Part 2 of my All About My 3-Week Trip to CAMBODIA 4-part series is all about what I experienced on my way to Cambodia. If you read my series overview or part 1, you know that I spent 3 weeks in the Asian country, Cambodia.
However, before I got to Cambodia I already had so many experiences worth sharing. The trip to Cambodia was a 24-hour flight, not including layover time. The group that I went with met at an airport in Detroit, MI. We then flew from Detroit to Georgia, Georgia to Seoul, and finally Seoul to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
Meeting at the Airport
The first step in my travels was to meet at the airport. I had not been on an airplane since I was too young to remember, so I was very anxious about getting through security. I wasn’t anxious because I had anything to hide, I was anxious about the unknown. Once I made it through security and baggage check, I felt immensely better.
We met early in the morning, so I was already tired but too excited to nap. We had a several hour wait before the plane took off, so the group wasted time playing games, chatting, and napping. Then it was time to board! This was exciting because it was essentially my first time on an airplane.
Detroit to Georgia
The flight from Detroit to Georgia was probably the most exciting part of the trip to Cambodia. It was also the shortest, lasting roughly 45 minutes. Once seated, I was pleased to learn that I was sitting between two girls who were also heading to Cambodia with my school (but in another group).
For this part of our travels, I watched a movie. As soon as we began landing I grabbed my bag. But as soon as our plane hit the ground my bag flew out of my arms. This was more embarrassing than anything, I had zipped the bag shut and didn’t see anything fall out. I quickly grabbed my bag and scurried off the plane.
In Georgia, we had a few hours of layover time. It was at lunchtime so everyone grabbed a friend or two and dispersed in search of food. I couldn’t believe how massive the airport was and how many food options there were! I felt like I was in a massive shopping mall.
We sat down where we were meant to board and all ate our food. At this point, I decided it was time to check in with my parents and add a few new friends to my contact list. I went digging around in my bag, but I couldn’t find my phone…
At this point I became frantic. I felt awful for several reasons. First, my phone was expensive and I did not pay for it, my parents did. The second was that I had no way to let my parents know that I was safe and had arrived. And the final reason was that I had no way to document and take pictures of my trip! I was nearly in tears.
I ran around the airport with 45 minutes before boarding time trying to find someone who could check the plane we were on or the lost and found. Eventually, they told me I would have to wait until I arrived at my destination and file with the airport. I was able to contact my family through a friend’s phone and have my phone turned off, in case it had been stolen.
We boarded and my family got in touch with whoever they needed to so they could try to find my phone.
Georgia to Seoul
During this entire flight, I was riddled with guilt, but I had to move on. Georgia to Seoul was the longest leg of the trip, so I had to keep myself occupied. I felt like the trip was ruined because I couldn’t take pictures. Thankfully everyone in my group was super supportive.
I was told by several people that they would send me their photos and to let them know if I wanted a picture of anything specific. This made me feel better, but I still felt horrible about losing my phone.
Most of this flight was spent watching movies and doing homework.
When we arrived in Seoul, we had 45 minutes to get 16 people off the plane, from one end of the airport to the other and boarded the next flight. We ran and thankfully made it on time. At this point, everyone, myself included, was completely exhausted. We didn’t interact much.
Seoul to Phnom Penh
The flight to Cambodia was a 6-hour flight. But we sat on the plane, waiting to take off, for nearly 2 hours. At this point, a few of the members of my group had become sick from the airplane food, while nearly everyone else was sleeping. I fell asleep.
When we arrive in Phnom Penh we got everything sorted with customs and shuffled out into the hot Cambodian air. I immediately fell in love with the weather and the people. We got on a bus, got settled at the hotel, and slept.