Megan & Kate’s UK Adventure Part 1: Departure

My lovely readers,

I have been bit by the travel bug.

I’ve recently returned from a trip to Scotland and Ireland with Kate. She has been traveling around these past few months (and you should check out her travel blog); this whole trip actually came up from her basically telling me to come to Scotland because she would be there and we would have more fun adventures together.

Who would turn down an opportunity like that?

(Hint: Not Me.)

I booked my flights way back in May and then kept a close eye on my spending to save up for the activities we would undoubtedly be doing on the trip. I packed a duffel bag so it would be easier to carry around and got a good travel day backpack from REI. I made sure that my passport was valid (and it is until 2022 which has me planning all sorts of adventures in my head now) and triple-checked my essentials before I left.

I brought a journal with me to chronicle every little details. Having a journal is a nice way to look back on my travels and see how my thoughts have changed or to have those words bring back those memories for me. (It also is convenient because I basically have several new blogs posts already written out for me).

Therefore, most of these upcoming blog posts are going to be taken straight from my journal, with historical background additions and tons and tons and tons of pictures. (I took like 500.)

July 23rd 2016

Day 1: Departure

Current Location: LAX International Terminal

Current Time: 2:10 p.m.

I am currently sitting in the International Terminal at LAX. With traffic, it took about 1 hour and 25 minutes to get to the airport.

I stood for what seemed like forever at the check-in line. When I arrived at the terminal, there was no one at the computers. I checked to make sure I was at the right place and an attendant for a different airline told me Thomas Cook just wasn’t open yet. (Looking back, this still strikes me as super odd. Perhaps they only had that one flight for that day but why wouldn’t you have everything up and running in case someone happens to get to the airport extremely early?) Sure enough, about 5 minutes later, attendants for my airline started to show up. They rearranged the queue a bit, which took some time, but eventually I got checked in all right.

TSA seemed like it took a lot less time than usual. Or perhaps I just got lucky. I chose the line on the far left. Right after I got in that line, a TSA agent cut off the line behind me and told everyone to turn around, grab bins, and make our way through. So I ended up first through TSA.

I grabbed a light lunch and a smoothie from Starbucks. I have Dramamine in my bag; I always tend to get a little nauseous while flying even if the turbulence is minimal. That is one of the main reasons I am not fond of flying. The sooner someone invents teleportation, the better.

My plane boards at 4 p.m. The flight to Manchester is about 10 hours. Then I have an hour and half layover before a short hop to Edinburgh. I’m counting on movies, music and sleep to pass the time. I have an assigned seat so I hope that my seatmates are nice. A window seat would be preferred; I like to look outside while flying. Everything is so small and even though I am not particularly fond of flying for the above reasons, the concept of being able to get to one side of the world to another in such a short time span always continues to amaze me.

My excitement for my awaiting adventures is palpable. I have always wanted to visit Scotland and Ireland. Also, being reunited with Kate just adds to the thrill of this adventure. My Gramps was always proud about his Irish heritage and there has always been something tugging at me to go explore the country of my ancestors. I am proud of myself for basically just diving into this, just making this decision to go and explore. That side of me is something that has been tempered in recent years and I am thrilled that I have more curiosity and excitement than nervousness tugging at my senses right now.

I will write more when I have landed in Scotland.

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