Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

Cheyenne Nelson

Cheyenne Nelson

When I was accepted to Trip of a Lifetime, I was ecstatic! Since I found out while I was in school. I started running in the halls screaming “I made it! I made it!”. I was so happy and my guidance counselors were happy for me too.

I had read the email from TOAL saying that there would be a celebration, I didn’t think that they would have it for us in the the penthouse of a beautiful, huge midtown building. It even had a huge fish tank of tropical fish! During the celebration Stan talked to us about what to expect during the trip and it made me even more excited for the trip.

I hadn’t been in a plane since I was 4 years old and I didn’t remember any turbulence back then so I was terrified when the plane started shaking. I was so scared that I froze and started thinking of what’s going to happen if we crash and I end up on a deserted island like in Lost. Would I have to make an S.O.S. Signal for a plane to see me? Or would I have to forage for food in the trees and brush? Thankfully, we made a safe landing and I didn’t end up on a scary deserted island. To my surprise, we all had reception out there so I was grateful that I could call my mother and tell her what was going on out in Costa Rica.

Touring in Costa Rica really made me think about my home in New York. I’m so used to the hustle and bustle of the city. People shouting, cars honking, loud trains, there was none of that out there. It was really, really, really quiet. All you heard was the birds chirping and the bees buzzing. At first, it was a little unsettling but I eventually got used to it.

The first week was great. It was more than great. It was amazing! White water tubing, volcano hikes, raft touring; I had never done any of that before in my life, so I was excited. Never have I ever thought that I was going to flip off a tube and flow down a Costa Rican ravine. But the best part was all of the stray dogs out there! I love dogs! I spend a lot of my time petting all of the I met and giving them love. Especially Gina the dog at the animal sanctuary, Proyecto Asis. Too bad we had to give her a bath, poor Gina.

The second week unfortunately, I was homesick to the max. It was expected but it hit me hard. Like really hard. I cried three days out of that week while on the phone with my mom and was really sad when I didn’t have anything to occupy my time. But, when I was distracted I had a lot of fun with the stuff we did. Like water repelling! It was so much fun! It was really funny when our spotter pulled us into the waterfall and got us soaked.

  • testimonialImg
    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."
    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."

    Alphonso

  • testimonialImg
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”

    Selina

  • testimonialImg
    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."
    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."

    Madelyn

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