It was an early morning leaving the Maldives, we had to take a speedboat to leave the island (we had to make a spit stop for Sarah lol). We arrived in the Maldivian airport early because Emily had to catch a sea plane for her extended trip so we got lunch in the airport while we waited. From there we left and arrived in Sri Lanka and had to catch a plane to Hong Kong. One the way back we encountered some problems in Hong Kong were we got delayed for our longest flight. We expected to only have a 45 minute delay which turned into a 6 hour delay because there was issues with the aircraft. We finally caught our plane to LAX but when we arrived they changed our flight so that we were not going to be able to get home for another day and half later than expected. So we had to hurry and book all new flights to St. Louis so some family and friends could pick us up from there and drive us back home. After flying and traveling for three solid days, I was in despite need a nice home cooked meal and hot shower. All and all, I am so blessed to have been able to travel with such an awesome group of people that I feel like I made many lifelong friendships with!
Thinking about all the crazy foods and things that we saw; I do not know where to even begin. I came back home and everyone asked about my trip and I did not know where to being to start. I am so thankful and blessed to have been able to experience this trip of a lifetime. It definitely opened my eyes to realizing that there is much more important things in life than what I thought. What really opened my eyes was when we staying in Sri Lanka and there was a sign that read that water was a privilege not a necessity. My favorite part in each country was taking the boat tour of the country side of Vietnam, visiting the elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka and playing volleyball with the local guys in Maldives. Each day in all the countries we visited was an experience that I will never forget!
The Maldives was the country that i was most excited about and it is all that I could imagine and more! We are staying on a small island called Fulidoo Island which consists of only 300 people. We played a game of pickup volleyball the first day and then continued to play each day at 4:00pm right before they had to go to the temple each night. They had a small cafe that served the BEST food that I had ate on the entire trip so far! The locals are all so friendly and the teenage boys were really good singers and dancers. Sarah, Hannah, Bella and I all got to experience their cultural dances and music that they perform all over the different islands. This was very interesting to see this side of their culture because I did not realize that music had such a big impact on their lives. Overall, i’m very happy that we got to interact with some of the locals because they all started to follow us on facebook and instagram!
The travel time to get to Vietnam was never ending it felt like; what messed me up the most was the time change because we left during the morning and still arrived in the morning an entire day later. After getting some rest after all the traveling, we woke up and had a huge buffet style breakfast which was very good! My favorite part was all the fresh fruits. Today we went to a local university and got to interact with some students there that were studying international studies; many of which had the desire to visit the United States someday. We had lunch at a restaurant right across the street from the school were we got to try some interesting food dishes. Being the first day in Vietnam, I was not ready for the heat and humidity! Tomorrow we get to go to the beach!
The trip from the Maldives back to Springfield was an interesting one to say the least. We took the speedboat from Fulidhoo to the airport. From there we had a two hour wait and then flew to Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, our group split in half. My group had a 6 hour layover and then we flew to Hong Kong. We expected to have a short 45 min layover in Hong Kong, but our flight got delayed for 6 hours. When we finally arrived in LAX we had to run through the airport to find our luggage, go through immigration, and check-in with American Airlines. We thought we were going to miss our flight because of the delay in Hong Kong. We made it to check-in just in time. However, we found out our flight was cancelled. They told us we could fly out the next day at noon, but that meant we would get there an entire day later. Instead, we found another flight to St. Louis because most of the people on the trip lived there. There were two of us including me that needed to get back to Springfield. Luckily, I had a friend come and pick us up and it all worked out!