My First Day in America: Journey to a New Life

my first day in america

The Dawn of a New Adventure

November 10, 2018, wasn’t just another day; it was the beginning of my new life in America. As an immigrant, I was filled with mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness. The night before my flight, I carefully packed my bags, making sure everything was ready for my 10 pm flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport to IAD Airport via Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Emotional Goodbyes Back Home

Saying goodbye to my loved ones  was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Each farewell with friends and family was emotional, knowing it would be a long time before we’d meet again. These moments were bittersweet, marking the end of one chapter and the start of another.

A Minor Hiccup at the Airport

At the airport, there was a slight hiccup at the check-in counter. The staff member noticed my one-way ticket and asked about my return ticket. I explained my move to the U.S. for studying and living, backed by my I-551 visa, which allows me to live and work in the States for 10 years. There was a tense moment while he confirmed with his supervisor, but all was well just in time for departure.

Layover and Long Journey Ahead

My journey began with a brief stop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for an eight-hour layover, the longest I’ve ever had. It was an opportunity to explore King Fahd Airport, a small prelude to my big adventure. The long flight to the U.S. on a Boeing 777 was a mix of anticipation and restlessness, but after 14 hours, we landed in Virginia at 10 am local time.

First Steps in a New Land

Stepping out into the cold air of Virginia was surreal. It was a complete shift from what I was used to. My friend Yasmin and her little sister were waiting for me, offering a warm and familiar welcome to this new, unfamiliar world.


Embracing a New Beginning in Iowa

After spending two weeks in Virginia, adapting to the new environment, I headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to pursue my master’s degree. I arrived in Des Moines Airport, where Yasmin’s brother, Mohamed, picked me up for the drive to Cedar Rapids. We arrived late at night, and I went straight to bed, exhausted but eager for the new life that awaited me in the United States.

My first day in America was a whirlwind of emotions and experiences, a true reflection of the immigrant journey. It marked the start of a new chapter, filled with hopes, challenges, and endless possibilities. Join me as I share more about my life and experiences here in the U.S., offering insights and guidance for fellow immigrants on this shared journey.


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