Today is the “first” day of our two week trip to Cyprus; though the 24 hours mostly consisted of long flights and walks through airports, I still found that rush of excitement when we arrived at the Pittsburgh International Airport in preparation for our 3:00pm flight. In the morning we stopped at Starbucks before departure to catch up and get ready for the events of the day, and left on a bus at 12:00 sharp to make it to our first plane on time.
Our first plane ride felt surprisingly short, with the total flight time to Dulles International Airport in D.C. totaling up to under an hour. This set an unrealistic expectation for the next flight heading to Frankfurt, which boarded an hour late and lasted over 8 hours. However, despite the lengthy travel time, it was interesting seeing all of the people who were heading to the same destination as us and experiencing the differences in various areas.
For example, the Pittsburgh airport was smaller and relatively scarce when we arrived, and was full of restaurants and stores to keep us busy while we waited at the gate. At Dulles airport however, the buildings were packed with busy travelers rushing to get where they needed to go and we had to take an on-site train to make sure we reached our gate efficiently. There was a sense of urgency as we went around trying to grab food quickly before the boarding period ended, which contrasted the more relaxed time we had at the Frankfurt airport. Though the atmosphere was still fast-paced, we had more liberty to wander and sit down for a snack with friends before departure which I appreciated since I had never been to Germany before.
Overall, the first day was a good start to the trip: though we struggled through some turbulence and delays, we all ended up getting where we needed to go and became closer along the way. I also learned about the complexities of international travel and how that can affect the entire trajectory of a planned trip.