Travel is a task that never goes as planned. Ever. No matter how hard you prepare, how organized you are, or how perfectly you have your plans laid out, it never goes as you hoped. This was no different for me as I made the trip from Saint Louis, Missouri to Leipzig, Germany. I boarded my first plane to Newark thinking that I would have a “quick” five-hour layover, and then I’d be on my merry way to Berlin, and finally Leipzig. The travel gods had different plans and my layover turned into a 10-hour disaster that had me sitting on the tarmac constantly getting emails from United that basically said I was never leaving. About fifty “I’m coming home” phone calls, and a missed train from Berlin to Leipzig later, I finally made it, but the struggles of travel weren’t over yet.
7:00 am -12:00 pm: I successfully travel from Saint Louis to Newark airport.
5:00 pm: When I was supposed to take off from Newark airport to Berlin
7:00 pm: When I actually boarded the plane
9:30 pm: Still on the tarmac. Making my 73rd meltdown-ridden phone call home
10:45 pm: TAKE OFF
8:00 am: When I thought I would be arriving in Berlin, but I was still squished between two huge dudes fighting over armrests
10:00 am: The time that my original train to Leipzig left (Yes, I was still on the plane)
11:00 am: Finally land in Berlin and finally have Wi-Fi
11:01 am: Wi-Fi lets me see messages on Viber from friends and family and a meltdown ensues (Naturally)
12:42 pm: Finally board a train bound for Leipzig
2:00 pm: Arrive in Leipzig, and the weather is rainy and cold (I was wearing sandals)
2:30 pm: Sean takes us to our dorms and another meltdown happens because East German architecture is pretty similar to American prison architecture
3:30 pm: Go to a café with Wi-Fi to talk to my parents and Ray (aka beg to come home)
3:31 pm: Ray asks for a picture of me smiling in Germany, I send him a picture of me pouting in Germany
4:00 pm: Talking to my mom for the millionth time, she tells me I need to sleep; I tell her “Germany isn’t all it’s cracked up to be”
4:30 pm: Been awake for over 24 hours, and I was as emotionally stable as a toddler
6:00 pm: Can’t figure out the Internet in my room so I decide to look at pictures from home and cry
7:00 pm: Finally passed out in my room
As you can tell, travel is rough, and your mental state post-travel can be even worse. If I learned anything from my dramatic arrival is that you need to accept the fact that nothing will go exactly as you planned and just go with the flow because everything will work out. Once you arrive in your destination, take a shower because you will absolutely smell, and go to bed. Seriously. I am convinced there is a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and psychosis. You won’t think clearly, making everything seem like the end of the world. Once you’ve slept and returned to your normal mental state, your loved ones will thank you, and your outlook will improve a million times. And maybe you’ll wake up and decide that Germany is all that it’s cracked up to be, and your mom will have gotten you an international texting plan while you slept– thanks, Cheryl, I love you!