Going Home

Bria Godley
August 6, 2013

I think it takes a 9 am flight to really appreciate how large the Madrid Barajas airport is. It’s actually astounding. And I’ve been everywhere; I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never experienced an airport so large. Luckily it is the crack of dawn, and no one is really here yet so it’s not so much overwhelming as irritating. Why must you be so big, Barajas? What are you trying to prove? It’s only 8 am and my knees already ache from walking.

“You are going to Zurich and then where?” the desk agent asked as she examined my passport. I sighed.

“I’m flying from Madrid to Zurich, from Zurich to Chicago, and from Chicago to Raleigh.” I could see the judgment on her face. You messed up, her carefully-penciled eyes told me frankly. You have done messed up, my friend. Yes, I know, I tried to communicate back to her with my eyes. I know.

I had called my father several days earlier, complaining that my flight was twice as long as it should have  been and I was essentially flying not in an arc or a straight line back to the States, but in a demented trapezoid of sorts.

“Do you know how hard it was for me to find that flight?” my father asked. “You booked your flight so late that you weren’t going to be able to come home.” It was true; God knows what I was doing in late April around the time when I was supposed to be booking my flight, but it certainly wasn’t thinking about Madrid. “I am proud I found that flight. Do you hear me?” he yelled over the phone.

“I am happy I found that flight. And you should be happy too.”

“I’m not happy that an eight hour flight has been turned into a 14 hour flight.”

“You owe me $9,000.”

“You know what? I am really happy about the flight. I’m really looking forward to it, actually. It should be fun. Like an adventure.”



Getting home was an adventure, a long, sad adventure that involved me being stuck on planes for an entire day and learning valuable lessons about booking international flights in advance. I’ve been home for a couple weeks now, and I am extremely thankful for my experience with the IES program in Madrid. Now more than ever I am cognizant of the fact that Spain is a different world from North Carolina or New Haven, and I feel so grateful that I was able to travel to Europe, open my eyes, and clear my mind.


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Bria Godley

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Bria Godley is a psychology major at Yale University from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She gained her passion for travel as a child when she traveled to Europe, Asia, Australia and South America with her family and hopes to continue to travel throughout the rest of her life. Academically, Bria is interested in neuroscience, philosophy, and literature. Bria&rsquo;s extracurricular interests include singing, writing, and taking multiple naps per day. She looks forward to chronicling her time in Madrid.</span></p>

2013 Summer 1, 2013 Summer 2
Home University:
Yale University
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