I knew there was a problem when the pilot began spelling out my name over the intercom.
I had just completed a 14 hour flight from LAX to Australia and now the pilot was telling me to report to a desk in the international terminal.
At the desk I was informed that my luggage was still in California, literally a continent away. In my mind, there was no point in getting angry. That reaction wasn’t going to get me my luggage any faster.
I thanked the woman, took the card, and continued to meet up with the AustraLearn (now GlobaLinks Learning Abroad) reps my college required I use.
I then boarded a flight from Sydney to Cairns. Though more than twenty hours were behind me, the journey was not over.
I almost cried when, after arriving in Cairns and taking time to call family, all dazed program participants were ushered into a meeting. The AustraLearn (now GlobaLinks) reps needed to break us of our jet lag, and they were working on that immediately.
That evening while other participants excitedly showered and got dressed to go to the hostel’s mini dance club, I fell into bed exhausted.
An extremely apologetic hostel employee roused me hours later because a roommate had not called her parents to say she’d arrived safely. I was able to mumble out an explanation that she was downstairs at the club before going back to bed.
I was going to be in Cairns for a matter of days, and my luggage was still MIA. I didn’t even have pajamas to sleep in. I just had the clothes I’d already been wearing for twenty-four hours.
This was going to be an interesting time.