So, here I was, sitting in the international terminal of Chicago O’Hare, hiding my tears from the two Italian men beside me.
Today was the day. The day I would leave the country for the very first time. The day I would set off on my first solo adventure before studying abroad in Scotland. In a mere six hours I was supposed to be on the Golden Circle, searching for the first breathtaking view I would paint in Iceland.
As the man at the baggage check counter handed me a torn piece of paper with a number scratched on it he simply said, “Sorry, this is all we can do for you”. I dialed the number, explaining that I had missed my flight to Iceland due my previous plane’s delay. At the end of that phone call, I not only had 24 hours until my next flight, but the four day stopover I had been looking forward to the most had now been cut to a mere hour layover. Instead of a window seat and nervous butterflies, I now had two Italian strangers and a broken heart. Being that my little solo adventure was, in a way, an attempt to leave a broken heart behind, this was not a welcomed alternative.
I quickly realized self-pity and tears were going to get me nowhere. It was time to put on my big girl pants and find a solution. Though I hadn’t seen them in years, I had amazing family in Chicago. After some searching, I found my aunt’s number and gave her a call. Within 45 minutes, a car full of family was at the curb of the international terminal embracing me.
I did not get my four days in Iceland, but I got a day of laughter and love with people I had waited far too long to visit. My lovely aunt, being the bold woman she is, called that number back and got me a whole two days in Iceland. The next day, I was back en route for my adventure, full of love and without a lost day.
Serena Baker is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Chemistry with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Serena is spending the summer abroad with UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland. Taking full advantage of her trip abroad, Serena will make a stop-over in Iceland and visit Germany after the program to improve her language proficiency.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.