European Dispatch #1

8-17-17 | 2:48 p.m. local time

I’m sitting on the other side of the Atlantic, scrunched up on a field of grass outside my second German airport in Berlin of the day, awaiting to board another plane that will give me a bed to rest on in Rome tonight. Such is life.

I ended this summer’s internship on a nostalgic, abrupt exit ramp. Leaving Chicago two days too early (or not soon enough?) was hard enough after rushed goodbyes. Again.

It wasn’t quite so hard, leaving early, still stick with a sinus infection and a stress-fractured shin bone to match. Such is life.

But we made it, my Scripps BFF and I — we made it with all of our (mostly her) luggage. We made it past the Deutsche Bahn language hurdle (not really a hardline ‘barrier’ for elementary speakers like ourselves). We made it to all our destinations on time. We made it, even despite some travel hiccups. (My ATM delay and her sinuses acting funky.) Such is life.

our last Columbus, Ohio (USA) picture for a while | Kate leaves for year-long graduate degree program 8-16-17

I am abroad again, for the second time in a second summer, and I am still amazed at how similar life can be. The grass, the trees, the street signs, the screaming children, the crowded Metro station stops. The smiles, the laughs, the hugs. Such is life, all around the world. We meandered a few miles across the famous Berlin airstrip, now studded with hay stacks and community garden plots and bike paths and dogs. Who knew Athens, Ohio, and Berlin, Germany, had so much to share?

site of Berlin Airlift, present-day

We crisscrossed cobbled streets looking for U-Bahn stairs. We paid for bathroom runs and extra liquid containers in ‘apothecary’ shops. We stared excitedly at blinking maps on seat-back cushions, and stared blankly at walls, just waiting for time to pass by.

A traveler must prepare for patience, building a buffer in case of bad weather or broken-down metro trains.

Traveling has trained me to plan for plan changes, to budget in unexpected ‘surprises’. Such, truly, is life.

I am immensely looking forward to Rome — just being in Italy as a Bella birthright. The wine, the coffee, the sights, but perhaps most necessarily a bed to sleep on. (It’s a little cramped to sleep on an un-recline-able, confined plane seat when it’s not even your ‘normal’ bedtime).

We shall see what awaits us on the other side of Terminal D. (Dear God, I hope it’s a bed.)


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