A Bumpy Arrival

Leah West Florence, Italy


July 14, 2022

To begin my trip abroad to Florence, I arrived three hours early to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to ensure ample time to check my bag, go through airport security, and allocate time for any other disturbance that came my way. However, my plans went awry when my plane arrived at the connecting airport an hour late and I had only twenty minutes before my flight to Florence left. My first experience of flying alone was on a downward spiral of anxiety and fear that I would have to find another flight or possibly even stay the night in Germany. With adrenaline pumping through my veins, I raced off the plane as fast as I could, sprinting up the stairs to find a flight attendant holding a sign that read Florence. With a bus filled with a mere ten passengers, the attendant sped us through the airport, through passport security, and to the terminal just in time for the connecting flight. Once I was in my seat and on my way to Florence, I took a deep breath and prayed that the worst of my travel woes were  over.

Upon arriving in Florence, I went straight to the baggage claim. After 25 minutes of diligent searching, I came to realize that none of my bags arrived, likely due to the delay of my first flight. After reporting my luggage to the lost and found, airport staff told me there was another flight coming in tonight that should have my luggage. While it was difficult leaving the airport to explore a city with only a backpack to my name, I tried to remain calm and have faith that I would receive my belongings soon. After three days of anticipation, I got a call that my luggage was in front of the school, and I had five  minutes to pick it up before they left for their next location. I sprinted from my apartment through the packed city of Florence and only stopped when my two blue bags were in my sights. 

From my delayed flight and lost luggage, I learned that issues when  traveling abroad are bound to arise, no matter how prepared you think you are. All I could do is remain calm, keep track of important documents such as my luggage receipts, be reachable by airport staff and my study abroad institution, and not let setbacks ruin my arrival to the most beautiful city in Italy.