The Trip of a Lifetime

I eagerly pushed the door open to the library as I was met with a sea of faces of those who I had never seen, sprinkled in with the sparse amount faces I already knew.

I quickly checked in with a teacher as I rushed to go sit in the nearest seat possible.

Maybe I am making a mistake, I thought, going on a trip half-way around the world with a bunch of people I have never spoken with…I was anxious to say the least.

Lost in deep thought, I heard a familiar voice call out to me and along with that voice, a face I recognized. A few people I knew and were friendly with had sat down next to me, and I immediately felt at ease.

Though this was only the first out of a handful of meetings to prepare a group of 147 students for a two-week excursion around the country of Spain, I was already hypothesizing how I was going to spend it alone.

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The sun began to beat down on my back, scorching my skin through my shirt; I lazily pulled out a hand fan I had bought from a Salamanca gift shop. I started to beat the fan with all the strength I had, as a tour guide let us down the streets of Toledo.

As we arrived at our first cathedral for the day, I eagerly ran inside to enjoy the spoils of the air conditioning. To enjoy the fresh, artificial air that an AC unit produced may seem so insignificant, but it was moments like these that made me appreciative of the gift of life I was given.

Here I was, thousands of miles away from home, introduced to the beauty of a country I had never even given a second thought of traveling to before this trip.

I had experienced moments, that if I had not lived out in Spain, I never would have gotten to achieve. I would have never been able to buy a sword custom made with the extensive steel folding process, known only to the home of Toledo. I never would have met the people I was so lucky to have met through this trip.

Before Spain, I have always considered myself to be an introverted extrovert, I want to be outgoing and friendly, but often lack the courage to put myself out there. It was here that I learned how important it is to advocate for yourself, no matter how anxious it may make me to speak up for myself and what I need.

I realized that only I have the power to help myself. Though this is just one lesson out of so many learned on a two-week trip, this is my most cherished.

Exploring a foreign land with people I had not been friends with prior to this trip, was what I needed to break myself out of my head.

For I will be going on my own adventure to a foreign land with people I had never met, as I will take my next step closer to living in the real world, as I will be graduating from this chapter of my life, and moving on to a new life at college.

Without the experience of Spain, I wouldn’t have met the people—who I undoubtedly would have never spoke to without the intervention of this trip—and made the memories that will always have a special place in my heart.