Day 14: Departing from Paradise

As midnight hit going into Friday, our entire group filed into the small lobby of the hotel as we awaited departure for Larnaca airport. Once everyone was accounted for, we took one last walk down the narrow, crowded streets as we made our way to the bus. Although it was late, our group was wide awake during the entire bus ride and we sang some songs one last time as we grew closer and closer to the airport. After everyone checked in their luggage we made our way to gate and settled down for the last hour in Cyprus before our plane arrived. Me and couple of the guys made our way to the arcade section of the airport and played some of the games to pass time. Our plane arrived shortly after 3 a.m. and we started to file one by one onto the plane. The plane ride went by pretty fast as I ended up sleeping through most of it, and as we touched down in Germany we were officially out of Cyprus and on our way home.

Being a part of the Pittsburgh group, we had a pretty short layover and hastily made our way to our gate for the next flight. Here was one of the hardest parts of the trip, saying our goodbyes. Although I have known this group for only 2 weeks, it feels like we have all bonded and grown very close throughout the trip. I am glad to have been a part of this experience and able to meet and make connections with these people. After our final handshakes and hugs, everyone slowly headed their own ways and the Pittsburgh group started boarding the plane headed for Chicago. This flight was a little under 9 hours long and the hardest part of travelling from Cyprus to Pittsburgh. The seats were very close and there wasn’t a lot of leg room. I was able to kill some of the time watching American Sniper and Straight Outta Compton to which I enjoyed both a lot. When I wasn’t watching movies I was trying to sleep or just listening to music.

When we landed in Chicago we were forced to go through customs. Just seeing how long the line was was upsetting as we all knew we were going to be standing there for at least an hour. After making it almost to the halfway point, our professor discovered that with an app we could skip the whole line just by taking a picture of our passport. Everyone was reluctant when it worked and we shaved off an extra thirty minutes of standing around. In Chicago, we had about an hour layover so we grabbed some of America’s finest cuisine, McDonalds. The last flight was only roughly an hour and a half and a cake walk compared to what we all just endured. The flight went fast and before I knew it I was saying goodbye to the Pittsburgh group at baggage claim in Pittsburgh.

Reflecting on the last two weeks, this trip has truly been an amazing experience in getting to learn about international business and being exposed to different cultures. Overall, this has to be one of the best decisions I have made at the University of Pittsburgh and in my life in general. I am so glad to have been able to meet some amazing people throughout the trip as well as connections in the business aspect.

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