2016-3-23 – Fairen Stark


Fairen-smOn March 22nd, 3 AM came much too early for everyone. Most of us had gotten very few hours of sleep; Zoie and I had stayed up until midnight, unable to fall asleep. We were all very excited to discover that the breakfast bar at the hotel had coffee and food, and then we were off. The buses brought us to the airport, and we quickly got through security and had boarded our flight to Detroit. I was tired, but excited and looking forward to the trip ahead.

Once we got to Detroit, we had a five hour layover. We spent the time eating and exploring the massive terminal. We got on the plane at around 12:55 and the next leg of our journey had begun. I don’t think I had really thought about exactly how long fourteen hours would feel, but I had drastically underestimated. We were all exhausted, but it was difficult to sleep since the seats were rather uncomfortable. I wrote in my journal at one point during the plane ride: “I can not believe that I have to spend another 10 hours and 9 minutes on this plane,” and then: “We’re halfway through the plane ride. HALFWAY.” We spent the time watching movies and playing games on the screens in front of our seats. I was incredibly lucky; the person sitting next to me moved which meant I had an empty seat. With the help of five pillows, I was able to curl up into a somewhat comfortable ball and sleep for a few hours. The plane ride ended with some unsettling turbulence, causing almost all of us to feel nauseous, and some people threw up.

When we finally got to Beijing, everyone was almost falling asleep. We had all only gotten three or four hours of sleep in the past day, and the time zone change was not helping. Half asleep, we shuffled through the baggage claim and customs, and finally, we were out. On the bus to the hotel, it finally sunk in; I was in China. I was too tired to process most of it, but while I stared out the bus window I got really excited thinking about being completely immersed in this other culture. The first day may have been the most exhausting one of my entire life, but I look forward to the days to come.

16 thoughts on “2016-3-23 – Fairen Stark

  1. Hope that everyone is able to get a good nights sleep. Thank you for the update, keep them coming, We are eager to experience China through your eyes.

  2. Can’t wait to follow your journey through these reflections! A huge shout out to Kevin Burke for making us feel so much apart of their journey through this website! Enjoy every moment!

  3. Glad you had an uneventful flight… Tell Paddy O&O send their love and all the Jersey cousins, Aunta and Ucles say hi!! Have a blast!!

  4. Thanks for sharing so many details, Fairen! It’s good to know you all made it across the Pacific alright. I’m so psyched for you to be on such an incredible voyage. I love you!

  5. Glad to hear you all arrived safely. Have a great time. So glad see this thru the pictures and essays. Thinking of all of you all the time

  6. Fairen! Sounds like you’re having fun and you got there safely, phew, and I hope that your fun continues. Love Sylvia

  7. Fairen – How exciting for you! I hope all is going well and you are enjoying every bit of your trip. We are all so proud of your accomplishments. Love you, Aunt Monica and Uncle Frankie.

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