Taking New York by Storm

by Keta Bagashvili (Georgia)

A decision that pushed me to the edge Georgia


After painstakingly collecting every necessary document, waiting for hours in a U.S. embassy to get my visa, and packing what seemed like all of the Republic of Georgia in my two bags, the day finally came: I was moving to New York City. Little did I know that my 14-hour flight would turn into a nearly three-day-long journey between states. This is the story of how I took New York by storm. And this decision pushed me to the edge during my longest flight.Layover time between my flights was only an hour..Standing in this line in Tbilisi took 40 minutes longer than expected. Two women in front of me kept calming me down and telling me they have been flying with Turkish Airlines for their whole life and that everything would be okay, until they realized they were in the wrong line. I never found out if they made it to their flight or not. As soon as the plane landed, I grabbed my backpack and hand luggage and commanded myself to forget about all the proper etiquette my mom ever taught me. I didn’t let any kid or pregnant woman go before me, and pushed my way through to passport control, desperate to make my next flight on time. I only had 40 minutes remaining until my next flight’s departure, and the line in front of me was divided into seven never-ending lines. Before Landing captain announced that there was a huge snow storm at John F. Kennedy Airport, and we would not be able to land there.I was left alone in different state where we would land, in America by myself, a foreigner, for the first time, unprepared for the dreadful weather, without a cell phone number or any outside contacts, without even an American phone charger. Later I found out I lost my luggage. Turkish Airlines finlally booked a hotel in DC for a night. But my driver was gone.I was about to start crying when I saw another driver who kindly offered to take me to my hotel. I happily agreed and only after we started driving and I saw the forest on the road, I realized, I’m living out my worst nightmare. In a stranger’s car, in a foreign country, without any clue where to go…Luckily, this stranger was not a murderer, as in the movies. Next day I took the bus to NYC. The decision I made months ago when I applied to King’s and decided to move across the world and live on my own tested my boundaries of strength and sanity. But you can’t learn and progress in life if you do not test your limits. After this trip, I feel like there will be nothing that can ever stop me.