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Air Adventures

Posted by Barton, Casey E - June 2, 2017 - Casey B., Featured, Students, Study Abroad


Hello all! My name is Casey Barton and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration. I decided last minute that I wanted to get out and explore the world, specifically China! So I applied to go to China on the School of Business and Economics internship study abroad trip to Beijing, Guilin and Shanghai.

Stomach is turning. I am so nervous yet trying to remember why I am so excited. I am nervous about the research project and if I will get along with my roommate. After all, I have never spent more than two hours in a meeting room with her. I am excited that we get to spend the first few days with no pressure by seeing the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. I am looking forward to admiring all of China’s beauty! I am especially excited to study karst geology. I know nothing about it and am nervous my research project won’t be good enough but still excited to learn!

The car ride to Chicago has been back and forth from excited to nerves kicking in. I am surprised I haven’t thrown up! We stopped for Applebee’s on the way to the airport and I was able to relax, but now the nerves are back once again!! Getting off the exit for the airport, our stomachs are churning. We keep saying over we are going to China both in disbelief. Laughing from nerves every time we say it. “We are going to China. We are going to China.”


We are going to the international terminal because we are going to China. Boarding the plane is straight out of a movie the plane has nine seats across and two aisles down separating seats in each row. Finding my seat there was already someone in the row. I have the window seat so asking him to move I maneuver my giant backpack that is 3 kg over the limit. Whoops. I scurry to get out the things I need, my laptop, a book, a soda and of course some snacks. My backpack squishing my lap I decide it is best to not put it under my seat like I normally do but up overhead. Of course by this time the other seat has been filled so I ask to put my bag up and he kindly grabs it and stows it away. Woo I am now all ready to go! The plane is amazing! There are movies you can watch, TV shows and even games. This is my first flight more than a few hours, so we will see how I hold up. And we are off! Only 13 hours to go!

caseybflight201706We were served dinner on the plane and we got to choose between pork or chicken. I choose pork just because everyone around me was choosing it. The pork was very tasty. We were also served a roll, coffee cake, fruit and this gross salmon potato salad. I was brave and tried, but sure enough blah. Six hours down. I have been sleeping probably about three hours at a time on this flight. Then I wake up look outside to see if there are cool sights. So far it has been just pitch black. I felt like I should have been getting up and walking around more or going to the bathroom but I am too nervous to ask the people in my row to get up so I can get out. After another three-hour nap, I wake up and play Sudoku on the TV screen in front of me. In the middle the man on the end gets up to go to the bathroom. This is my chance! I ask the man next to me if I can get up to use the restroom. Woo freedom! As I stand up I almost topple over onto the row across from me. My legs feel like jello! I waited by the bathroom for what it felt like forever! In the bathroom there was facial spray. I am thinking what the heck is facial spray?? I spray it in front of me to see if it smells good, it does. It smelt of citrus so hey, why not. I took off my glasses and sprayed my face. It was quite refreshing!

caseybflightb201706Ooooh, looking outside now we have about an hour left in the flight I can start to see some lights! They look like small stars there are so few! My lower back is starting to ache but before my shoulders were stiff and they are not anymore, so that is an okay trade off. I finally figured out that you can move the head rest! The sides can be adjusted so you can just have it hold your head in place! You would be surprised how much of a difference it makes! Hey guess what, I am going to China! Well if you want to be technical, Taipei and then China.

For dinner I decided why not start the fun now! I got cognee, the traditionalist Chinese-style meal option. I have no idea what cognee is, but it came with fish floss. Also, what the heck is fish floss? Well, to my pleasant surprise it is not what I originally thought. It is a fish based seasoning that I saw someone else sprinkle on the cognee. So I followed suit. The seasoning actually was not that bad. It reminded me of shrimp Ramen seasoning. The cognee was like bland soupy oatmeal. Now, Mom, I am talking to you. I do not like soupy oatmeal! Although you think it is great I cannot stand the texture. My issue is I struggle with deciding whether to chew the cognee (soupy oatmeal) or drink it. I came to the conclusion that it would be over faster if I just drank it. I had to keep telling myself I cannot be a wimp already and I must finish it! After finishing the cognee, which I still have no idea what it is, I tried the egg pancake with picked turnips. Took one bite of this and said no way, I was brave with the cognee, but I am not finishing this. I am not a fan of egg pancakes in the first place. And that was new!

I have just discovered another fun feature! They have a fun selection of music! They have Jimmy Eat World, 3OH!3, The Chainsmokers, Britney Spears and many more. This last hour of the flight will be nice and relaxing with a change of pace! I can even play the music and play games at the same time! Best day ever! I am very awake now from the two cups of coffee I had. Maybe not the best idea since it is 3 a.m. in Taipei, but oh well my excitement is increasing every minute! I am going to China!


Casey Barton ’17 is a business administration—finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


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