Back in 2008 my sister was blessed enough to join World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. As a young boy then, the thought of millions of youth from all the countries of the world to come to one place and celebrate The Catholic faith excites me to my core and i prayed that one day i too want to be one of the millions of youth joining WYD.
Fast forward to 2016. the excitement still lives within me and recently i went on a 2 week journey in Poland for World Youth Day (WYD) and was able to part of the 3 million youths in Krakow.
Even before I Leave to Kraków, Poland I couldn’t believe I’m actually going and i give all my gratitude to God because of this.
We started the Journey to Poland on 18th July flying first to Singapore then Frankfurt, Germany and finally Katowice, Poland.
Everything was all new to me: It was the first time going to Singapore, first time to parts of europe; Germany & Poland and most of all a first time going to WYD.
The flight to Singapore only took an hour but the layover in Singapore was 11 hours. Most of us chose to spend our layover in Changi Airport only and not complaining since Changi is quite big and with 11 hours i was able to walk to all of the airport’s terminal.
For eleven hours waiting our flight to Frankfurt, Germany at 12 midnight, we thought our wait would end but i’ve come to realized the flight to Germany took 12 hours. Which means more waiting!
For a person who barely travel long hours this is the first. And literally the whole night i’ll be spending in the plane eating, sleeping, sitting and waiting and repeat untill we reached to Frankfurt.
It seems like my life is like an American Sitcom because things always happens to me. It’ll be odd if there was nothing were to happen to me. I was optimistic, thinking that there will be no mishaps would happened to me before i reached Poland.
Boy, I was wrong.
After we walked out of the plane and before going to the check in counter. All of us took out our passport and tickets and upon digging into my bag…..
Then it happened to me.
Acting calm in front of the others, I checked in all the parts inside my bag, jacket and pockets countless time and even asked if my cousin if it was with her. Eventually i have to admit it to myself:
I lost my tickets. I lost my passport.
All i could think of after that was “Did someone stole it or did i leave it somewhere?” and the dreaded question “What will happen to me if i can’t find it?”
I went through counters to security office and officers to another office to the admin counter. Thankfully, with the help of the airport security and they were able to contact the plane if i left it inside the plane. Thankfully it was there. However, the story hasn’t ended yet.
The good news: Yes, my tickets and passport was inside the plane. and i have to take it in Terminal 61F.
The bad news: The plane is about to fly soon to JFK, New York in 40mins. And i have to take it before the plane flies.
Time was of the essence and after hearing the news I ran like my life and safety depends on it because it literally was.
Running pass all the terminals alphabetically with more that 50 counters in each terminal. The 20 min run was dreadful. It was hard enough to speak to people because most spoke german and i knew none in the german language but thankfully i had a friend of mine running with me, helping where i should run to because Frankfurt Airport was enormous.
Long story short, I got back my passport and tickets. the next thing, i have to travel all the way back to where the other were waiting.
It was one more flight to go until we reached Poland. However as expected there was another layover, this time we waited 5 hours for our next flight to Katowice, Poland.
Fortunately, we were not the only ones who were going to Poland. We’ve encounter fellow youths from Vietnam and Laos and few hours later the youths from Australia, Nigeria and Ecuador.
The flight to Poland took an hour and at this point we were tired and a warm shower would be great. About 15 mins before we were to land to Poland. I saw this:
It took a total of 33 hours to reached Poland and out of the tiredness and eventful long journey. The sight of Poland alone was able to bring Joy to me and the 33 hours became worth it because finally we were made our journey to Poland: The homeland of St. Pope John Paul II.
This story is just the end of the beginning and there is more to come on my adventures in Poland.