Mid-Flight Musings

*Since writing this post I have arrived in Frankfurt, retrieved my luggage, and printed my train ticket. I now have a few hours here before catching a train to St. Wendel. I probably allowed myself an excessive amount of time to get from Point A to Point B, but I’m still glad I did because it led to a no-stress travel experience. There will be a post about my initial impressions of Germany coming soon!*

Hi everyone! Well, it’s really happening! I am on the plane headed for Frankfurt, Germany. I kind of can’t believe I actually made it to this point — everything went perfectly smoothly, but it feels like a big accomplishment. I’ll get into what I’m thinking and feeling as I start this adventure soon, but first let me get you a bit caught up on what I’ve been up to since my last post.

The rest of my time at #thesfest16 was absolutely wonderful. I went to some great workshops (my favorite was one called “The director’s prep” which helped calm my nerves about directing a show next year), saw some remarkable shows (shoutout to the cast and crew of “Dogfight” for completely wrecking my emotional well-being) and, best of all, had a fantastic time with fantastic people. Words cannot express how much I love my SET family and how incredible it was to spend so much time laughing and sharing with them over this past week. I know I feel a lot closer to everyone now, and I hope they feel the same way too! The pure kindness and love that pours out of their hearts inspires me constantly and their unbelievable senses of humor never fail to brighten my day. Thank you all for going crazy at the dances with me, sharing a love of overanalyzing and discussing every show we saw, and always being there for me no matter what. My love for you guys is overwhelming and I can’t wait to see you when I get back! I started missing you the moment the bus left Abel Hall and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon <3

And now for how I got from Festival to an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic: I left the University of Nebraska around 10:15 AM on Sunday, June 26th, which I will refer to as yesterday, even though it’s still today there, because I’m trying to get on German time. I had called a cab earlier that morning which picked me up and took me to the Lincoln Airport. I then spent four glorious hours there (said with sarcasm) because my flight didn’t leave until 2:30. Assuming most of you have never been to the airport in Lincoln, Nebraska (an assumption I feel fairly comfortable making), allow me to set the scene for you: Downstairs there are check-in desks for approximately three airlines, a few rental car kiosks, and a ATM. From there, you go up the escalator in the middle of the room to an area with a small gift shop and a restaurant called simply “Food and Spirits”. You then have the option to go through one of two security lines, the one to the right for United or the one to the left for everything else. There is no one else in the security line, and it consists of one x-ray machine and one metal detector. Once through this easiest of all airport security systems, you are at your gate. It consists of chairs, restrooms, a vending machine, a telephone booth, and free coffee (admittedly a nice touch). That is it. Not the most interesting place to spend four hours, but through the power of Snapchat I survived. I also spoke with my parents on the phone for the first time in a week (oops). The flight left right on time and I slept for the entire hour and 20 minutes it took to get to Chicago.

Once in Chicago, I walked to the terminal from which my flight to Frankfurt was to depart, got some deep-dish pizza for dinner, bought a new neck pillow, and then went to my gate and waited for my flight to begin boarding. It was delayed by 40 minutes due to “airplane preparations” but I didn’t mind. I made sure to give myself plenty of time in Germany to get my bag, get through customs, and find my train to St. Wendel specifically in case of that kind of delay. We finally boarded and I made the most amazing of discoveries — there is an open middle seat in my row. Yes, by some act of God I have a window seat with no one sitting next to me and then a very nice Indian man in the aisle seat who gave me his card in case I ever find myself near his hometown in India. I love the generous Indian spirit :) It’s amazing the difference that small bit of space can make — even though I haven’t really used the open seat all that much, just having it empty allows me to relax and worry less about where my stuff is and if it’s in anyone’s way. Yay for good luck!

There are 2 hours and 52 minutes left in this flight, so I’ve been in the air for about 4 1/2 hours already. I’ve been extremely productive. If you consider watching a Rebel Wilson comedy called “How to Be Single”, sleeping for a while, and writing a journal entry productive. Which I do. Kind of. They didn’t turn the cabin lights off for a very long time, which I found quite annoying, so I wasn’t able to sleep for as long or as deeply as I would have liked, but oh well! I’ll make sure to get a good night’s rest tonight.

Mentally I’m in a somewhat strange state at the moment. The excitement I normally feel when traveling to a foreign country hasn’t really set in yet, which I think is partially because of how nervous I was about the logistical aspect of getting there. I know that an incredible adventure lies ahead, but those thoughts haven’t fully internalized yet. The fact that I’m alone and have been for so long is probably contributing to that as well. I feel like once I see Natalie, Leah, and the German students (and the other Americans, though frankly I don’t know them very well) I’ll feel more at ease and any fears I have will settle. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. It is daunting to think that I won’t be home for another five weeks, that I won’t see my friends, or my house, or Oregon for so long. The last time I was away for this long of a stretch was 4th grade when my mom and I spent six weeks in Paris. That was an amazing experience, but I don’t fully remember how it felt to be gone for so long because I was so young. It was during the school year too, which is definitely different. If you know me at all, you know I don’t love uncertainty and the weeks ahead are chock-full of it. It’s scary, certainly, but I also know that it’s good to reach outside of my comfort zone and see what I find. Hopefully it’s something incredible.

I promise to do at least two updates a week, more if possible, so be on the lookout for one coming soon! I can’t wait to share this adventure with you all. Until next time, goodbye!

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