I am Jade and, if you read my mother’s blog, you may know who I am.
I am 15 years old and recently moved to a little town. In this little town, sits my new school. In my new school, there was the opportunity to travel to Europe. When I heard Auschwitz was on the itinerary, I asked to go.
Quick little thing I didn’t think about when I asked to go: I didn’t know a soul, not one single person.
Fast forward to the trip itself. We were told we had to have a ‘buddy’ for the trip.
Cue the students scanning the chairs for their best friends, locking eyes and nodding.
Cue me sitting alone wondering how I’m going to convince someone to let me tag along with them.
Fortunately, another girl was wondering the same thing,
I didn’t know her, I barely recognized her from other meetings, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember her name.
Yet, she became my ‘buddy’, by process of elimination. Gotta love that process though.
Fast forward to the airport, My ‘buddy’, otherwise known as Kristen, is attempting small talk with me, but we mostly sit in silence, texting other people. Every now and then we get up and walk to the bathroom or head to a store to buy snacks. Yes, it rings of awkward beginnings.
The plane finally arrives. I am immediately asked if I’m willing to trade so a couple of friends can sit next to each other on the flight. So, I move. I don’t have anyone I know, or want to sit next to, so I might as well.
I find myself sitting in between a girl I don’t know (who later became my friend and my roommate in Budapest), and my chaperone, a Grade 12 Calculus teacher. I could not sleep at all during the whole eight hours. I didn’t want to sleep to the left of my chair, in fear I would fall asleep on top of the unknown girl, and I didn’t want to sleep to the right in fear of sleeping on top of the calculus teacher.
So I slept on my backpack, hunched over and sore to the sound of my music blasting through my ear phones. At least I could listen to Fall Out Boy for the eight hours.
I spent the plane ride sitting next to people I didn’t know, wondering if I would make friends with anyone on this trip.
Fast forward to the trip back, where everyone is shouting and asking if people are willing to trade seats again.
Except now, I was the one asking!
I spent the flight sitting next to my ‘buddy’ who had become my friend over the course of the trip.
All my fears of not knowing anyone for an entire week in Europe had disappeared almost instantaneously when we landed in Europe.
So I took the plane there, not wanting to sleep next to strangers. Seven days later, I took the plane home, asleep on my new friend’s shoulder.