It was eleven years ago. I was at high school and my best friend had gone to study at Toronto, Canada, so I decided to go visit him. I started doing a bunch of research about everything, the subway lines, where could I stay, what kind of documents I needed and so on. I got my passport, looked for the flight and my dad helped me to call the kind woman I stayed with. I wasn’t that confident about my English back then and woow, I was so naive and needed to work a lot on myself.
So everything was ready. I got my ticket, my baggage ready and the day came. My dad took me to the airport and it wasn’t until the moment I was in front of the gate that I truly realized I was about to travel, on airplane, by the first time and completely alone. Once I located my boarding gate I walked a bit around the terminal before I had to board in order to buy a bottle of water and the book The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto to have something to do during the flight.
It was thrilling, scary and so damn exciting! A few moments later we started to board the plane and I held tight my passport and boarding ticket so I wouldn’t lose them while I walked through the tunnel. Once on the plane I looked for my seat and packed away my passport and ticket carefully, it was one on the corridor side and turned out that in the seat in front of mine there was a woman with her baby, who, I’m amazed about it now, behave much better than most adults through the flight.
The airplane started to accelerate and I got pretty nervous but tried to act cool. Finally the airplane took off. It was a 4 hours direct flight and everything was new to me. A woman two seats to the left in front of mine started talking to one of the air hostess and told her she too used to be a stewardess before. It was weird to notice what everyone was doing during the flight, like the former air hostess that ended up standing up from her seat and started to stretch almost like showing off. I decided to forget, took my book and start reading for the rest of the flight.
I was amazed so far I have already understood everything I heard from people talking in English. It was funny to discover I was already capable to understand what everyone was saying in another language different to mine. Again, I was so naive, still was so innocent, and hadn’t travel outside of my country until then.
When we arrive to the Toronto Pearson International Airport I was more scared than ever before. I felt so afraid of getting lost and didn’t know what to do, even when I had the homestay address and my friend’s phone number.
So we started to get off the plane and I decided to follow the rest of the passengers to get to know where to pick up my baggage and so on. I finally got to migration and wasn’t until then that I remembered I may have to talk in English with a native speaker for the first time…