I sip my coffee slowly, although not slowly enough as it scalds the surface of my tongue. Even the double shot of caffeine does nothing to raise my energy, I’ve been awake since yesterday morning and it’s catching up with me. Last night and the early hours of this morning were spent packing and repacking, making numerous checklists of what I need to bring with me in order to live for the next three months. My plane leaves at 0945 but it’s 0715 and I’m already sat in the departure lounge, waiting until my gate is displayed. The early bird gets the worm, as they say. Although in my case, the early bird gets the coffee and Danish pastry. It was too early for breakfast when we left, so after going through check-in and security I’m starving! My choice of pastry (Cinnamon Raisin Whirl) probably wasn’t the healthiest or most filling on offer but it gives me the slight sugar rush that I need to get through the next few hours. Once I’m on the plane I will relax. Airports always make me nervous, I feel as if I’m the only person in the terminal who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Everyone walks with such purpose, businessmen and businesswomen clasping their polished leather briefcases and clacking their expensive court heels. Well, generally the men aren’t the ones clacking their heels. I feel in a different world in my ‘aeroplane clothes’, my cotton joggers and my trainers, but at the same time I’m slightly smug that I will be the most comfortable passenger in Economy.
It was difficult saying goodbye to Mum and Dad this morning. I’ve never been away from home for longer than a week before, and the thought of jetting off to another continent, on my own for three whole months was almost enough to make me accidentally-on-purpose miss my flight. But the pull of a new experience was too much, and begrudgingly I chose not to flush my passport down the toilet.
I got bored of sitting so went to browse the duty free, I believe that’s the done thing at an airport. I buy a nice perfume, not that it’s entirely necessary in the mountains but you never know when we might get off camp. There isn’t much available, and I gain a few funny looks from the lady at the checkout when I knock off several bags of Starbursts with my bag, so I decide to make a quick exit. Perfume gained, I check the departures board to find, next to my flight number, the message ‘GATE CLOSES 0915’. A glance at my watch confirms what I already know. 0913. Sprinting through the terminal, my duty free carrier held before me as a makeshift battering ram, I arrive at my gate just as the last few people are disappearing into the corridor. Phew. I hand my boarding card and passport to the member of check-in staff and begin my descent to the plane, trying in vain to calm my breathing. At least my new perfume can hide the subtle scent of overheated skin. I make my way to my seat and collapse, breathing a sigh of relief.
Liberty Moore. Traveller. Just a girl and her rucksack. Venturing across the pond into continental USA. Help.