Home at last! After 3 months, I’m officially back in the land of free.
On Saturday, we pulled one last all-nighter at SACO packing, cleaning, and reminiscing. It was a nice way to end things, just like we started them. At 4:45, as we pulled out of SACO, one of the employees waved us off and the coach drove away into the dark morning. It was nice to drive through the city one last time, seeing it still and quiet. A few of us took home luggage for the free-travellers, which was truly a sight to see. I had 2 suitcases, a duffel bag, and a backpack full of 2 people’s things…needless to say, I got my morning workout in. After the long journey to the wrong terminal, then to the train, then to the right terminal, we finally found trolleys. I felt like Harry Potter, running through the empty underground corridors of Heathrow. After a long checking-in process and a long walk, we finally made it to our gate. While walking through the airport, another wave of sadness came. I envied all the travellers who were just arriving, I was annoyed at all the American accents at our gate, and I wanted to cry at all the “goodbye” billboards that filled Heathrow. Morale was low.
And of course…our plane was late. It was about an 8 1/2 hour flight and somehow I only managed to sleep for about an hour. Instead of napping, I watched The Internship, White House Down, and We Are The Millers. All in all, it was a pretty easy flight. The fact that it was late, though, made our next layover a little hectic. When we got into Charlotte, we had less than an hour to go through customs, claim our baggage, re-check our baggage, go through international security, and find our gate. The flight to Nashville left at 4:10, and after running through the Charlotte airport, Rachel, Scott, and I made it to the gate at 4:02. We were sweaty and out of breathe when we got on the plane, but at least we made it.
It’s strange to be back, because somehow, it feels like I never left. Most things are the same (how is Mack Hatcher still not finished?), but I definitely am not. My perspective has changed and it’s been interesting to compare the differences between America and Europe. This is the land of convenience, consumerism, and good Mexican food. All of which I’m very grateful for! I am so incredibly, indescribably thankful for this experience. I will never forget the last 3 months and never in my wildest dream could I have imagined that I would have an opportunity like this, but God’s will is always better than my own. I have been changed forever, and I couldn’t be happier.
The States don’t feel complete without our whole Bath family here, though. MK, Sarah, Evan, Andrew, Matt, Jacob, Zach, Alex, and Braden: I hope you’re all having fun free-travelling and I’m praying for each one of you! Even though our family is spread out across the world (Tennessee, Texas, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois, Florida, Austria, Italy), I can’t wait to be reunited in just a month!