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leavingleaving TRIVANDRUM — After three hours of shuffling luggage, paying baggage overage fees and watching security thoroughly pick through our carry-on luggage, my Rotary Group Study Exchange teammate Janine Campbell looked at me and uttered, "This is how you know God has a sense of humor — when you travel internationally."

It's true.

Traveling internationally is anything but systematic. It's often disorganized, and panic-enducing, and I often use the time to reflect on how organized United States travel actually is.

Before entering the airport, we were stopped at the front entrance by a military-garbed security man who insisted we were not allowed in without a printed airline ticket on paper. But since we were without a printed version of our travels, a few of the team members pulled out our tablets and mobiles and showed the guard our electronic tickets.

He begrudgingly let us in.

Next we were shuffled to the front of the ticket counter to check our bags where I discovered each of my bags were overweight and needed to be reorganized to fit the guidelines of Emirates Airlines.

Each team member spent a few minutes reorganizing their suitcases so the weight would equal 50 pounds for checked luggage, and about 10 pounds for carry on bags.

We shuffled, we weighed, we still had to pay a lot of money for overweight fees.

Going through security was my favorite, however.

The bags went through the X-Ray about 20 minutes before we did, and then each bag was searched by airport security person.

The process was slow and inefficient, and the oddest items were confiscated.  You can walk through with giant bottles of water, but a TSA-approved scissor set is prohibited.

Anyway, we made it through the chaos, and we're waiting to board the plane for Dubai. A month ago, I would have been absolutely bothered by the security process today. But today, I embrace it. It means I'm still in India, at least for a few more hours.

Until tomorrow, Victoria.

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