Nearly missing the bus

Katie Morrison at Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy.

Katie Morrison at Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy.

Union College’s fall break occurred almost a month ago. In Florence, however, our fall break just happened. Over the weekend of Halloween, we didn’t have any classes on Thursday or Friday and decided to take advantage with a little international travel. A few friends, my brother, Nicholas, and I decided to get an Airbnb in Zurich, Switzerland.

On Wednesday, we left early from a school field trip at the Milan Expo to head to Switzerland. As we made our way to the group bus, we realized we would have to walk around the miles long exhibition in search of the metro station. We were instantly stressed. We sped walked all the way to our bus where the driver was told to meet us. Nobody was around.

We waited for 15 minutes—still no one.

We were able to get our luggage out from the lower compartment but our backpacks and smaller bags were still on our seats inside. The bus was locked up tight. Considering our passports and bus tickets to Switzerland were in the bags inside the bus, we couldn’t leave without them. In almost a last ditch effort which should’ve been our first instinct, we circled around to pray.

“God, thank you for blessing us with this opportunity, with bringing us to this point,” I said. “This trip is yours. Please help us not to miss our bus to Switzerland. Bring us safely to our destination and also please help us find our bus driver!”

Not minutes later, I peered in the windshield of the bus and saw a hand at the very back of the bus. “Is that our bus driver?”

Our poor bus driver had been napping on the backseat of the bus and hadn’t heard us banging on the windows! We finally made enough noise to rouse him and were on our way. After a few missed turns, an exhilarating train ride and some helpful tips from passer-bys, we made it to our bus stop and boarded our bus. A few hours later, we arrived in Zurich and from there the trip went smoothly.

This story is just one challenge I’ve faced being abroad this year. There have been others, each one equally as pathetic as the other. I’ll find myself complaining to my dad about how stressful planning Christmas break is; or I’ll whine repeatedly to friends back home about how my authentic Italian carb-enthused diet is going to add thirty pounds to my face.

These challenges and complaints are the stupidest things, which my dad and friends are none too shy to remind me about in light of my journeys abroad. I’m in Europe! I’m experiencing a new culture, a new language and a completely new way of living.

I’m seeing things I’ve only pinned on Pinterest and making memories I’ve only seen in movies.

I feel like this is something anyone can relate to, whether they’re a student at Union College, someone in the Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) program, a student missionary or a recent graduate. We all have challenges that, at that moment, seem to overshadow any peace or confidence we have for the future.

The good news is that it will pass. As we enter into the season of thanksgiving, if we look at the blessings we have, at the opportunities and the gifts God has given and the people placed in our lives, those challenges become a little easier to handle.

My challenge for myself and for anyone else who considers themselves a worrier is to relax and enjoy each day.

Everything will work out.

To follow Katie and Nicholas Morrison’s adventures in Italy, check out their blog!

Katie is a senior studying Business Administration. She's currently studying abroad in Italy.