Sometimes life doesn't go as planned, but I believe it is in the unplanned moments that you truly experience life, adventure and everything in between. 

Waking up at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 31, butterflies fluttered in my stomach. After a year of planning the day was finally here- within the next 24 hours I would be across the "big pond" and in London. It seemed surreal and I was still a little unsure of what lay ahead. After finishing my pancake breakfast, I stuffed my makeup bag and toothbrush in my suitcase and loaded everything into the car. Soaking in the last little bit of the Texan life, my family and I stopped at a Mexican restaurant for lunch to get one more taste of Tex-Mex before I left America. 

Of course, I arrived at the airport an hour early and we got lost trying to find the terminal, but soon I met up with my group. Laughing with my mom and stepdad helped me get rid of some nervous energy. Going on this trip is a big step for me and definitely out of my comfort zone. Soon it was time to say goodbye. As my mom nonchalantly held on to my leg as an inside joke, we said goodbye without any tears and all smiles. 

Surprisingly my suitcase was 50 lbs on the dot and it was the hit of the airport. Everyone commented on how cute it was; even the airport employees were joking about shipping my stuff in a plastic bag and keeping the suitcase for themselves. 

Soon it was time for the TSA airport security check (my least favorite part of flying, but I know it is necessary). Again everything went smoothly for me. 

At around 5 p.m. we boarded the airplane. By now everyone in the group was getting to know each other and were all excited. Thankfully, I changed my seat at the airport and had a window seat on the plane ride. I was nervous about sitting by a stranger but God was watching over me and sat me next to this wonderful lady from London named Sharon. We talked a lot during the trip and she gave me the ins-and-outs of what to do in London. I read most of the flight and slept from about 10 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. on and off. At 1 a.m., I was ready to read some more. I can now say I have seen Ireland because we flew over it. It was breathtaking to look out the window and see the sunset, clouds and landscapes below. 

We landed smoothly in Heathrow, London at about 9 a.m. Here is where the plans started to change. 

After we all reclaimed our luggage, we waited outside for about an hour for a bus to pick us up and take us to Westminister University so we could settle in. The bus fell through, unfortunately, and we had to navigate the underground tube system toting all of our luggage with us. It was a sight to see, let me tell you, we definitely had "tourist" written all over us. Our suitcases clanked up and down the stairs as we switched platform after platform trying to get on the right train. At one point while sitting on the tube, a lady stuck her hand in the door of the train to open it again, but this was not like an American subway train where the doors retract once something touches it. Nope, her arm was stuck in the door and the train was about to move. We all stared in fear. We did not want to see a woman have her arm torn off on our first day in London! Dr. Guidry and another passenger tried to pull the doors open and one student found an open switch to reopen the doors. It was crazy, but she made it in the train in one piece. 

We had maybe 20 minutes to settle into our dorms once we arrived as we had a panoramic bus tour scheduled at 2 p.m. So we basically dropped off our luggage, grabbed our cameras and hopped on the bus. We were all exhausted and starving, but anxious to see London. 

Traffic was CRAZY! And doing a U-turn in a huge tour bus in London traffic was hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I sat in the front of the bus so I could hear the driver in all his road rage talking back to the other cars while our guide pointed out the sights. We stopped at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and saw the London Eye and many other iconic places. Our three-hour tour turned into 4 as traffic kept us from making it back to the dorms for our dinner at 6 p.m. 

Dinner was an unexpected trial as well. We couldn't find the dining hall and once we did the doors were locked. Finally a security guard let us in and we all scarfed down food. 

With full stomachs we all basically passed out in our rooms and slept well into the morning. 

Needless to say, my first day in London was an unpredictable adventure. 

 


Comments

Michael Given
06/07/2013 2:01pm

Good stuff! I'm looking forward to reading more. Please give my best to everyone. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

Reply



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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.

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