Category Archives: returning

From Africa to the U.S.

I made my way back to the US juggling a lot of different thoughts and emotions. As carried myself onto the first plane in Ndola, Zambia I silently said goodbye to Zambia. I stepped on and realized the plane was tiny. Even as a short person the leg room for my bag and feet wasn’t ideal. Eventually I managed to fit myself in.

The next stop was Ethiopia. I got off and waded through the crowds of people who spoke languages I’d probably never heard of. The next boarding was simple enough. This time the plane was ginormous.

After getting myself situated I tried to get some sleep. For some reason my carryon wouldn’t fit above me so I had to fit it in somewhere else. On the flight I took out my phone (which of course was on airplane mode) and began writing notes. I went through all the things I wanted to accomplish in the next week.

My list of things was relatively simple yet most were things I had never done before. The first thing was get new tires and oil for my car. The second was go shopping for everything on my road trip. The third, and probably most important thing was paying taxes for the first time in my life.

I had a week before I wanted to leave for my trip, so there wasn’t a lot of time to sit around. But none of the things on the list took massive amounts of time either, I just had to make sure I didn’t procrastinate.

I woke up just before the plane landed in Frankfurt, Germany. I had just a few hour layover before my flight to Chicago. I got off exhausted and began wandering the relatively empty hallways of the airport looking for my gate number. I finally asked around and got to where I needed to be. There was an hour till boarding started. “Oh boy,” I thought sarcastically, “can’t wait to sit here for an hour.”

I sat down on a bench and felt a trickle running down from my nose. “Even better,” I thought, “a bloody nose.” I snatched out clean-x from my bag. As a kid I used to get bloody noses almost every day but as I got older I got less and less of them. As boarded started I sat there, waiting for the bloody nose to end. Finally it stopped, just in time for me to get in line for boarding.

Fourteen hours later I was in Chicago. Chicago! It felt so good to be in the United States. I went to the bookstore and bought $50 worth of investing books. Anyone who knows me knows my interest and knowledge on the topic of personal finance. I sat and read for half an hour. Before I knew it it was time for my flight home to Lansing, Michigan.

The flight home went quickly. I ate a tiny bag of pretzels given to me by the flight attendant. We landed and I slowly made my way off the plane with my fellow passengers. I descended the escalator in Lansing airport. As I lowered to the ground my grandma appeared waving and smiling.

We greeted each other and talked on our way to pick up the luggage. After locating everything and getting in the car we drove to the nearest restaurant: Chick Fil A. I ate a couple chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. They tasted good. As we sat my Grandma asked me about the roads. “It was like driving on the moon,” I said between mouthfuls of fries. “There would be these massive craters in the middle of the road that we’d occasionally have to go through.” She laughed. “Glad you’re back in Michigan.”

We went home. Now that I was in the US I was beginning to anticipate my next adventure….