Flying Home: The Long Journey


After four different modes of transportation, and over seven hours in the air, I’m finally back on US soil.

My journey began by leaving my house in London in the early hours, when it was still dark outside. I stupidly left my packing until an hour before leaving, so was unable to get even a small wink of sleep.

I lugged my suitcase the fifteen minute walk to the bus stop, took the bus to a tube station, and then caught the tube to Heathrow airport.

While transferring stations, a kind stranger helped me carry my suitcase up a large flight of stairs to a different platform.

The same thing happened when I first came to London. It’s nice to see that there are still kind and helpful people in this world.

Eventually I made it to Heathrow, only to find out that my flight was delayed by a few hours.

HEATHROW’S HIDDEN OASIS

After wandering around aimlessly for about an hour, I discovered paradise within Heathrow’s Terminal 4—there is a ‘quiet prayer room’ that has, wait for it… RECLINING CHAIRS!

And they turn down all of the announcements to keep the atmosphere peaceful.

Anyone who has ever had to endure the long layover, especially running on no sleep, knows how irritating those constant announcements can be.

Apparently not too many people know about this prayer room, so I was able to land a prime seat in the darkest and most private corner.

After a couple of hours of intermittent sleep, it was time to board the flight to my layover destination: Newark, New Jersey.

NEWARK AIRPORT

Unfortunately, there is no hidden oasis near my gate here in Newark. The announcements are loud and constant. A steady stream of background noise comes from people walking through the terminal.

There are all types of people rushing through. Business men dressed in suits, glued to their Blackberries and laptops, unable to lose a minute’s worth of work.

Harried-looking moms trying to simultaneously keep on eye on their luggage and their rambunctious children.

Young tourists, speaking in their native tongues and appearing excited to be in the United States.

Weary travelers, trying to find the most comfortable sleeping position on Newark’s hard seats.
FLIGHT DELAYS

My flight to San Francisco keeps getting pushed back. Apparently there was a mechanical problem with the first plane, so we have to wait for a second plane to be ready.

I’ve discovered that, besides people-watching, blogging is a good way to pass the time. Who knew?

This has been a long journey so far, and I still have a while until I’m back in San Francisco.

I’m looking forward to the sweet sensation of those wheels landing on San Francsico’s runway.

But even more so, I’m looking forward to that moment of bliss when I’ll be able to plop down on my bed and pass out for as long as possible.

In the meantime, I’ll let my distaste for Newark airport fester until this plane is ready to board!

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