Almost 9 months, 7 countries, and countless new memories later and I’m back on American soil (well was). The amount of joy I felt when I woke up to my babies’ aka Deja and Afam aka niece and nephew after that first night is indescribable. And to think that I considered going a over a year without seeing their faces! Waking up in my own bed was definitely worth it but that doesn’t mean it happened without trial.
The voyage over was probably my worst travel experience to date. 2 stops from Copenhagen to DFW in London and Washington with a 5 hour layover made for a 21 hour trip. Barring the 4 a.m. wake up call and saying goodbye to my best/boyfriend the flight from CPH to London was not that bad, we even got breakfast vouchers at CPH since the flight wouldn’t have food on board which I probably would have slept through service anyways. The layover in London was about 3 hours which flew by between customs, going back through security, and the second breakfast. The journey once I got to the states however was a different story. Our flight from Washington to Dallas ended up being delayed due to weather by about 4 hours meaning I would be landing in in Texas close to midnight. Once I finally made it to Texas I was exhausted, tired, and ready to be home in my bed. Those of you that have travelled with me before know how horrible my luck is when it comes to baggage. This time however my luck had changed my bag was one of the first onto the carousel, which is a big deviant from last or lost. I got my baggage with only 2% battery left on my phone and no SIM and proceeded outside expecting to see my father waiting.
20 minutes passed without any reply from all 5 family members (including the one that was supposed to be picking me up). My phone finally died and all I could think to myself is “why me”. Like I said 9 months, 7 countries, countless memories, to come back home and be forgotten. A number of different scenarios flooded my mind all involving my sleeping father. He’s either asleep at home, asleep in the car, or heaven forbid fallen asleep in the car while driving. I wandered down the airport halls looking for a phone to use in order to call somebody, anybody. With tears welling up in my eyes finally an airport employee with encouragement from a fellow employee leant me his phone. I called all possible cell phone numbers and lastly our house number which was finally answered by my father. Might I add the airport is 45 minutes away from home. SO 45 minutes later my father picked me up and the last leg of my journey home commenced. Fast forward through the night and insert a smiling niece and nephew and three happy hearts making the journey well worth it.
Despite my entire family forgetting about my arrival to the states the trip was one of my favorites of the year. No beaches, mountains, temples, historic landmarks, or castles but just as enjoyable as the aforementioned. Countless slumber parties with Deja and Afam, meals with my mother and father, a slumber party with Paix and Hobbes aka nephews #2 & 3, and catching up with my sisters and friends made for a great trip home. Needless to saying, trying to see and do all of the people and things I wanted to in my short time there was a challenge. With all of the traveling and social events occurring some of you that have been keeping up with me for a while may be wondering, hey isn’t she still in grad school?
Yes, yes I am. The answer to this question is one I have to remind myself of constantly. But during this trip I did not have to remind myself due to the rude wake up call I received. The class I had been close to completing during the time of the trip was called HR Training & Development. The entire course we had been creating a training seminar that would have to be recorded at the end of the class and uploaded for review. Being the intelligent woman I am I did not put together that this seminar would need to be implemented in real life to a real organization in front of real people until the week before it was due. (Yes I will graduate in December and yes I will be going by Master IJ). Long story short I thank Jesus for my man J-beibs aka Jason Bibler aka ACU Volleyball Head Coach aka my brother friend. I had planned a short trip to Abilene to visit the girls on the team and friends still living there ever so graciously Jason added my seminar into the girls’ schedule as a mandatory meeting. Without this training session done I would’ve failed the class and in turn failed the entire masters program while being only 2 courses away from graduating. The seminar took place on the day it was actually due and was uploaded a few hours late but better late then never. Although there were countless mistakes with my presentation (half of the pages were unprinted in half of the packets) the girls had my back and I ended up with a B in the course. It is people like Jason and the girls on the team and countless others in that community that make my memories of Abilene so fond and the reason why it will always have a special place in my heart and on my arm.
Fast forward to present day and I’ve been an official Swede (ok not really a Swede but resident) for almost two weeks now. My first full week has passed and my first visitor come and gone. I’m settling in and am excited for the months to come. Lindesberg is a beautiful and tiny town (9000 pop to be exact) that I am excited to call my new home. This weekend we’ll be traveling to Estonia to play their National team as well as Lithuania’s in our first matches of the season. I hope that you will chose to make the move with me and continue to support my adventure in this next season of volleyball and life.