Unplanned Trip to Prague

By Elizabeth White

(WROXTON) – Amid the whirlwind of classes and weekend trips, I was told early last week that I was in England illegally. As I mentioned in my last post, I traveled to Ireland with my family the week before being dropped off at Wroxton.

After we flew from Dublin to London, my family and I did not go through customs, so I did not get my passport stamped upon my arrival in England because I was already in the UK.

This turned out to be a problem, because the short term stamp I had from Ireland was only good for 30 days. If I didn’t have the correct stamp, I could have been deported once that time was up.

The school, which had contacted customs about the issue, told me that the only way I could fix the problem was to leave the United Kingdom and re-enter to get the correct stamp.

I found out on Wednesday, and on Thursday night I flew to Prague.

Prague was the cheapest city to fly to on such a short notice, so why

not? My friend Rachel Kleinwaks and I spent 15 hours in Prague before boarding another plane the next day to return to the UK.

This was the first time I planned, paid, and traveled by myself without a parent or adult. It was learning experience, as we had to navigate a foreign country in a city we had never been to before where the people don’t speak English.

By the time we returned to Wroxton we had been on two planes, several trains, two buses, many subways and a cab.

Getting around was a challenge because of the language barrier; English is spoken in the Czech Republic, but most signs are in Czech.

Luckily, I was able to re-enter the United Kingdom successfully, despite some intense interrogation by the customs officers.

Despite the grueling amount of time we spent traveling in just barely 24 hours, we got to see the beautiful city of Prague and experience a little bit of what Eastern Europe is like.