I had to occupy myself somehow while I was waiting in the airport. This is what I ended up doing! (But I didn't have internet access at the time, so that's why I waited until now to actually transfer it from a Word document to this site.)
I'm sure that at least a few people reading this are wondering why it took me so long to set up the blog that I said would be put together a week ago. Well, all I can say is that preparing for a month in another country is definitely not simple. I knew packing and preparing everything that I needed would be difficult and time consuming, but I had no idea how much stress it would bring. Even when I thought that I had run all the errands I needed to run, packed everything I would possibly need, said all the goodbyes that were necessary, and made enough lists to keep me sane and organized for the rest of my life, there were still things that last night I realized I was forgetting. That's right, last night was my last night in the US (well, at least until I return in 4 weeks) and the last chance I had to get everything done. Fortunately, I haven't (yet) realized anything hugely important that I forgot to do or bring, but I'm expecting that sometime in the next few days I'll have a realization that the one thing I had to remember was the very thing I forgot. Until then, I'm trying to stay worry free. By now I'm patiently waiting in gate E7 at the Chicago O'Hare Airport waiting for my first flight (to Charlotte, NC) to leave. I found my way here with plenty of time (about 45 minutes), but it would've been even longer had I not gone to gate F8 and waited there first. I've only ever flown once in my life and that was when I was 10 and on a family trip to Disney World, so I'm sure that whatever happened was my mistake although I don't know what it would've been. I looked on one of the boards displaying all the flights and it said that the 12:10 US Airways flight to Charlotte was at F8. Once I got there it took me about 20 minutes to realize that the people waiting there were waiting to board a flight to Philadelphia at 11:45. Knowing I wasn't in the right place, I checked my boarding pass (which I probably should have done in the first place) and sure enough it said E7. I'm not exactly sure where I went wrong, but I'm glad I ended up in the right place. We should be boarding soon, but I don't know how soon since apparently there is something on the plane that needs to be looked at. I just hope that I get to Charlotte in time to catch my next flight to Madrid. I can only imagine all the problems that would come from missing that flight… Anyway, I'm very happy to have my laptop with me so that I can entertain myself while I wait. When going through security I nearly forgot it in one of the plastic containers; what a horrible start to my trip that would've been! Luckily, the security people are much more alert than I am (as they should be). But even these minor airport mishaps (What can I say? I'm new at this!), didn't even phase me in comparison to how I felt when I had to leave my dad at the security check. Even writing about it now is getting me all choked up. I didn't think that I, a legal adult, high school graduate, and incredibly independent individual would get so emotional when I had to leave home, but it's been difficult. Hopefully when I arrive in Madrid and meet my host family I will feel better. It's not that I'm dreading being in Spain, it's just the thought that no matter how miserable I possibly get (which I'm not planning on, but still), I'll still have to be there an entire month. But on the flip side, I could find that I absolutely love it there and never want to return home. I'd much rather this happen than the first possibility. Alright, well as much as I would love to type and type and type until I arrive in Madrid, I think it's wise to conserve the battery on my computer. The next time I write anything, I will be in Espana!