STL to KEF to STN

It’s 8:04 p.m. we just finished dinner and getting into the van. My parents are taking me to STL International Airport for my WOW airline flight to Keflavik (KEF), Iceland. But I forgot my earbuds in the restaurant! So I went back to our table and saw that it was cleaned out and my earbuds were gone. I’ve got to get another pair before boarding the plane. En route to the airport we stopped by a grocery store and I bought another pair.

Arrived at the departure drop off area at 9:00 p.m. My mother shared her final apprehensions about my first Solo adventure to Europe and hugged me goodbye and then I hugged my Papa who said “I love you, take care, and God be with you.” Once I turned towards the entrance to the airport my heart started beating fast. Was it nervousness or excitement or both? Of course it was both! I’m fulfilling my lifelong dream of backpacking my way through Europe!! Yippee!

No one was in line at the international flight check-in gate. I went straight through and was checked-in by 9:15 p.m. Despite my scrambling to get everything put back together after going through the inspection scanners, I made it to my departure gate by 9:30 p.m. exactly 90-minutes until boarding time. To pass the time, I re-arranged my carry-on so that everything I needed for the overnight flight was in my backpack. Boarded my flight and we took off on time. Pink and purple interior was the cabin’s color scheme. Every crew member looked like a movie star. I had a window seat and after a few minutes, they dimmed the lights and I did my best to get some sleep.

Unfortunately, when I was just about to drift into sleep, my nose sensed an odor that woke me up. I waited for it to fade away, but it kept lingering and intensifying. I discovered, it was the middle-seat passenger next to me who was responsible for polluting the air cabin with whatever was upsetting his stomach. Maybe he has IBS. Poor guy and poor me who didn’t sleep. Even when I lowered my eye mask to cover my entire nose, the odor stayed to haunt me and everyone else in the cabin. It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny at 2:30 a.m.

Travel Tip: Pack surgical mask.

Flight WW 168 landed on time in Keflavik. We deplaned and I set foot on Icelandic terrain for the first time. Breathing in fresh crisp Nordic air gave me a wonderful tingle all over. After four hours of breathing in foul air, it was literally a breath of fresh air!

I went inside the terminal for my 85-mins. layover. First stop, the restrooms (toilets). They looked modern and each stall was a separate room from floor to ceiling with its own sink. I loved having complete privacy. After freshening up, I walked around a little bit and picked up my a snack for my 3-hour flight to my final destination, Standsted Airport, England.

For a preview of my Solo European Adventure, read – Europe in 9 days – 8 cities in 5 countries. My actual layover in KEF was 1-hr and 25-mins = 85 mins. not 2 hours. as mentioned in the previous blog. This is the 1st in a series of blogs that I’ll be posting about my adventure that I totally planned To this day, I still pinch myself and think: I can’t believe that I actually followed 90% of my itinerary.

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