So, I can’t technically say Day 1 has been more than I possibly thought it would be because as I’m writing this, 1.) I’m still on a plane in the middle of the Atlantic and 2.) Day 1 in Ireland will [technically] begin in four hours.
But, I have to share what’s happened so far because the past eight hours have even surprised me!
Chicago to Dublin
I have only flown internationally twice in my life; the first time I was so young I barely remember what the flight experience was like, and the second time I was with a group of friends, soccer moms, coaches, and cute boys when we traveled to Europe to play soccer — still super young so details didn’t stick with me 100%.
So, traveling completely on my own not having ever been to Dublin, or Ireland at all for that matter, was a little nerve racking once I got to O’Hare Terminal 5.
The funny thing is, I don’t get nervous to travel, and I certainly don’t get nervous to travel alone. Give me a plane ticket halfway around the world with one carry-on and I’ll be just as happy and excited as ever. But I do get nervous about two specific things —
1.) Making it through security in one piece.
2.) Going to the bathroom on a plane.
Don’t ask me why, they’re just two of my biggest fears. But that said, I DID IT! As soon as I got to Aer Lingus check-in, I made friends with an adorable Irish Family visiting the states for the first time from Belfast, Ireland. We got to chatting about the US and their time in Chicago, and what will soon be a new adventure for me in Ireland. This is why I love Irish folk, they are the nicest people on this planet. They had me tag along with their group of eight energetic youngins because I shared my fear of airport security (in this case, customs).
TBH I think I have had a much more difficult time getting through domestic airport security than I did getting through customs…just like the adorable Irish family said, “It’s a breeze for ya!” 🍀
So, fast forward to actually getting on the plane. I got a window seat (um, yes please and thank you), turned on the TV in front of me to find THEY HAVE THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, and it’s free. And Game of Thrones. And Harry Potter. Apologies if all international airlines now have this as movie and TV show options free of charge, but I was not expecting that at all.
If you have seen my snapchats and tweets, you clearly know I am obsessed with The Greatest Showman. I watch it maybe twice a week and that’s not exaggerating — just ask Audrey or Ally. 😉
Clearly you can imagine my thought process while browsing through my [what seemed to be] unlimited options to choose from (it’s really not that difficult, something along the lines of “Holy shit is this real life rn?”)…come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I snap chatted exactly that to everyone.
About two hours into the flight, the attendants came around with drinks and beverages (Bloody Mary, please!) and dinner. Normally I would be slightly grossed out by airline food, but this meal, I don’t even know what it was — some chicken/vegetable and rice plate, lettuce wrap, with the most delicious toffee/carmel/chocolate dessert, was unreal and so good. Then, much to my surprise…I conquered my biggest fear y’all.
For the first time in my life, I went to the bathroom on a plane. Proud moment. Proud, proud moment.
But, now we’re getting to my favorite part.
Around 1am as we were flying over St John’s and over the Atlantic, I looked out the window — I don’t think I’ve ever seen stars shine so bright in my life. I didn’t even want to try to fall asleep because it was almost magical and so serene. I’ve never seen so many stars accompanied by a rising half moon right out my window. I tried to take a photo but as anyone could guess it just looked like a blob of nothing haha. So I guess you’ll just have to settle for my word on this one.
For those of you who don’t know, Ireland is a 6 hour time difference from Chicago — so for you Chicago folk it’s about midnight, Dublin is just about 6am, and I’m currently in the middle of the Atlantic nearing 1am with nothing but open ocean on every side.
Needless to say, tomorrow my time schedule is going to be completely out of whack! We have about 2 hours to go before landing in Dublin, which will be around 9am in Ireland and 3am for you Chicago folk…yet in the middle of the Atlantic is 2am right now — time differences are so odd to me. But, because I missed out on capturing the unbelievable nighttime scene, I’ll be sure to capture the sunrise for y’all.
Signing off for the night, but there will certainly be more to come given Day 1 of my Irish adventure has yet to officially begin. 😉
From The Atlantic