Well. Those bags got packed—somehow—amid one sleepless, scattered night. They were only 33lbs overweight.
But that was minor, considering I arrived at the airport without my passport. No worries—Mom, Dad, & Janean had it delivered to the check-in counter within minutes.
Shortly after those anxieties subsided, the peaceful jumbo jet of passengers taxiing on the Chicago runway en route to Dublin erupted into a wide-eyed head-turning frenzy when the older lady behind me started screaming “bloody murder." It lasted for several seconds, and everyone’s eyes were darting across the few people in our rows, including me. Even those next to me were panicking; staring at me wondering what in the world we were all hearing.
After what seemed like half a minute, the screams stopped and a few chuckles replaced them. A tiny voice said, “Ah, sorry, I fell asleep.” At that moment, it still wasn’t a laughing matter—everyone remained frozen stiff, processing. Finally, gradually, sighs filled the cabin, and some laughed till they cried.
Crazy beginnings aside, the last 2 weeks have filled my eyes, mind, and soul with more than I could've imagined. I may be a bit numb to the old buildings, landmarks, and hundreds and thousands of years of history that surround me. I may be a bit bitter with this realization of how easy and cheap it is to fly across Europe (Basel to London for $84, including luggage?). I may be a bit overwhelmed with the friends in these places who have welcomed me with a place to stay and tips for the journey.
Dublin, Ireland. Zurich, Switzerland. London, England. Edinburgh, and the Highlands of Scotland. Stockholm, Sweden. And from the citadel Monday night, as the sun set over the Danube River and Budapest below came alive with twinkling lights, the question hit me: How is this my life? Is this real? The hike up had me huffing, and the questions kept me pondering…
I’m still in disbelief. But off for one more day in Hungary.