June 21, 2015
Unfortunately the time has come to leave Australia and head home to the states. That day started off extremely early with the sound of my phone alarm chiming at 2:45 am. I opted to pack in the morning because I was exhausted that night and knew I had time to rest on the many plane rides we were scheduled to take that day. Heading over to Australia was not that bad because everybody was fueled with excitement. On the way back to the states however, the plane rides were not as exciting as I came to the realization that it was time to head back home.
The trip home required a total of 4 flights, going to Australia we lost a day, but coming home we all gained a day. We arrived at Cairns Airport at 4:30 am and departed at approximately 6:00 am en-route to Brisbane Airport. After the 2.5 hour flight we arrived in Brisbane and gathered our bags and headed through customs. After everyone made it through customs we boarded the plane and began the 12 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles, CA.
After watching way too many movies and being way too stiff and sore we finally arrived in LAX at 6:25am. I was kind of nervous as to whether everyone would make it through Customs and Border Protection in time to board our next flight. This nervousness was amplified by the lack of sleep too. Luckily, the staff at the airport greeted us with passes to by-pass the long lines because we had about 2 hours until our flight left for Dallas, Texas. After successfully getting through Customs and Border Protection, I decided to get some Bugles and a Coke to prepare for the next flight. Two down and 2 to go, we finally departed from LAX at 8:35 am and arrived in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas at 1:45pm. Of all the flights that we took over the 2 week period this, for me, was the worst one; I was exhausted but could not get comfortable enough to fall asleep.
We are so close to being home, well sort of. In Dallas Fort Worth, Texas we had about 5 hours until our next flight. I was excited about finally getting some rest. I was able to find a TV to plug my headphones and nodded in and out for about 30 minutes. Realizing that I wasn’t able to sleep I got an energy drink and drank as I wandered around the airport. That is what I needed, as we were waiting for our next flight. I’m not sure if everyone was delusional due to the lack of sleep but time flew by because we all were laughing at everything and having a good time. Finally, we boarded our final flight at 5:50 pm en-route to our 2.5 hour flight to Raleigh Durham, NC. Fortunately, I was able to have the whole row to myself and was finally able to get some rest. I awoke to the sounds of the flight attendants preparing the cabin for landing. Then I realized we had finally made it back home safely.