My arrival and some exploring

Hi everyone, I’m in the United States!

The departure

I left Belgium on Thursday and left off for what was to be the biggest journey I’ve ever made in my life. If everything went as planned, I would arrive around 7 PM at Tampa International Airport. I would go 6 hours back in time and therefore arrive in Tampa at 1 AM Belgian time.

After saying goodbye to my family, I went through the customs in order to get to the right gate. The first flight was the longest one. I had one book with me, “The Silk Road”, a book that close friends in Belgium gave me right before I left. This book wasn’t necessary, since there was a TV screen in the seat in front of me, with the newest movies on them. I spent almost the whole flight watching movies and series. The rest of the time I spent reading.

The first stop was JFK International Airport in New York. From there I would have to take another flight to Tampa. When I arrived there, there were a lot of people waiting to get into the US. I had three hours to catch my next flight so I tried to relax and waited in line. But after two hours I was still in line and I decided to ask someone of the staff for help. Since I didn’t have much time anymore, he let me get passed the line, right to the customs. Once I got through the customs I needed to get my luggage and drop it off again, in order for it to get onto the correct plane. I managed to catch my flight just in time with just 10 minutes to spare.

After a short and relaxing flight, I arrived in Tampa at 7 PM, right on schedule. From there I went to the hotel, after getting something to drink.


Exploring St. Petersburg, FL

The next day I wanted to check out of the hotel as soon as possible, so that I could move into my actual room early in the day. After a short walk in the burning sun, I arrived at “Uptown”, the place where I would be staying for the remainder of my internship.

After checking in and dropping off my luggage in my room, I went out to discover St. Petersburg. In the next three days – which is the time I had left before the start of my internship – I went to the Bay, to the south of the city, to parks and to the shops. After those three days preparing everything, I was finally ready to start my internship at Oyova as a web and app developer.


Life lessons

During this short period of time, I already learned some important things:

  1. Dare to ask for help if necessary. If I wouldn’t have asked for help, I would have certainly missed my flight to Tampa.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be all on your own. Come out of your comfort zone and try to experience more. There is so much that you’ll miss, just by being afraid of taking the next step. In order for us to grow, we need to get out of our comfort zone. Make reasonable choices, but sometimes you’ve got to take a step into the unknown.
  3. Don’t ever give up. At some points it seemed like I would never get this internship. Yet I kept going for it and kept working hard. I made lots of calls and sent lots of emails and now here I am!