Back in the Sioux Empire

I landed in Sioux Falls this past Friday, and I’ve just now moved all my stuff into my new room in Stavig Hall. The 16 hours of traveling went surprisingly well. Partially thanks to my new friend Cessie, that I met on the plane from Copenhagen to Chicago.

When I’m on airplanes, I typically prefer to zone out with my earphones and half a dozen movies on the screen in front of me. But this time, I didn’t even feel like being a typical introverted passenger. From the moment I shook hands with the person who sat next to me, until the plane touched down at O’hare airport in Illinois, I wasn’t really bored for a second.

The girl next to me was about my age, from England/Kenya, and on her way to California. Desite of our completely different backgrounds, we connected instantly, and kept talking non-stop for the next six hours. Then we took a nap, before we picked up the conversation an hour later. The nine-hour flight across the Atlantic went by so fast, I had to check my watch twice just to make sure it didn’t skip like four of the hours.

Isn’t it amazing how a few hours in the same plane can make you feel like you’ve known a person for years?

We talked about most things (I promise you that you that nine hours in a not-so-great SAS plane will allow you to touch topics you never even knew existed) One of our TV-screens didn’t work, and the rather lousy collection of movies opted for more creative ways to entertain ourselves. So we took some time to decorate the magazines we found in the seat pockets in front of us. We signed our beautiful art creations with “Hailey Johnson” and “Margareth Jones” (Yes Margareth with an H) so that no one would be able to trace it back to us. Smart huh?


Once we landed in Chicago, we had to walk our separate ways. But with today’s widespread use of social media, staying in touch shouldn’t be too hard.

I just love meeting new people, expecially when traveling. The different stories, opinions, dreams, passions and cultures people hold, never fails to amaze me. To this day, I still correspond with friends I’ve made from all over the world, either through the internet or old-fashioned pen and paper. My Singaporian penpal and I are actually going on our 8th year now.

Now I’ll iron my shirts (that got wrinklier than a Shair Pei dog while stuck inside my suitcase) before I go to bed.

Sweet Dreams,
Maria Lavelle

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