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Wow, what a journey!

Posted by Cooke, Matthew T - May 19, 2013 - Featured, Matt C., Students, Study Abroad


Flying out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 8:20 a.m., the morning after walking for graduation? Sure, let’s do it!

On May 19, my parents dropped me off at the O’Hare Airport with 2 huge suitcases, and two carry-ons. My life, in four bags.

The plane took off, and it finally began to sink in that I will not be returning to Wisconsin for at least three months!

When I arrived in Toronto for an hour and half layover, I began to realize I wouldn’t make my connection to Vancouver … Customs stopped me to check if my paperwork was legitimate. This is a terrifying experience. I began to think I’d have to get a hotel room for the evening. But 20 minutes before my flight departed, they found my paperwork in their database and let me pass “into” Canada.

As soon as I made it through, I grabbed my bags to put them back onto another conveyer belt for the connecting flight. Luckily, I found a lovely woman who worked at the airport rush me through to my connecting flight with my four bags, one of which weighed 68 pounds, and the other 50 pounds. I got on the plane five minutes before take off!

The flight was a bit cramped, but I decided to sleep and meditate for most of the four and half hour flight!

When we landed, I took the Skyrail to King Edwards Street and then decided to try to walk to the house I will be staying at for the next three months. Bad choice. Turns out, it was four miles away. Eventually I was able to hail a taxi and made it to the house where Linda and James, my landlords, were so welcoming, offering my room cleaned and fully furnished with towels and toilet paper even!

Vancouver, here I come!

Matt Cooke is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in health promotion/wellness and musical theater.

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