Before We Even Took off
In Autumn 2015 we decided on a trip to USA. We got our working J-1 visa for students and June 12 was the day of our departure.
June 12 – the date we (I) set off
The view of Prague airport always evokes in my mind the idea of something unknown standing in front of me, usually of an oncoming journey (obviously). A mixture of stress and enjoying comes to my mind immediately after entering the departure hall. This time it was even amplified with the fact that I was supposed to leave for more than 3 months. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone to deal with it.
The first step of entering „the unknown“ is to give up your luggage at one of the desks. Numbers 171-177 were waiting for me and my friend with open arms. While waiting, an elderly man approached us with some questions about our journey and luggage. We passed this first of many American verifications and successfully sent our bags away. However, no matter how successful we were at the first step, we totally failed at the second one.
Security passport check has been just a matter of routine to me so far. So I came up to the counter with no worries, calm heart and clear mind. And as always – I came through without any complications. My friend Bára was just behind me in the line so I stopped to wait for her. It took quite a while and I needed to use the toilet so I just texted her to wait for me right behind this check that I’ll be back in a minute. But when I came back she still wasn’t there. This already started to be slightly suspicious. But what I saw in my message just few seconds later was still beyond my expectations.
The message was very simple, it was just saying: „You’re flying alone sorry.“ But I guess you can imagine what all this simple message caused. Total panic above all. I literally started to freak out. I just couldn’t fly alone. Our journey was about to take 36 hours, I couldn’t undertake that on my own. And even if I could, what about the following three months in the US? No no no… That just can’t be true.
But it was. And only thanks to my mum’s persuading I reluctantly continued towards my gate. I arrived there just five minutes before it was all closed. My cabin luggage was checked and I just fell on those iron seats, still sniffing. Two German ladies approached me and started to talk to me and to cheer me up. It was very nice and actually yes, I did feel better afterwards. So I boarded the plane, took a seat having the one by my side free, fastened my seatbelt and 12:15 we took off.
June 12, 2016