As anticipated I am finally in Washington DC for my seemingly endless layover. Looking back at what has happened so far, I know that this trip is going to be one I will never forget. Inherently, I knew my bag was going to be overweight. Keeping with my tradition of overpacking, I thought to myself, Everything in this bag is essential, I will need all of it. Well, I might have thought that, but not all of my “essentials” are going to make it to Rome. My bag was a whopping fourteen pounds overweight. Yes, I was one of those people who sat next to the check in kiosk surveying what needed to be removed. Mom and Dad looking lovingly on, occasionally giving input as to what item I should take out next. I gave up my shampoo and conditioner, a pair of shoes, among other “precious” items. Dad kept saying a variety of phrases designed to make me feel better, such as, “The shampoo in Italy will be fantastic! You will end up loving it!” I shot him a glance at each new attempt which cued his cessation (for a couple of moments). Mom tried to mediate and crack jokes with the ladies at the check in counter. They were patient and said that it happens all the time with students who study abroad. I know this was meant to make me feel better, but all I kept thinking about was how desperately I wanted everything and how I probably didn’t need half of it. Security. That’s all I wanted. To know that I had everything I could possibly need for the next Quarter (and let’s face it, a little bit more). But alas, after carefully selecting items, my bag passed at exactly fifty pounds. I slapped my locks on it, and headed to security.
Its hard to believe that something I have talked about for so long, is finally happening. Even now, sitting in the airport, waiting for my connection, I feel as though this trip is an illusion. I had a moment of clarity on the plane, almost like, holy cow! I am on my way to Rome! BAAAAH! Various idioms flooded my mind as I tried to imagine what getting a cab was going to be like, thanking the gods that another girl from the program shared a flight from DC with me. A mild panic set in, as I was thinking of everything that I didn’t exactly know how to do without a tour guide. I tried to recall every conversation, every orientation meeting, and inevitably I could not sleep. But, all of a sudden, I could not stop smiling. The flight attendant gave me an odd look. I mean, I guess I was on a red-eye with everyone around me contorting their bodies to try and get some shut eye, and yet, there I was, the odd one out, smiling. No headphones on to laugh at William Shatner. Simply ecstatic. I am going to Roma! Despite my exhaustion, and desperate need for another americano, it seems for now, nothing can damper my mood. My suitcase may have gone on a diet (much to my dismay) but Roma awaits! And yes, I hear they have shampoo.