Today, May 25, marks my thirteenth and final day in Poland, and thus is the day that I travel back to the United States.
This trip has been full of wonderful memories and new friends, but sadly, it has finally come to an end.
I woke up at 3:15 (CET) this morning, finished packing up my belongings, and headed down to the hotel lobby to meet the rest of the group. Four blue Mercedes vans arrived to pick us up at 4:00; we loaded and boarded the vans and took a quick car ride to John Paul II International Airport in Kraków–Balice. Upon our arrival to the airport, we checked into the arrival counter for Lufthansa and checked our luggage. Some students had to redistribute some of their belongings because of weight limits, but I was fortunate enough to have judged it properly when I packed. After a friendly pat-down at the security checkpoint, we headed to the waiting area at our gate. I grabbed a quick pre-breakfast (for it was much too early to call it “breakfast”) of a muffin and a bottle of water. I manage to spend my last złoty on some chocolate bars and Tic-Tacs for the flight home. We boarded our flight, and were on the runway ready for takeoff by 6:30 am. We arrived in München (Munich) by 7:30 after a very pleasant flight. Breakfast on the airplane consisted of an almond-marzipan croissant with our choice of juices or coffee. I somehow scored a seat on the emergency exit row, so although my seat didn’t recline, there was ample legroom for Goliath and his cousins.
Upon our arrival at München, we entered the airport, went through border/passport control, and headed into the main block of the airport. We stopped at a very nice cafe for a group breakfast, where I got a pretzel and some yogurt with granola. After breakfast, we headed through several layers of security to gate H15/16, where we spent the next couple hours waiting through our layover.
We boarded our flight from München to Charlotte, and finally took off after waiting on the runway for a while. Lufthansa served us crackers as a snack, and then brought us lunch, which consisted of chicken pasta, Brie cheese, a roll and butter, a small salad, strawberry-rhubarb cheesecake, and a piece of milk chocolate.
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, except for when someone’s water bottle in the overhead compartment started leaking. I consumed a sizable amount of the complementary apple juice. Later, they brought us a Bavarian hot dog in a pretzel bun.
We arrived in Charlotte at 4:16pm (EST), and then proceeded to customs and the baggage claim. My parents finally picked me up at the arrivals gate around 5:00, and I began the journey back to Boone, with a quick stop at home to grab some of my effects, and at Chick-fil-a to buy a dinner.
This study abroad trip to Poland has been a wonderful experience for me. I have learned a considerable amount about Polish culture, European life, and the world in general. I have deeply enjoyed getting to know the other students on this trip, especially some of the MBA students and the students from Adam Mickiewitz University.
I hope to continue my learning abroad as a lifelong journey, I hope to maintain my relationship with the friends I have made throughout my business career and beyond.
For those of you who have been reading my blog, thanks for your attention and time, and for being patient as I am finally finding time to seriously proofread my writing.
I have enjoyed writing and sharing my travels with you, but sadly, all good things must come to an end. I may post a few more I.A. Posts as they comes to mind, but until next time, do widzenia.