Off to Europe (for the very first time!)

So due to being a really annoying sibling I found myself with a ticket to Europe!

My sister had decided to use her United miles to book me a trip and when she had called for availability one of the agents had suggested going via Tokyo to get to Europe. I kind of freaked out when I heard this as it just seemed so illogical! Thankfully she got me a simple routing of Vancouver-Munich; then Munich-Frankfurt-Vancouver on the way back.

Was it the “best value” routing?- No

Was it the most exotic routing?- No

However, it was a nice and simple routing to see a new place with the least amount of hassle! It was exactly what I asked for, and exactly what my sister delivered.  I had flown before within North America or to Asia but this was different. This was me, flying alone, going to a completely foreign land that I had only read about in textbooks and random internet articles. I was going to see historical sights, eat new things and just head out there. This trip just felt so daunting at the time and in retrospect it’s quite amusing to think of how worried I was at the time.  I still remember meticulously planning what I would do on the trip, looking at all the sights, the history, learning some German phrases. I was determined not to waste this wonderful week in Europe that I was so fortunate to have!

After months of planning, school break finally rolled around and it was time to head to Europe. I had packed a lot for this trip as I didn’t know what to bring, how much to bring and in what. I felt quite anxious with so much uncertainty and was just worried about everything! The plan was for me to fly to Chicago and meet my sister and her boyfriend at O’Hare airport. From there, we would catch the plane together to Munich as they had left a few days prior to do a mileage run along the east coast, collecting miles for future adventures like this one.

Of course, the more you plan the more you need to be flexible in case things go awry. As my sister and her boyfriend were flying up and down the coast a weather system came in and severely delayed their flights. I got this panicked text saying they might not make it to our shared flight from Chicago to Munich and if that was the case to just get on the plane.

I was quite worried. Though I had already made the flight by myself from Vancouver to Chicago; flying to Munich would be Intercontinental! I would be in a foreign land where everything was different or so I had thought. I was quite apprehensive, but what choice did I have? I tried explaining to the gate agent my situation but they said if I did not get on the plane I would forfeit my onward flights. Being stuck in Chicago was not a great alternative, though flying to the foreign land that was Germany was a bit scary.


I wandered around the airport, getting a Chicago Style Hot Dog and walking along the lit up concourse to pass the time. A part of me hoped they would make the flight. I kept on checking the arrivals boards intermittently and the same “DELAYED” kept flashing on those old CRT monitors.


Even as we started to board I held onto hope that they would arrive at the last minute. As we got on the plane I expected them to run on the plane and say “They made it!”. Alas, this was not on the case.

The doors closed, we buckled up and off to Munich we flew. It was not a great start to the trip.


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