I never pictured myself walking on the streets of a continent other than my own without my parent’s protection. Knowing that I was going to be far away from home, family, and friends for almost one month had me with my nails in my mouth. I anxiously waited for my departure day to come, days, weeks, even months before. When I got trapped in the subway, I realized it was the most unusual trip to Europe I will ever have. Marked in my calendar with an Eiffel Tower sticker, June 8, 2008 came in the blink of an eye.
All of a sudden, it was my departure date. It was around 7:30 am and I was like an owl starring at the clock waiting for my alarm to go off. Since my flight departed from San Antonio, my parents had to drive me to the airport very early in the morning. My brother was carrying my extra large-sized suitcase and my dad was turning on the car. “Irene, do you have Andrea’s plane tickets? ” My dad asked my mom. “Oh my God I almost forgot! ” She replied with one hand on her mouth. I could not believe we almost left without the plane tickets.
Later, on my way to San Antonio I was scared and happy, nervous and anxious, stressed but calm at the same time. Many questions were in my head. It is going to be fun? Will I miss my family? And when I least expected, I was on the plane. I was leaving home together with 35 friends to a whole new world. When I stepped out of the plane I heard, “Welcome to London,” a blonde lady said in British accent, “I hope you enjoy your stay,” she continued. I had waited 9 long and exhausting hours to hear those magical words.
I could not feel my legs, I was tired, frustrated and starving to death. Therefore, I ran to the grocery store as if I was a lion after its prey to buy something. Afterward we went outside where you could immediately smell the fresh and clean air of London and hear the pleasant sound of nature mixed with horns and traffic. When we stepped out of the airport the adventures began and days passed by like I would have never imagined. One day, at 1:00 am, without having any other option of transportation, we stepped into the metro.
Once inside the metro, it was as if entering a hot oven and the smell was not pleasant for my nostrils. We started moving and everything was as usual; my friends and I talking about some cute boys we saw, our guide telling us some jokes about local people, and suddenly the metro stopped. Before we could do anything, I realized the metro broke. We were trapped. There were only a few people in the wagon but I could feel how the air was missing. Finally, after 3 hours of nightmare, we started moving again. This incident was not funny at all, however, somehow I did not wanted to leave Europe yet.
In a blink of an eye, my cell phone marked June 31, which meant it was our last day in Europe. I opened my eyes with the already familiar sound “Please don’t stop the music. ” It was the alarm I woke up with every single day for almost one month. It was a free day. As a result, we decided to wake up a little bit more late than usual. “Au revoir,” I said to my tour guide with bad French. It was evident that it was time to say goodbye to everyone I met over there. Hence, I could feel one or two tears rolling down my cheek as I walked into the plane.
This time, on the contrary, hours felt like days. It took us a lifetime to get home. Once at home I had to get used to the time change since Europe is 7 hours ahead of us. My first day at home ended and I wish I could rewind 30 days. All the experiences I went through made this trip unforgettable and very unusual. Trips like this one helped me become a better girl and student. After this trip, I am more responsible and mature. Everyone is capable of being independent. Spending time away from home helped me realize I can do things and choose things by my own.