Back to America

The morning of my departure is quite peaceful. It’s raining outside when I wake up from my alarm at 4am. I’ve already packed all my bags yesterday, so that’s done. One of the first things I do is check the Delta app to see the status of my flight and everything looks fine. I get a shower and have breakfast. It has stopped raining now, but still consider taking an Uber to get easily to the station. There are no early drivers available though, so I walk to the bus stop, saving myself some money and getting used to the big backpack on my bag again. All goes smooth and I’m right on time at the train station. It’s a bit challenging to stay awake a the train, but with my eyes open I arrive at the airport. It’s by far not as busy as I expected. Dropping off luggage and going through customs goes just as fast as usual. I’m drinking my water bottle while waiting in line, but then one of the security guys tells me that there is no need to empty it, you can now take water bottles with you through security. I really like how technology keeps improving and making traveling easier. With about three hours left til boarding, I check out where the gate is and then sit down in the Starbucks with my laptop to do some work. I’d love some coffee, but there is a continuous line of I think at least 50 people waiting, so I’ll get my coffee somewhere else.
It’s nice to finish some work though, so clients don’t have to wait too long and I won’t have to think about it anymore later today. I was thinking of trying to work also on the plane, but since I’ve done most of it already, I might just read a book and watch some movies or series. It’s raining again outside, good weather to travel away.
It might be the lack of sleep last night, but the rest of the morning I feel a bit like I’m dreaming. I know it’s all happening, even when I’m standing at the gate, but I don’t feel like it yet. Once I’m sitting down in the plane, it’s landing on me (pun intended) that I’m going back to America. Soon we’re above the clouds and im leaving the Netherlands behind me. I had forgotten a bit how this feels. This freedom excites me, new adventures are waiting for me.
The flight itself is a bit uneventful. I’m watching some series and read a book. Outside there is not so much to see. Usually I fly via St. Paul, Minneapolis and the flight goes via Iceland, Greenland and Canada. Flying over Greenland is my favorite part, because the view of long stretches of mountains with snow is very beautiful. This time I fly via Boston though and so we’re flying further south, just over the ocean. No complaints though, but also no pretty views outside.
Thankfully customs goes a lot smoother than on my last trip. There are the usual questions like “What is the purpose of your trip?” and this time the word vacation and a few more questions answered is enough to get a stamp in my passport. I’m thankful everything goes very smooth today.
The layover at the Boston airport is mainly a challenge to stay awake, but a large cappuccino helps me to manage that. After waiting a long time the second flight of today departs and I’m happy it’s the last one for today. I had forgotten that it’s still about six hours flying from Boston to San Diego, a bit longer than I thought. I watch a few more movies and fight off the sleep.
Around 8.30pm local time we land in San Diego. That’s 5.30am in the Netherlands and I realize I’ve been traveling for 24 hours. Another reason to take a long vacation: it has to be worth the travel time.
When we’ve landed I text my friend Brittany and about ten minutes later she’s picking me up from the airport. It’s great to see here again, this time it doesn’t feel so long ago since I left only in February this year. We catch up while driving to her house and make one quick stop to take a picture of the skyline by night. It’s dark outside, but still very warm. It’s nice to talk with my friend again and to see this familiar city. It’s been a long day of traveling, but I made it back to the West Coast of America.

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