By DJ Adams
Imagine with me, the perfect Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, Georgia. The birds are chirping, the sun is out, and the city is thriving. Now, typically on a day like today I would be getting ready to take my wonderful puppy Handsome (who is all of 6 years old) to the park, or hitting up some sort of artsy event. Not today! Today, I am fresh off of work, and headed to the Atlanta airport to leave the country for the very first time headed to Brussels, Belgium with 8 other students and 2 professors of my Global Communication Cohort. See, I am a graduate student at Kennesaw State University pursuing the Master of Arts in Integrated Global Communication. This trip I am going on is a 2 week study tour where we will travel around Brussels and near by cities studying various organizations and their communication standards.
I I am riding in the car with Ms. Mable Jones (“Mama Jones”) who has become another mom to me as she is weaving in and out of traffic, and taking back roads that I never knew existed because I85 South was ridiculously backed up. Mama Jones is always traveling for work and has just the right hook-ups at Hartsfield-Jackson. We pull in to the international about 1 hour and 45 minutes before my flight was scheduled to take off. I gather my luggage, check in, and head to the long drawn out process of international TSA who of course searched my carry on bag, only to find a few pallets of eye shadow (okay, well maybe more than a few).
By the time I make a visit to the little girls room, and grab a quick slice of pizza getting to the gate everyone was already boarding. Fresh on the band wagon, I toss my luggage in the overhead bin, and settle in next to my classmate Jerrice in preparation for a long flight. Never flying internationally before, I did not know what to expect. Those who know me, know that I experience extreme anxiety when flying (and now Jerrice knows too) mainly during take off. Once we were in the air the Stewardess came through the cabin and passed out hot towels for our hands, and did I mention that wine and beer is free on international flights?
Next out comes our dinner meals which are neatly constructed in a box, and actually was quite delicious! After dinner, the wine cart made its way around yet again it was officially wind down time. I started watching a movie, that ended watching me as I tried desperately to get comfortable in a seat that was supposed to be a window seat, but was anything but that. After what seemed like a few hours, the stewardesses began to make their way down the aisle again but this time with breakfast. BREAKFAST?!? My first thought was “what time is it in Atlanta?” then “Where are we?” That is when the nice gentlemen sitting next to Jerrice tells us that we are flying over Ireland, and that we will be in Brussels is a little over an hour. Full of excitement, I sit back watched a movie, and relaxed for the remainder of the flight.
There were a few pretty cool things I noticed during the flight. Since Belguim has 3 official languages that are French, Flemish, and German every announcement made on the plane was given in English, and then a few languages to follow. Next, the goal of the flight was to simulate an over night experience allowing us dinner and breakfast and and turing off all in cabin lights while we flew so that people could sleep. Another thing I realized is that you are never certain what language someone speaks but it is very often that people will speak english.
Overall, my first international flight was a great experience! Stay tuned for what this trip has in store!
Until next time…
The original post was published here.