Leaving on a Jet Plane

In eleven days, a lovely Delta Airlines plane will take off from San Francisco International airport and my journey to the Athens of the North will officially begin.

Buying a plane ticket proved immensely more stressful and difficult than I thought it would, as many things pertaining to my Scottish adventure turned out to be. Most of this is my own fault: I elected to indulge in my grandfather’s love and allow him to use his airline miles to obtain my ticket, instead of being a grown up and purchasing it myself. However, I will say that since the program in itself is a small fortune, I feel grown up enough, and my pockets empty enough to know when to accept a gift.

Airline miles are tricky. In order to use them for a flight, your timing must be impeccable. A few seconds can be the difference between flying cramped between a screaming baby and a smelly person, or living large in first class.

Nevertheless, I gained some luck. My flight leaves August 31st at 1:50pm. Somewhere in the neighborhood of ten hours later, a short layover in Amsterdam will bring me one step closer to arriving in Edinburgh on 12:45pm on September 1st.

Sidebar: I have never completed a flight transfer by myself. The only other time I had a transfer was twelve years ago with my parents in New York. Needless to say I, the obsessive and planning control freak, am panicking about this event. According to my grandpa, the transfer will require going through customs and checking baggage again. I have no idea how to do that; the next few days before I leave will be filled with an addiction to researching how to flawlessly execute one.

And while I don’t want to think about it, my return flight to the land of red, white, and blue will leave at a painstakingly early 5:50am, again with a transfer in Amsterdam, and arrive at 12:45pm.

Getting my plane ticket made everything feel even more real and eminent than it already appeared. Holding the paper ticket in my hand, I cannot believe that the only thing standing between me and my new home is a measly eleven days. And of course, a few solid hours of internet research on how to transfer flights (for your future benefit, dear reader, I will be sure to write about how to do this once I figure it out and complete it myself).

The time is almost here. Soon enough, a massive suitcase will consume the remaining free space of floor in my bedroom, and my closet will slowly decrease in size. Even though the majority of things I needed to do are nearly done, I have an eerie feeling that there is still so much to do. Alas my mind continues to run wild with a nervous excitement, remembering more and more little things I need to do, items to buy, or people to email. However, I know in my heart I am ready for this new adventure. When the remainder of the seconds on my “Leaving for Scotland” countdown run out, I will proudly board that plane.

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain

Get ready Scotland, I’m coming for you: hungry to learn, and be better.


The Travelsmith

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