September 16th, 2019

I wake up at 12:52 a.m. That’s Toronto time, of course, thanks to a hydraulic leak in the first plane we boarded and our resulting five-hour-delayed departure. 12:52 – so that means we’re about four hours into the nine-hour flight across the Atlantic to Athens, Greece.

“Only Child” by Tierra Whack is softly tapping through my right-side earbud. I can’t wear the one on my left side thanks to the new tragus piercing I got this weekend, an impulsive decision made with my lifelong best friend to celebrate my last few days in the U.S. before my semester abroad. (Sorry, Mom.)

As I readjust in the airline seat and massage the massive kink in my neck (a result of several awkward sleeping positions and hauling my duffel bag from airport to airport), I glance over at the elderly couple sitting across the aisle from me. They have been a constant source of entertainment throughout the trip – their intense game of Go Fish brought a smile to my face, and I did my best to suppress a laugh when the older man returned to his seat, iPad in hand, and proudly announced to his wife, “Hey babe, I got us Wi-Fi!”

Now, at 12:54 a.m., the man is glued to a movie playing on the iPad screen, while his sleeping wife is slumped over on his shoulder, snoring softly. Looking across the aisle at them, I can’t help but wonder: what is this elderly couple doing traveling to Greece in mid-September? What’s their story?

Looking around me, I start to realize that everyone on this plane has one – a story. Mine must be fairly common: I’m an indecisive college student who loves the thrill of being plopped in a new and unfamiliar place, but who has no idea what she’s actually going to do with her life. So, I decided to spend a semester across the world in Europe – to experience living in a place that’s utterly foreign to me, and to embrace an opportunity for some adventure during my final year of college. That’s basically the gist of it – the super-summed-up version of what led me to this plane ride, the first step in what’s sure to be a crazy, memorable, life-changing journey.

And as I’m sitting here on flight AC1900 Toronto to Athens, I’m realizing that I have no idea where my story goes from here; all I know is that I am crazy excited to see what these three upcoming months of travel have in store for me.

So, if you’re interested in keeping up with my story along the way, be my guest!

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