As unbelievable as it feels, I am finally in the incredibly beautiful city of Vilnius, Lithuania!
I left home on Tuesday, September 9 to start the adventure of a lifetime. After an uneventful ride to the airport, I checked my bag, said my goodbyes, went through security and walked to my gate to wait for my flight.
Nearly seconds after hanging up with my mom after I got to the gate, a young woman came up to me and asked if I was going to Poland and if I was Katelyn Olsen. I said yes, with what I’m sure was the most befuddled look on my face. Turns out she was another student on our trip! Kelsey (the other student) and I chatted for a bit about the trip before boarding our plane to Brussels. I felt fortunate to have a flying buddy.
I did not have the option to choose my seat on the flight so I was semi-concerned about the potentially less than desirable seat I could receive. However, I was lucky enough to somehow get upgraded to Economy Plus where I got so much leg room, I had no where to rest my feet (first world problems?).
Despite all the legroom I had, I couldn’t help but be jealous of the business class passengers that sat the row in front of me, with only a thin veil separating us. The flight itself was uneventful, and I was in Brussels before I knew it.
After exiting the plane, Kelsey and I had to go through border control and security (again) before arriving at our gate for our flight to Vilnius. The lines were incredibly long and we had some concern about making our flight, but we ended up getting to our gate only minutes before boarding began.
Boarding in Brussels was definitely an interesting experience. After they scanned our tickets, we went outside and boarded a bus that took us to what seemed like the middle of the tarmac to board our plane.
At this point, we met up with another girl on our trip, Page, who had flown to Brussels from Venice. I slept for most of the short flight, and woke up ready to start this trip.
We landed in Vilnius around 2:30pm local time (which is 6:30am Chicago time. Yikes.). We did not have to wait long for our luggage and then headed out to look for our professors, Hana and Juliet, who were meeting us at the airport.
They were waiting right outside a coffee shop in the arrival area and only a few minutes later we were in a taxi headed to our hotel in Vilnius.
Overall, the trip was long but easier than anticipated. I am loving Vilnius so far and can’t wait to give you an update about this beautiful city!