I was successfully able to check in all my bags and board on the planes that allowed me to arrive in Germany. I had to take two connecting flights. The first was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Dublin, Ireland which lasted about 7 hours, and then I had to immediately connect o to another plan from Dublin to Dusseldorf, Germany. What made the flight experience more enjoyable was that I was able to fly with four other Drexel students who are participating in the same program. On the first flight, I was blessed to have a whole entire row to myself and I took full advantage. The view over Dublin at night is beautiful, all the buildings and land look connected. The heart of the city was pumping and it was as if the city was coming to life. One of the passengers in the row beside mine struck up a conversation with me about movies. The conversation ended up going deeper with us conversing about love and life. Although from the scent of his breath it was evident that he had one too many drinks. I’m still glad I was able to meet him. The lesson he learned about love is that “If you find someone that you genuinely want to spend all your time with, then that is a partner who is special.”
After about 9 hours of travel, we were finally able to land in Dusseldorf Germany. After getting my first adult travel stamp on my passport all of us proceeded to baggage claim. Everyone was able to get their luggage without a problem except for one of us. It’s very unfortunate, but until the luggage is shipped to our dorms my friend is going to have to live off what she packed in her smaller second luggage. She’s handling it very well, but if I were in her position it would be hard on me. We’ve spent so much time to be as prepared as possible and through the work of uncontrollable forces she now has to go into a battle with only a small percentage of her armor.
At the airport, we were able to meet up with our two Bochum buddies so they could help us arrive at the school. Their names were Marileen and Phong. They gave us a very warm greeting and some of the tension I had in my shoulders were instantly relieved. Scanning the area around me I realized that I was lost. I couldn’t read any of the signs, I didn’t understand any of the schedules, and if I had to make it to the school on my own I wouldn’t have known where to start. However, Marileen and Phong were a safe haven and I knew that I could rely on them. When conversing with themselves they would switch in and out of German and English. Which was funny because since none of us know how to speak German our group could only awkwardly stare at each other or just try to pick up the different rhythms and patterns of the language. This feeling is something that I know that I’m going to have to quickly get accustomed to however, I hope that the more I learn the less lost I’ll feel.
My first train in Germany had to be one of the coolest ones I’ve ever had in my life. To exit the airport we boarded a “sky train”. It’s a train that’s completely transparent and is attached to a rail that is elevated in the air. Riding on that train is where the reality of the situation hit me. I’m in Germany. I’m in a completely different country that is very different from the life that I’ve always known. If I want to make the most out of my experience I’m going to have to draw out as much potential and skills I have within me. That feeling was euphoric. For so long I’ve been wanting to experience something like this. I’ve become so sick of my everyday life so I’ve been praying and working towards expanding my experiences. After so long, after so much work and planning it’s finally time to consume the fruit of my labor.