that little glimmer in their eye that one gains from the opportunity to learn new places, and with all of them you could hear their soul when they spoke. Travel is a curious thing with the ability to remind us just how connected we really are to each other. From the lonely old man waiting for his flight in Chicago, to the twenty something working the morning shift at the Copenhagen airport café. We are all driven by something, some passion that may or may not come to life. I did not realize the power this trip would have over me, that it truly would be the end of one life and the beginning of another, but that's the best part of traveling- the unexpected knowledge you gain through each new journey.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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