So after finally arriving on U.S. soil in Atlanta I am currently sitting my way through a mammoth six hour lay-over before my connecting flight on to Dallas. Since I have Wi-Fi (not sure when the next time I can connect will be) and a lot of thoughts I have decided to update my blog. This title of post is borrowed from one of my favourite ‘YouTubers’ John Green, but since I’m a University of Leicester Student blogger (not vlogger) this will have to do in lieu of a video. I apologise if it makes little sense, I will proof read and edit as normal but it’s currently six thirty in the evening but my body is telling me it Is eleven thirty and I’m pretty exhausted.
I’ve been in Atlanta for two and a half hours now, and the whole process of actually getting through customs was a breeze. There were few queues and hardly any difficulties at the border (which was a surprise considering Non-Immigrant visa holders generally have to go through more questions and screening than those on the ESTA visa waiver scheme). Everyone on the flight and in the airport has been lovely so far and it’s made the whole process of travelling much more enjoyable. The food on the flight was even pretty good!
However I am already realising this year is going to be more of a culture shock and more tough than I realised. I’ve been to America before, several times, but have not been for five years and my tired brain is struggling with the money. I’ve paid for everything in notes so far because I can’t figure out the coins and don’t want to hold up lines counting them out – perhaps I’ll have to get my roommate to help me use them or do a trade. I’m struggling to understand particularly thick Southern accents I encounter and said yes thank you when offered a choice of two sauces with my fried chicken, and have a lovely shop assistant stare at me in confusion when I asked if they had a ‘mobile sim’. However these are all small things that I’m sure I’ll adjust to in time, it will just take me a bit longer than two hours to get settled.
I had lots of time on the flight to think about a lot of things, and I found myself thinking about the person sitting on the flight. I realised that when my parents dropped me off at the airport and said goodbye (and yes, there were lots and lots of tears) it was not only a ‘See You Later’ but a ‘Goodbye’ to the woman leaving the UK. So many things will change in the next nine months, and I don’t expect to return the same as I am now. I’m not entirely sure what nine-months-from-now Courtney will be like, but I do know that I’m looking forward to meeting her. So overall I’m really excited about the future and the whole prospect of the year abroad, but right now I just want a large Root Beer (not sure what the point of decaffeinated Root Beer is, but it’s all I can find so it will have to do…)