It was only when I was in London Heathrow, fighting to keep my eyes open, that I realized getting only 4 hours of sleep the night before I had to take an overnight transatlantic flight was probably not a good idea. Oh well. To make up for it, I found the comfiest chair at the Nero Caffe in Terminal 1 to take a nap while I waited for my 8 hour layover to be over and to be on the plane to Beirut.
I still had mixed feelings about what was going to be a very long trip abroad, my first time traveling completely alone to a destination halfway across the world where I would be living and working for the next half a year. Ever since I started considering this co-op in Lebanon, I was more than pumped to go and have my grand adventure. Only after I accepted the offer and it was time to buy my plane tickets did the little doubts and worries start trickling into my head. Not to say I ever really considered not going, though. I made a commitment, a little uncertainty never stopped me from taking a chance before, and there was no way it was about to stop me now.
So as I sat, uncomfortably trying to catch up on some much-needed rest and wondering if they were going to kick me out of the café, I could only wonder how over-my-head I was about to be. But this great unknown only excited me. Hey, who knows when the next time I’ll get chance to live in the Middle East for half a year will be?
Plus, I was pretty excited about my co-op, a five month internship at The Alleyway, a company consisting of a couple bars, a couple restaurants, a clothing boutique and a tanning salon in Gemmayze, one of the most exciting nightlife hotspots in Beirut. The whole thing sounded pretty fun and interesting, and I was pretty optimistic that it was something I would not get bored of easily. It will definitely be a change of pace from my last co-op working at a small nonprofit in Cambridge. I think this will give me a good taste of a very different type of business, one that is probably more in line with whatever it is I will end up doing after school.
Fast forward 13 hours later, past one of nicest planes I’ve ever been on with the best airplane dinner I’ve ever had (thank you BMI!), past a surprisingly easy trip through customs and security at Rafic International Airport, past a taxi ride where I knew I was going to get ripped off and could do nothing about it, past finally arriving at the hostel and meeting the owner, and I was settled into my room, ready to clean up the travel grime and snuggle in my warm and comfy bed for a long, long sleep.
And sleep I did.