How Did I Get Here?

Rachel Torralba Lancaster University, England


October 2, 2017

After months of preparation, answering the same questions over and over again, as well as fending off questions such as, “how’s school going?” and “wait, aren’t you supposed to be in London?” with the awkward response of “I’m leaving on September 26th,” the time is finally here. I’m in England, at last. It’s been a long journey to get here but I have finally made it. I have had so many mixed emotions about traveling to another country, a different time zone, and a whole different culture, it’s pretty surreal that I’m finally, actually, here. Saying goodbye to my family and friends was probably one of the strangest things I have had to do- since I’m coming back in a few months, it just didn’t seem real to say “goodbye.”

That is, until I got to the airport. They say that you should get to the airport about three hours early for international flights but, as a person who did some pretty last-minute packing, this didn’t really happen for me. I always try to be prepared for things not to go as planned and, of course, they didn’t.

Also, as it turns out, if you have really bunchy clothing, you’ll set the body scanning machine off and have to get a short pat down. That’s okay though, they were pretty nice about it. Or if you throw everything in your backpack and don’t really organize it? Yeah, that will set off the machine too.

As soon as you get through security, it’s pretty easy. I actually ended up meeting a girl around my age on my plane to Dallas. Middle seats are usually so awkward but it was actually kind of interesting getting to talk to her while watching the businessman beside me work frantically.


Then began my nine-hour flight. I was so scared that I would have absolutely nothing to do during this horrendously long flight but they gave us headphones to watch movies with. I slept through most of the flight and we got dinner and breakfast. I think they just hand them out whenever they feel like it though because dinner came out nowhere near a normal dinner time in the US, or the UK, same for breakfast.

After my airport adventure, I arrived at London Heathrow airport where I was supposed to meet an Arcadia representative at the meeting point. I was picturing some huge sign with “Arcadia” written on it and a bunch of people. I managed to walk past the small group of five quite a few times before stumbling upon a man whose job appears to be to help wayward students (like me) find their groups. The other students were so nice and after everyone arrived, we made our way to the hotel where we will be staying for the next few days until we transfer over to our Universities.

The jet lag is so strange and I have absolutely no idea what time or day it is but I can’t wait to explore London before heading off to school at Lancaster University.