Hi guys! I am Kaitlin, and I am studying abroad in Madrid, Spain this summer. Before my trip abroad, I had never been on an international flight before. In fact, I had only ever been on a plane once.

Airports are stressful. This is a fact of travel that everyone accepts. I arrived at the Atlanta airport for the first leg of my flight to Madrid nervous but mostly excited for the adventure ahead of me. I went through security, found my gate, and sat down to read a book while I waited to board. I few minutes later, I received a notification saying that my plane would be delayed 15 minutes. Well, that’s no big deal, I thought. My flight was scheduled to leave Atlanta for Charlotte at 3:15 PM to catch a connecting flight to Madrid at 6:20 PM. We board the plane, but the pilot announces within a few minutes that they are experiencing maintenance problems. We finally left Atlanta at 5:30, arriving in Charlotte after my plane to Madrid was already boarded and the bridge closed.

Finding out you’ve missed a flight can change your exciting adventure to stressful in an instant. I kept frequent correspondence with the director of the program, letting him know what was happening, and went to the airline help desk. The airline was able to get me on the same flight to Madrid the next day, a flight that left exactly on time and arrived without a single hiccup. They provided me with a hotel room, and I was able to get a good night’s sleep. Even though it was not fun in the moment, looking back, my missed flight is just another story within my study abroad journey. I arrived safely, and I type this blog from Madrid, where I have been having the time of my life.

In the long run, the travel glitches aren’t the thing you will remember about your trip, but instead the amazing memories you make while you are there. If you’re planning to study abroad, don’t stress out about things that are out of your control. Travel is an adventure, and it teaches you to take the things that life throws at you in your stride.