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traveling

USA DIARIES: THANKSGIVING IN TENNESSEE

Travelling from Miami to Tennessee was rather hectic. Despite the fact that the flight took less than 2 hours, I was as exhausted as it would lasted at least 7 hours. We had to get up really early, at around 5am to catch the flight. It was around Thanksgiving time so you can imagine the lines at the airport were long. You know, when some flights are quick and easy and everything goes somoothly and some of them are more exhausting, for different reasons? Well, I’d count this one to the exhausting ones. There was a lot of waiting – our flight was overbooked so we literally had to throw 2 passengers out and therefore we were delayed. It’s hard to explain, but I am sure you can all relate to it somehow. Furthermore I haven’t had a proper meal since last night which made everything worse.

But all was worth it at the end. Arriving to Tennessee was something I will never forget. First of all, I finally got properly fed ( a.k.a. popped to the first ihop we’ve encountered and overdosed on eggs, hashbrowns and of course pancakes!). Second of all coming from humid Miami climate to sunny crisp autumn weather in Tennessee felt amazing. I instantly felt more alive. By now you may know how much I love autumn, so you can imagine how excited I was. Everything was so beautiful, leaves were yellow, clear skies – AMAZING.

Our first stop ( despite ihop haha) after some car drive was a small town (forgot the name of it) in southern Tennessee. We decided to take a coffee break and came upon a lovely coffee shop, where we had one of the best coffees in our lives. And let me tell you it is hard to get a proper “European” coffee in The States, so we always searched for “roastery”. And found one. As I was saying – best coffee. I was having a moment there, reminiscing just a few hours back how tired and hopeless I felt right after the flight. And now I was here and everything was okay. The only thing left the same was my “legging and hoodie – flying attire”. I wasn’t even bothered to change as soon as we stepped out of the car haha.

We have spent a whole week in Tennessee, visiting small towns with cute antique shops, met up with some friends, explored the nature etc. We had such a great time. I have finally experienced the whole “Thanksgiving” and “Black friday” charade, crazy crowds in stores and all that comes with it. With that I experienced and got to know another side of USA, which was unkonwn to me to this day.

We lived in the most beautiful airbnb house, cruised around towns with beautiful villas, listened to old Christmas songs and it all felt like a dream, or a movie. I felt so alive, so free and it happened to me that I forgot which day, month or even season it was. I forgot about my life back home, I just lived there, present in a moment. But that state passes, with the trip coming to an end.

I had a funny encounter at the airport on our way home. We have just arrived to the “International departures” terminal, slightly late, but it wasn’t a big of a deal. When it was our turn at the baggage drop, I handed over my passport and boarding pass to man behind the counter ( elderly, white hair, grandpa – looking guy). After a few seconds of looking at my passport he glanced at me and said with a nice southern accent “Oh, you are flying to Ljubljana?”. I nodded. “Oh great, I am travelling there in a week with my wife. We will be visiting some friends there, than we will be spending a few days in Bled . Do you know where Bled is? “Now I had to laugh “Of course I do, Bled is my hometown. But I live in Ljubljana now.” “No way” he said, staring at me. After that funny coincidence, he interviewed me about everything – where to eat, which restaurants I suggest ( I had to write them down for him) , how much does the bus from Ljubljana to Bled cost etc. We really hit it off and we both forgot we were at the airport, I was late for my flight to Paris and he had a job to do. Not to mention the line of nervous passengers behind us.

When the day of our departure came, I was ready to go home. It happened to me before that I was not content leaving USA, a few times actually. When we left from Chicago in 2016 I felt sad, like I was leaving home. In 2009 after spending 2 months in California, I was devastated, heartbroken and cried the entire flight back home. I didn’t get over leaving California for quite some time, with everything that happened to me there, all the memories and everyone I’ve met – I didn’t want to escape the life I’ve had there. But that’s a totally different story.

We had an overnight flight back to Paris and I am so bad at sleeping in planes it’s actually funny. I have never slept on a plane for more than 15 minutes. Ever. It must have been a few hours after take off, when whole plane was asleep. I looked around me and everyone were passed out. Except me. I decided to walk around a bit. I found my way to the galley where I came upon one female passenger and male cabin crew chatting. I poured myself a glass of Coke ( I know, really great choice for a night time haha), when I heard “So there’s three of us, huh?”. “I turned around and glanced at him. They were both waiting for the answer and I wasn’t even sure what they were getting at. ” Excuse me?”  was all I could think of.  “Three of us who are not asleep” he replied and smiled. Oh, now I got it. After that we must have been there talking for an hour. An American lady, born and raised in Florida (as she introduced herself) was around 60 and she told us she is on her way to the honeymoon to Paris with her husband, who she’d married last week. She told us her whole life story. We talked about the places we’ve travelled and usually I am the one who’s seen it all (not really haha), but they have both been literally everywhere (even Bora Bora) and after this conversation I felt like I haven’t seen anything yet. The flight attendant’s favourite place were Carribean and Jo-burg (which was a short way for Johannesburg). After an hour of very interesting conversation I returned to my seat and saw there were 4 hours left until our arrival to Paris. “That shouldn’t be too bad” I said to myself and decided to watch another movie.

We landed in foggy Paris early in the morning and had 3 hours left to our next flight. I could not wait to be home already. I have been away from my boyfriend for a few weeks, so that was probably the main reason I was so happy to go home. Other than that I knew I had responsibilities and things to do back home. I was ready for new challenges, I felt very fulfilled – travel wise.

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