|Feeling like a turtle with my Osprey backpack…
After packing and repacking at least five times last night, it’s finally time. All the goodbyes have been said, all of the last minute shopping trips to pick up that ‘one last thing’ have been made. I am sitting in Newark airport, looking out at the Manhattan skyline. As the sun starts to set, the skyscrapers are starting to light.
|EWR with New York City in the background!
So far, everything has gone smoothly. There was limited traffic and a short line at security. My luggage weighed in at 44.5 pounds, a whole 5.5 pounds under the maximum weight. I feel excessively warm, probably because I’m wearing the heaviest clothing I’m taking with me. The cardigan has been stuffed into my carry-on. My shins are sweating under my boots.
I’m still not sure how to feel. I’m certainly excited, definitely a little nervous. To be quite honest, it doesn’t feel particularly real. Despite the fact that I am literally sitting at the gate, I still haven’t recognized that I am leaving. I am leaving and won’t be home until May.
Once I made it through security and found the gate, I went out to grab a snack. So far, my biggest regret is packing my reusable water bottle in my checked bag—a rash, last minute decision that caused me to buy an overpriced airport water. Since I couldn’t get my standard Philly airport pretzel, I settled for Jamba Juice, going with the flavor excitedly recommended by the pilot behind me in line. As we waited, he asked where I was heading.
“Rome. I’m studying abroad in Florence.”
“Oh, are you an artist?” A reasonable question, given that I am heading to one of the art capitals of the world.
“Yes.” Wait…I’m not an artist. I quickly backpedaled, explaining that I am a museum studies minor and that, in a way, art plays a role in my trip.
He went on the warn me about the Italian men; warnings about the Italian men have been people’s favorite thing to say to me, “Are you excited?” being the only exception.
I got my smoothie and went back to the gate, where I wait to continue my journey. Ciao!