06/21/2015, Blog by Alicia Lookabill, Media and Communication Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (UW Bothell) Spain: The Politics of Soccer in Spain and Beyond
This study abroad trip is the first time I have ever left the United States and my flights have already taken me to three new countries (okay, so I can’t cross them off of my “To Visit” list since I never left the airports, but it’s still pretty cool). I departed for the Vancouver, B.C. airport from Bellingham, Washington at about 5 am on Thursday the 18th. At the Canadian airport, I couldn’t use my phone (I decided to use wifi whenever available for contacting the outside world and to buy a prepaid phone in Spain for local use) and it was already getting difficult because I forgot to text my parents that I had even left. Plus, I was already lost. This trip is going to be trouble. So of course I was happy to be back in the United States when my flight took me to Chicago. I also didn’t have to worry about currency or whether my debit card would work in Chicago which is something I have to consider elsewhere.
After a two hour layover, we boarded our longhaul flight for Brussles, Belgium: a whopping 7 and a half hour trip. I sat next to an 8-year old Belgium girl from Iowa whose family was sitting across the aisle with two babies (thank goodness I bought new headphones). She was incredibly polite and said sorry at least 20 times for… Well, nothing. She started talking to me a lot and I helped her navigate the TV. Then she told me about how all of the girls at school were mean to her and that is #1 out of the times I just wanted to cry.
It was really difficult to sleep on all of the flights because I had the middle seat and had no way to lay down or relax. I only had about two hours of sleep total for the entire 28 hour trip. And the night before leaving I only had about 4 hours of sleep. Safe to say I was pretty sleep deprived and ready to be at the hotel when we finally landed. But of course, that’s just where the adventure begins.