The Troubles and Struggles

Where to begin? Traveling always has its ups and down. Let’s start with saying goodbye. I went out to Rochester and said goodbye to my old professors and my friends. I went out to Connecticut to say goodbye to my best friend. I went to family friends houses, out to eat, and to the job I was leaving to say my goodbyes to basically everyone I know. The hardest of my goodbyes have begun. First, there is a guy who I really didn’t want to say goodbye to. He took the day off to spend my last day with me and when he finally left, it was time to say the goodbye that neither one of us wanted to.  It was by far the hardest one yet. The hardest of goodbyes has yet to happen though… My mom and I are very close and she is the best mom. She always supports me and puts on  a brave face when I leave home. Tomorrow we’ll say this goodbye and there will be hugs and tears.

Next we have my visa. I sent out the paperwork to a Chinese Visa agency that my program uses about a month ago. I bought my flights thinking there was plenty of time. My school in China and the local government took until last week to get the final paperwork to the visa agency. Unfortunately for me, Chinese New Year was last week and the Embassy was closed for a week. I had to rush my visa so it would get to my house. The best they could do was have it arrive the day I was to leave, which was a scary thought.

Today was the day I was supposed to leave and today did not go as planned. Of course, being winter in upstate New York, there was a snow storm. This caused planes to be grounded and my visa to get stuck in New Jersey and did not arrive this morning at 8:30am when it was supposed to. Therefore, I had to cancel my flight and wait to find out when I would be receiving my passport and visa so I could get a new flight. Fortunately, I had a 26 hour layover in Helsinki, Finland that I could still make my last flight into China. I found out that my passport would be arriving around 1pm and it did. Thank the Lord!

I went to my travel agent and she looked for new flights for tomorrow. And of course, there were no open flights out of Syracuse tomorrow because things had been delayed due to the weather. So what to do now? Well we looked at flights out of Rochester and Albany and the times of the flights didn’t leave any time for error. All the flights ended going out of Newark, New Jersey to Frankfurt, Germany to my last pit-stop in Helsinki, Finland. So what’s a girl to do? I choose the cheapest and easiest option… Driving to Newark to catch my 6pm flight to Germany.

All day I haven’t known whether to cry or throw up. I’ve been a mix of emotions. I prepared myself to leave today and now that it hasn’t happened, I have to go through the whole process all over again. With my flights changed, I have 2 days worth of straight traveling and flying which will give me plenty of time to stay nervous and excited. I can’t wait to see China and to get away from the snow. 6 months is going to fly by and I can’t wait to see what this experience will bring.

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