Flying to Sydney is the longest flight I have been on. I planned meticulously to make sure I had everything I would need for the next 10 days. My classmate, Mariah, rode with me to the airport. She has only flown twice with her family to Florida, so she was a little nervous. I was more than happy to have her with me. We arrived two hours early and weighed our bags. They were below the limit meaning we had plenty of room to bring home souvenirs. Little did we know that Mariah would not be leaving Atlanta airport. The travel agency had spelled her middle name incorrectly, and she would not be allowed into the country if it didn’t match her passport. So, not only would she be spending the night in a hotel in Atlanta alone, she would be flying to Australia without her classmates. I asked if I could stay behind and fly with her, but that was not possible. She would arrive 24 hours after us. Poor Mariah, she finally made it! We were all so happy to see her, but we did not see her luggage. She had to purchase clothes and toiletries to get her through the next 3 days.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. I learned from Mariah to focus on the positive. She said this experience had given her more independence by pushing her out of her comfort zone. It also showed me that you can enjoy study abroad with or without a 50 pound suitcase. Just show up and stay positive.