There was 11 suitcases lying on the ground in our tiny hostel room as all of us girls rushed to pack. Some of my fellow classmates had already been packed for a couple days while others, like me, waited until the last minute. It was almost like an art, how we crammed all of our clothes and souvenirs from the past 21 days into a suitcase that couldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs. There were feelings of eagerness to get home but also sadness to leave the beautiful city of London. I was feeling a mixture of happiness, sadness, but also dread.
I was dreading leaving because I knew it meant a stressful and exhausting day full of travel.
It all began bright and early. We woke up early enough to shower, eat breakfast and make sure we left in time to make our flight. The first of our troubles came when we had to walk the 10-minute walk to King’s Cross Station we did every morning. This time, we would be lugging our 50lb suitcases and carry on with us. We knew going into the day that the tube would be packed because of rush hour but I didn’t think it would be that busy. We waited on the Piccadilly line platform and waited for the train that would take us to Heathrow airport. As the trains past, I noticed there was barely standing room. How are we ever going to fit 12 of us plus our suitcases on there? I became nervous with the thought of some of us not making it, luckily we all did. I tried to prevent myself from sleeping because I knew I should save it for the 8-hour plane ride ahead of me. After checking in and waiting, in a long line of security, we made it with a little time to spare before our flight.
Now time the part I was dreading most, flying. Flying 8 hours in a seat with little to none legroom did not sound appeasing to me. To make matters worse, I slept for less than 15 minutes. For most of my classmates, this wouldn’t have been a problem because their journey would end at the Minneapolis airport but for me, they day was just getting started. I was the only one that would be taking the connecting flight back Rochester and from there, I would be making the 6 hour drive home back to Wisconsin. The only thought that got me through the drive was of sleeping in my own bed. I pulled into my driveway at 2 am, about 7 am London time, the same time we had left 24 hours ago. It was an exhausting day but I couldn’t picture ending this amazing trip any other way.