Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

Dallas Gillison

Summer 2012

When I applied to trip of a life time I thought it was going to be an amazing experience and it was. Inside my head I kept wondering about the people I was going to meet. I also kept thinking to myself how I am going to feel when I’m away for three exciting weeks away from home. And was a little nervous to go on the teen tour because I didn’t know anyone but I knew that I was going to make new friends along the way.

     One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was camping and hiking in Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon. Even though it was a tiring experience. The landscape and the scenery made a huge impact on me being from NYC you don’t often get such vivid natural beauty that involves around preserve landscape. While hiking, climbing up the Grand and Zion canyons I encountered some campers who were terrified of heights and with the  assistance of two of my friends I was able to motivate the campers who were scared and told them to push on and don’t give up. One of the other reasons why camping was one of my favorite parts of the trip was because that first week out in the field I gotten the opportunity to get to know everyone of my fellow campers and my amazing counselor through ice breakers to helping one another by putting up tents, and preparing meals.

     In the second week, I had absolutely an amazing time in Las Vegas. My friends and I were always trying do something fun and crazy. We went to the Monte Carlo resort and dance at the wave pool and played beach volley ball European athletes we met. I was given a luxury tour of the newyork-newyork resort. Which had a huge roller coaster; I also got the chance to take pictures with show girls on the Vegas strip like in one of those old casino movies. Another major city was Los Angeles and it was also one of my other major favorites because we got to go to Disneyland and universal studios in the west coast at which I always wanted to do since I was in grade school. One of my exciting moments in LA is staying at the dorms. I believe help prep me to the whole college environment were I’m leaving to next year. One of the typical days while we were in LA me and my friends were hungry so we decided to eat out in one of the local restaurants but try something new of course. That was when we found this insane old looking exotic restaurant where we all decide to give it a try. At this restaurant they served different various of food or should I say “creatures” that seemed popular to eat in other cultures/ethnic backgrounds around the world. I had the pleasure of eating rattlesnake meatballs with BBQ scorpions with the side order of onion rings. Two of my friends had the same dish as me while the other one had fried snails with a salad. That restaurant was truly a life changing experience for me.

     White water rafting was one of the best experiences I ever done in my life. It was a cold and soggy day and no one was looking forward to getting wet in the freezing river that was up ahead for us but the guides at the WWR told us that the winning team gets a big surprise and we were all put in groups of eight and luckily for my team we had a amazing guide who was a ex Vietnam and Korean war veteran and has 25 years of WWR under his belt. Through the white water course we became a unit with one determination and that was to win. After rafting for over 5 hours and traveling about 20 to 25 mi upstream we were near the finish line that was when me and my team realize we past all the other teams and guides and we made it to the finish lines. At that point we were all very excited and hungry. After docking the raft along the shore line we walked up the hillside to the site were the group is suppose to meet after finishing rafting. And we walked to that site like champions waiting to claim our prize but when we arrived on the site we only spotted jars or containers of homemade sandwiches, so we just decided to take a few and wait for the other teams to arrive. We later found out that the guides so call surprise was just some bluff and’ if we did want some sort of award then it’s being able to eat first before the other groups’ one of them said. Me and my team were happy about this to a certain extent because we were able to eat first but I couldn’t say so for the other campers and guides!

     There were so many things I did on the trip but didn’t tell much in the essay. For instances we went to the beach for the first time throughout trip and I jumped in head first to the freezing water which I didn’t mind much since I life guard and I’m use to cold water. On that same day at the beach I learned how to pro surf even though I wasn’t that good at it. Another one was when I went water skiing and wake boarding in Lake Tahoe that was truly an amazing experience for anyone who loves water sports.

     Thanks trip of a life time because of you I got to meet new people and explore new places. This trip was truly one of the best summers in my life. This trip taught me how beautiful and amazing life is and that you should always enjoy it to the fullest. This trip gave me the motivation to inspire those around me and those of my community, those who I will meet in the future. I would like to deeply thank you for allowing me to go on California caper 2 and paying for all my expenses I believe one day you’re organization will bring a change for all NYC inner school kids.

Photos from Dallas' Trip

  • 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

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    “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

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    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    Jennifer

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