Travels are Over, but the Journey is Just Beginning
Well, I've finally arrived at my residence in Sweden and settled in. It's currently past midnight here, but my body still feels like it’s dinner time as it would be in Canada. However, now that I'm well rested (thanks to my 16 hour sleep), I'm feeling much less exhausted. The past two days of traveling have been one big jumbled mess of customs, security and layovers.
I began my journey at 4:00 am on August 25th, heading out with my parents to the Waterloo airport. After saying goodbye to them, I headed through security into the tiny waiting lounge before walking across the tarmac to the small regional jet that would take me to the Chicago airport. That flight went amazing and was over before I knew it!
After that short flight, my ten-hour layover at Chicago O'Hare was next. I figured I'd grab a sandwich for an early morning lunch (at 8:15 am) because I was already hungry. I spent the long day watching movies and sipping on Starbucks, so it wasn't too bad of a day. Luckily, the lighting and rainstorm that came through Chicago passed over after a couple hours, so my flight didn't appear to be delayed initially.
However, the flight from Chicago to London was the biggest headache - literally. It was a seven hour overnight flight that ended up being delayed by a couple hours, due to the weather and a change in direction on the runway. Thankfully, dinner was served relatively soon after we took off, but it was about 9:00 pm Canadian time when I had finally gotten it and after going practically the entire day without food, I was quite famished by then. I nearly cleared my tray of food and settled in to watch Divergent on the airplane screen.
Immediately, the guy in front of me reclined until he was practically on top of my legs and as a tall person there's already minimal leg space available, so I was cramped to the max. On top of the uncomfortableness of the plane, a young girl started screaming and crying for the entire flight which was not entirely pleasant, but I was thankful for headphones and good music. I didn't end up sleeping more than an hour and we finally made it to London Heathrow at about 8:15 am. I rushed to make my flight two terminals over for 9:55 am, but ended up making it to the next gate relatively quickly. I even had time to freshen up then sit and rest for a bit.
The last flight (London to Copenhagen) was through British Airways and it was wonderful! The flight attendants were so kind and we got a delicious chicken sandwich and drink for lunch, even though the flight was only an hour and a half. I was pretty happy with that and so was my stomach. Thanks to my window seat position, I was able to drift into a light sleep for the remainder of the flight and woke up just as we were descending into Copenhagen.
I got through the Copenhagen airport with ease and was incredibly pleased to see my luggage had been checked all the way through with no problems despite delays. I booked a ticket for the train and arrived at my train transfer in Malmö. This was where I was glad to have studied the Swedish map beforehand, as I got on the train headed for Kalmar, hoping I'd get to Vaxjo through it. Despite having to move forward a few cabins and find a new spot, I managed to make it to the Växjö train station without falling sleeping and missing my stop.
I arrived to find Vaxjo International Student leaders waiting and they brought us on campus for our apartment keys. After a little bump in the key process, I finally got the key to my new home and I'm now sitting here in my organized little room. The kitchen is a bit tiny for the amount of people on my floor, but we each have our own refrigerator lockers which is pretty neat. I even managed to get groceries at the store without any big hurdles!
Tonight, there was an international student get-together on my floor and I'm happy to have met many awesome people. I'm looking forward to spending the semester getting to know all of them. From the students I have met, my building has a lot of American students from many different states, Korean and Japanese students and also a few Canadians, aside from myself.
After the long journey made by myself, it was nice to relax with other students who had just experienced a variety of journeys as well. This week will be a busy one - preparing for class, going shopping for dorm gear and going to orientation days. When I have a moment, I will post some pictures of my room here and of the beautiful area I'm staying in. I can't wait to put my camera to use and get some gorgeous shots of the lake I live by.
Well, seeing as it's 1:00 am here and I'm still pretty tired from traveling, I'm off for a good night's sleep...
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Until next time,