I really didn’t know what to expect about the actual act of leaving Boston. I knew I would be nervous, but to be honest it hadn’t even settled in yet that I was actually doing this– I was going to live in Ireland for a year. My Dad had gifted me a St. Christopher metal (patron saint of travel) that I had in my wallet and my Mom had gifted me a St. Christopher necklace. I kept fiddling with them to comfort me throughout the trip, but especially at the airport while I waited for Molly (my roommate and friend from Holy Cross) to arrive so we could step through security.
By some miracle, my bags passed the weight limit and were checked easily and I grabbed my ticket. Once Molly arrived I hugged my parents. I knew it would be a while since I would see them, so I savored the hugs (hugs are the one thing I really miss when I am away.. random, I know). I was shocked by my parents reaction. They were cool, calm, and collected the entire summer, but my Mom got a little choked up and my Dad did his really reassuring higher pitched voice he does when he is nervous/excited. In an odd way that comforted me… the feeling of being missed is quite nice. They waved all the way until they couldn’t see us anymore. That was comforting. Looking back and seeing them… I was starting my journey and they had my back, they were supporting me and its something I will be forever thankful of.
The flight was horrid. Though there was some in flight entertainment (I watched Safe Haven), sleeping was impossible (this was a red eye flight), there was little room to move, many crying babies, the food was horrid (I was starving and had no choice but to pick at it), and I was really nervous. As the flight went on I felt sicker and sicker, until right before we were deplaning (8 AM Irish time) and I got that chill to the bone I think I am going to throw up feeling. I knew we were in for trouble.
Customs took 1.5 hours and there was nowhere to sit, no water, and one trash can. I had an escape plan of how to quickly run to that can and to this day I am so beyond shocked I didn’t get sick. I was nervous, had immense nausea, and was massively delirious. We had to quickly get our bags off the carts and run to catch our bus, which we were exactly one minute early for. I was shivering, shaking, and couldn’t even talk to my Mom.
We all passed out on the bus. I had The North Face imprinted on my face (from my backpack that served as a pillow), but I literally didn’t care. I got 2 solid hours from Dublin to Galway and that was all that kept me going. Immediately upon arriving we had to buy everything we needed (bedding, food, organization etc.).
We jumped right into things and it was just a lot. When I got water I felt a bit better. If I had to do it again, I would relax a bit, continue to sip water, and NOT eat the food (ew ew ew). Lesson learned. It was overwhelming and we were constantly caught laughing so hard because we didn’t have the energy to cry and saying “I don’t think I can do this for the year”.
This process is a journey and it could only have gotten better from there. Thank goodness it did and its now referred to as the joke…. the time Caroline almost threw up at Immigration on her first day in Europe. Never a dull moment!
Molly and I at the airport!