For someone who goes to college about 350 miles away from home and then has studied abroad twice across the Atlantic, you would think I would have gotten over my travel anxiety. Nope, not so. Every time I have to go somewhere I get a little bit anxious about being late, and add in flight anxiety and making connections in airports I can be a bit of a mess. So, much to my delight, this journey went completely smoothly.
It started off nicely, I’ll admitl. After dinner with all of my (rather large) family seated around the (rather small) dining room table I went with my dad to the airport. Security had tightened in my absence but no matter, I was there with plenty of time to sit around and then be told that our flight was late.
I looked at my ticket. In Heathrow I would have an hour and a half to get through UK Border, security, and onto my flight. That was cutting it close enough without twenty minutes of lateness being added on. Oh well. Eventually we got on the plane, prying a gaggle of 30-60 year old men away from a TV on which they had been watching the Raven’s football match, and off we went.
Despite my travel anxiety I find flying pretty calming. Feeling the plane build up speed as we sprint down the runway and then lift, our stomachs dropped far behind, as we glide up into the inky sky, Baltimore and Washington spread out below us in a glittering web.
A glittering web that doesn’t show up very well on camera, but still.
The first flight was a pain, I won’t deny it, but I was able to amuse myself. I’m now the proud owner of a Medieval Tapestries coloring book which I amused myself with, along with a few apps on my Kindle fire. I also watched two movies, The Book of Life which was amazing and Hercules which was amazing in a terrible kind of way. I’d recommend The Book of Life with its charming aesthetic, beautiful animation, and cute story over Hercules (which mostly just had Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s biceps going for it), but both are worth a look if you want something to amuse yourself with for a few hours.
Once over Wales the captain informed us we had made good time and would actually be arriving early to Heathrow despite our late start. I was thrilled, but of course arriving early to one of the busiest airports on earth isn’t always a good thing since you have to wait for other planes to move before you can exit the plane. It was eight in the morning.
And then, of course, Border Control. It was a long tine. I won’t dwell on it.
Security was an even longer line, and I was in the “rush” line for people who need to catch departing flights. By the time I broke through, my connecting flight to Glasgow was gone.
I went and waited in another line. Just my luck. The British call them “queues,” but they feel like a punishment to me so lines is sufficient. Eventually I got through to the desk, explained my situation, and was told that I was guaranteed a flight out to Glasgow at 4:30 in the afternoon but might be able to get on standby for either the 11:30 flight or 2:30 flight. And so I parked my butt down, called Seán who was going to be picking me up from the airport, and explained my situation. No, I didn’t know when I’d be coming back, but hopefully around one. I would update.
Luckily, at around eleven, I was called to get my ticket. Yes, I would be going to Glasgow on the 11:30 flight. Now get your ass to the other side of terminal five, stat. Alongside a lumpy Texan named Bruce and a spry Canadian named Carl, I hauled ass over to the flight. Once I was on the plane, I was set.
An hour later I touched down in Glasgow, collected my bags and was greeted with flowers and a can of Irn Bru from Seán. When I hugged him the group of Irish people next to us cheered, apparently. I was told about this later. Everything between getting into the car to get to Seán’s and waking up the next day is still a bit of a blur.
It’s good to be back.