Thursday, February 5, 2009

Air France=THE best way to fly internationally

My day started at 4:00 AM on Tuesday, February 3rd. That's when I woke up to catch my 7AM flight to JFK to meet the group for travel to Tunisia. I happened to overpack my backpack so lugging it around everywhere did NOT help my stress level. I ordered a mango iced tea and a piece of coffee cake from Caribou while I waited in the gate for my plane but was so nervous that I didn't feel like eating or drinking anything, which is funny because I love to eat.

Once the plane took off, however, my stress level dropped off significantly. I was going to live in Tunisia for 3 and a half MONTHS. I was going on an adventure! And I was excited.

Once we landed in JFK I realized I needed to get to Terminal 1 and had no idea how to do that. Luckily, the girl I sat next to on the plane lived in NYC and she showed me how to hop on the airbus to get there.  When we were getting on to the elevator, a guy who also happened to be looking for Terminal 1 asked if he could follow us. When he said he was looking for the AirFrance desk, I asked where he was going. His name was Jeff and he was going to Jordan with SIT. We were on the same flight to Paris. Jeff and I were relieved to find each other and grabbed lunch before we got our tickets and met with our groups.

Everyone in my group seemed really friendly. We all chatted politely while waiting for the plane, finding out where everyone went to school, their majors and why they chose the SIT Tunisia program.

But now for the highlight of the day. The meal we got on AirFrance was actually GOOD! I mean, it should have been, it was a 7 hour flight (not to mention the fact that we had to wait on the plane for an hour before takeoff while the plane was "de-iced".) But I have no confidence in the hospitality of airlines anymore. This was a surprise. We got to choose between beef and mashed potatoes or cheese ravioli. I opted for the ravioli, and it was delicious, but I also got chocolate cake AND chocolate pudding AND bread AND a 7 grain middle eastern salad with chicken (also very yummy) AND cheeeeeese. I love cheese.

Even the drinks were free. And I'm not talking ginger ale, either. I mean they gave me a whisky and 7 UP for nothing. (Apparently there's no drinking age on AirFrance flights, sorry Mom!) :)

They served us breakfast, too. On both flights. AWESOME.

The only problem with the flight to Paris was that my feelings started to get the best of me. I don't know if it was the length of the flight or the fact that it was so late or what, but I started second guessing things. I missed my boyfriend, I missed my family, I missed my puppy and I wasn't going to see them for more than three months straight.

We got on our final flight from Paris to Tunisia at 8:45 AM Paris time and as soon as we started the descent into Tunisia 2 and a half hours later my mood did a 180. The view was spectacular and I knew that everything was going to be OK. More than OK, in fact. I was in for the trip of a lifetime.

We got to Tunisia at a little past 11:00AM on February 4th. It was a beautiful, clear day (which doesn't always happen here...the sand has blown up from the desert today so it's a little foggier.) and it was about 65 degrees!

I knew the minute I stepped outside that I wanted to be here and was going to have an amazing time.


  1. I think your dad and I were as relieved as you and Jeff were when we heard that you had found your group at La Guardia. My anxiety level dropped considerably, just knowing you were with others and on your way to a grand adventure! we miss you, but what fun you are going to have! Mom

  2. Given how long the flights were, I think you deserved good food. Have you ever considered a career as a culinary writer? Your first two blog posts are making me hungry. It's great to be able to read about your trip. Keep up the posts. Love you.

  3. This was a great piece about your travels, you made rather simple ordinary things sound really interesting such as the meal and the hauling around of the backpack. I can not help but say it, your dad stole the show with his post (primarily because of his love for cooking). Especially the part with the "two blogs making me hungry," I could not help but laugh at that out loud while reading.