After so much preparation and hard work to get to the point where you’re finally on the airplane that will take you to a land of adventure, the last thing you would expect to do is throw-up. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I did. Let me clear this up by stating that this wasn’t my first overseas trip, but it was my first time as a solo traveler. Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous (despite some bad experiences in the past). It felt like I was walking down my street to the nearby convenience store. I was in my element (forgive this over-exaggeration). That is, until we left it 30,000 ft below.
When you’re trying to be a thrifty college student, you take the cheapest (preferably most bearable) flight you can find (hint: studentuniverse). Unfortunately, that often means scrimping on time efficiency. So the best $500 can get you is a 6 hr ride to the other side of the country, a few hours of limbo, followed by a 15 hr flight from hell, for a whopping 24+ hr journey. Being stuck in a cramped seat next to a guy who prefers an actual human neck pillow over the thing he bought exactly for this reason, does not help the slow passage of time. Aside from the lack of sleep and appetite, it wasn’t all that bad. It could have ended up as one of those horror stories about a flight with an incessantly crying baby on board, or an obnoxious passenger. Plus, where else would you talk to a Canadian lawyer about his crazy backpacking escapade through Southeast Asia? My conjoined twin was really starting to grow on me (pun intended), and hopefully the sentiment was shared. On the other hand, it wasn’t the greatest experience getting sick in front of said total stranger. My embarrassment was only slightly diffused by his kind help. At the end of the flight I made a new friend with an unwaveringly wavering promise to catch up some other time in the “City within a Garden”–Singapore–our final destination had arrived.
There’s nothing that bonds people together than puking your guts out.
In all seriousness, I hope that whichever lucky and deserving individual who sets out on this path–whether you’re a freshman yearning and planning for the next chapter of your life (like I was) or a student trying to gain more information about the country you’ll be spending 6 months in–learns from the good and bad of my stories and does it better than me.