Flying to a foreign country is almost always linked to a lot of effort. Travelling with seven people seemed like a huge challenge to us, but in my opinion we managed it very well.
On Sunday 17th September 2017, we met each other around 6pm at the International Airport in Frankfurt. Everyone of us was very excited about starting this new adventure and we were glad to see each other. It was important to us to share our thoughts about our journey to and stay in Laos. As a group of ladies only, we worried about the amount of luggage that we could carry – and a flight with Thai Airways includes 30 kilos of allowed baggage… But everything worked out well and we had some time left to say goodbye to our loved ones.
After checking in we were all a little bit devastated because some of us had to sit alone and we had hoped for a neighbour to talk to. Afterwards our anxiety turned out to be unnecessary since there were many empty seats and it was no problem to join each other on the first long flight. The next twelve hours we talked, watched films, slept more or less and dreamed about the upcoming weeks in Southeast Asia. For a technical stopover we landed in Phuket and spent two hours there. Jessica was the only one who thought that we were already in Bangkok and was sure that our next flight would be the second and last one to Vientiane. After explaining to her that we still had to take two more flights she was a little bit disappointed and embarrassed. Nevertheless we all had fun making jokes about her confusion and it’s still a good laugh for all of us now.
About an hour later we arrived in Bangkok, and after a short and disappointing security check – Sandra’s and Ariane’s German beer for their tandem-teachers got confiscated (they should have been in the cases and not in the hand luggage) – we found a place to eat something and talked about our journey so far.
On the 18th at 7.30 pm we took off and headed to our new home for the next two to five months. Tired and exhausted after the 30-hour journey, we landed at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane. We got our passports checked, paid for and received our visas, and picked up our luggage. In total we had six suitcases, one bag and five big backpacks, so we were happy when we saw Linda, our driver, Janina, and Saythong in the arrival hall. They directly led us to our mini-vans and we were happy to lay everything down, even after only a few minutes of carrying.
Because of the darkness in the streets of Vientiane we were not able to fully realize that we were really (t)here, thousands of miles away from home. We were excited, tired, overwhelmed, and happy at once. After a stop at a market stall to pick up some fruits and bread and a ride on the muddy, bumpy road home, we were just relieved when we entered our gate to our new and exciting life in Ban Sikeud.
Text by L. Malchow
Photos by L. Herrmann & A. Kummetz