Cydney McFarland is a student at Arizona State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Cydney is currently studying abroad with ISA in Meknes, Morocco.
Sometimes you try to fly to Casablanca but you end up stuck in Brooklyn, these things happen.
As far as pre-departure planning goes I did what I could. Sure, I packed my bags six different times but did I pack clothes in my carry on in case of an unexpected layover or lost luggage? Nope. Sure, I tried to spend as much time as possible with family and friends before I left but was I prepared for the overwhelming sense of loneliness and fear I felt as soon as my mom dropped me at the airport? Nope.
After planning for weeks, packing and re-packing I woke up at 2:30 am to catch my first flight out of Seattle to Chicago, then continued on to New York without issue. Once in New York, however, I missed my connection to Casablanca. After trying and failing to locate my checked bag at JFK, I ended up sitting in my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn tired, dirty and bag-less. These things happen.
Yes, it wasn’t ideal, but it was not that bad either. Sure I was stuck in Brooklyn for almost two days, but since when in Brooklyn a bad place to get stuck? I’m still ended up in Casablanca, I’m still excited about living in Morocco and soaking up the culture. This was just an opportunity for me to learn and grow as a person.
If I’m being honest, that’s what I was looking for when I choose to study abroad, to be pushed physically and mentally and to become better, stronger and smarter as a result.
So, here’s to life and its stressful, scary and panic-inducing learning experiences. May there be many more!
Side note: However if I were to do it again I would pack some clothes in my carry on. Always plan for the worst and hope for the best. That’s a motto to live by when traveling. Also, shout-out to everyone from ISA for being the most helpful people I talked to all day. I will see you guys in Meknes!