After staying in Norway for two months, it was finally time to go home. I was feeling anxious about me and my sister traveling alone for the first time. Though, I felt excited because I love going through airports, getting on planes and the whole journey getting to the destination. Am I the only one? Anyway, my sister and I packed our suitcases, filled to the brim (mostly me buying too many clothes) and laid everything out for us to get ready for our early flight. We said our goodbyes the night before and tried to go to bed. However, both of us were too excited to go to sleep that we ended talking for the majority of the night.
The next morning, we woke up at three in the morning, extremely tired but ready to travel back home. Our aunt (who by the way can speak four languages fluently, including English. I can't but moving on.) drove to the nearest airport and we arrived a few hours before our 6:40 a.m. connecting flight from Oslo to Switzerland. During our final preparations, in my head, I thought this is it, until next summer. Then, the attendant explained something to my aunt that made her a little nervous. She turned to us and asked if we have identification and we told her that we had our driver licenses. However, that wasn't exactly what she meant.
The attendant was explaining to our aunt that in order to enter into the United States, one has to have their American passport or fill out a waiver called ESTA, which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. My sister and I started panicking because we only brought our Norwegian passport. Completing a visa waiver are only meant for non-American citizens but we ended up doing one anyway because we had no other choice. However, the problem with that was that it could take up to three days to process. We were rushing around, trying to get a hold of my mom, and filling out the paperwork quickly. After three hours, running around like chickens with their heads cut off, we were able to cross through security. With our luck, our gate was all the way on the other side of the airport and we had three minutes before boarding. Eventually, we landed in Switzerland and everything was going smoothly.
Before we could get away so easily, while we were boarding our flight to Washington D.C., a flight attendant directed us towards a security check. My sister and I look at each other in despair, we were not ready to argue our way out of this. As we approach a kind, smiling woman, we silently thought that it was going to be fine. However, once we started talking to the woman, she kept debating with us about showing her our visa or U.S. passport. She would not let us explain the situation at hand. However, I think that she's in love with her voice because all she kept saying was that we were technically not allowed to leave Switzerland and ended up calling up Immigration. This conflict kept raging for almost hour and we could not believe it. We were stuck in a foreign country and there was no way out if we weren't able to be released. It was the worst feeling because my sister and I were just one plane ride away from our home.
To be continued…