In my 36 hours of travel from Williamsburg, VA to Doha (5 of which was on a Greyhound bus, 9 hours of which was on a plane, 1 of which was on cabs getting between the two, and 21 of which I spent waiting) I had the great pleasure of checking in with several groups of friends.
At 5:05am on Friday morning, I arrived at the Greyhound station in Washington DC, 5 hours after I left Williamsburg. I then walked to Union Station, a much nicer place to sit than the Greyhound station, to chill before my 8am breakfast with Aimee Bedoy (founder of CMU’s pro-life club and a friend). Since Union Station now has wireless, I was not bored waiting.
For breakfast Aimee, myself and two of her friends went to the Union Station McDonalds. We chatted about movies and the snowpocalypse which shut CMU down to 3 days, and politics. She is organizing a religious pilgrimage to Rome for Spring Break, pictures of which I hope to link to soon.
Once I made my flight from Baltimore to New York, I discovered I did not have to go through additional security to board my American Airlines flight to Heathrow–hooray! As I wandered in a travel daze, foraging for food, I saw Chris Menand, the Coordinator for Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, and the leader on this year’s IMPAQT trip to Doha. I had serendipitously booked the same flight as the CMU-Pittsburgh students traveling to Doha for IMPAQT10. It was wonderful to see people whose applications I had pored over and some of whom I had interviewed. We shared the dried mangoes I had bought for an afternoon snack. I’ll also be seeing them around Qatar campus.
But I could not hang out for too long–I had a meeting with Lillian DeRitter, my housemate from Pittsburgh and one of my best friends, at JFK (she is spending the semester at The Vinyard, an off-broadway theater in New York City). With less than an hour before boarding, I grabbed my passport and my boarding-pass, and walked out of security. After Lilly and I grabbed some pastries at Starbucks, we sat and talked about theater politics, school politics, and national politics.
A minute and a half after I showed my passport and boarding pass to the TSA, I was through and walking toward the IMPAQT group.
On the plane, I slept. It was energizing to reconnect with friends from Pittsburgh, but 12:01am is early for anyone.
“The true fruit of travel is perhaps the feeling of being nearly everywhere at home.” –Freya Stark