Airport. Day 1 of our Antarctica/Patagonia Trip.

December 7, 2013

And so it begins.

I opened the door and standing in front of me was a tall girl with short blond hair holding a cardboard box next to the closet.

“Hi, I’m Kathleen.”

“Hi, I’m Nicole.” I responded. I didn’t know what to think. Was I going to get along with my first college roommate? My parents were there too helping me move in to my dorm room on the Mount Vernon campus at The George Washington University.

“Do you mind if I turn on the music?” Kathleen asked as we unpacked.

“Sure,” my dad said.

Aww Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody. I didn’t listen to a lot of music until that year. Kathleen would play it in the room when we studied. It seriously got me through some of those challenging physics assignments.

So after grilled cheeses on the Foreman Grill (shhh…we hid that thing in the closet), lightening storms, Pride & Prejudice (yes, the Colin Firth one because I mean, how can you not love Colin Firth?!), and getting through Econ with our fellow WLPers, Kathleen and I became good friends.

Three years later we graduated. It’s unbelievable how fast time has flown. We each studied abroad in different areas – Kathleen in the Middle East where she became friends with my friend Jacob ironically (longish story), and me in London (part of my heart is still there and I call it my 2nd home). We studied totally different subjects. And we went our separate ways. But Kathleen was always a friend I could call if I hadn’t spoken to her in 6 months just to say hi and it was like we had just spoken yesterday.

And so when I came to DC for a business trip last May, we met up for drinks. “My friend, Kim and I are planning to go to Antarctica, you should go.”

“Yeah right Kathleen.”

“No seriously.” And after updates on what’s going on in life and her “hummus in the freezer…we’re actually getting old” story, I left saying I’ll think about it. And a few weeks later I messaged saying I’m in. Kim mentioned to Kathleen that we should think about also doing Patagonia. Umm, yes! So us 3 girls, 3 GWU grads were on our way.

Once in a lifetime experience. Now’s the time.

Months have passed. And right now I’m in the airport listening to Christmas music in the background and the budget battle coverage on MSNBC in the American Airlines lounge. I seriously think I’m the only one looking like a backpacker in this lounge as folks read People magazine, complain about the many Dallas Fort Worth flight delays with their spouses over their cell phones, and snack on the free Chex Mix and cookies. Hey, not gonna lie….I’m in here for the free water and fruit as I await for my flight (delayed too). Super excited. I can’t believe this is happening.

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