Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

Evelyn Pacheco

Summer 2011

The three weeks I spent away from home are three weeks I will always remember. It was literally a trip of a lifetime, not soon forgotten. This experience brought me new friends, endless laughs, and memories that will stay with me. The people there were incredibly nice and the counselors made my first day away from home bearable. Regardless of a little homesickness, I had the best time. Since this experience my life will forever change, in a good way, because I’ve seen things people never saw. I also experienced things I never dreamed of like white water rafting, ziplining, and doing a ropes course. Those three weeks increased my love of traveling and helped me grow as a person.

     My first week was spent in Utah and Arizona and mostly camping. For my first time camping, I had a great time. It is something I would do again (and it is also something to check off my bucket list). I love the outdoors and camping was practically made for me. I had a good time climbing a trail on the Grand Canyon; although it was tiring, the views were literally breathtaking. I took so many pictures my camera died. Camping was enjoyable as well as my favorite part, especially the icebreakers. In Zion, Utah we got to know each other one night in our campsite. We played an icebreaker game, talked to the neighboring campsite – a school of kids , sat by the campfire, and had smores.

     In the second week, we had some fun hotels and utilized the sun. We were always doing something exciting. In Las Vegas, we went to this family oriented hotel – New York New York and rode a roller coaster there. I have never been on a roller coaster before so going on that one was a huge deal for me. We also went to a mall there; it sold a bunch of strange and funny things like ring watches and shirts with funny sayings. Another major stop on my tour was Los Angeles which lasted three days. It was cool to see famous people being ordinary and living their lives. San Diego brought us fun as well. We went to the San Diego zoo one day and saw bundles of animals on a tour. I never get tired of going to the zoo.

     In the third week, we went to a bunch of old favorites like Six Flags, Disneyland, and Universal Studios. At Universal, I went into a haunted house, the Mummy ride, the Simpson’s simulation ride, and the Universal Studio’s tour with the King Kong 4D Movie. After, we went to Bubba Gump Restaurant for dinner. The next day we headed to Disneyland. To tell the truth, the Disney in Florida is better because it has more thrill and less lines. Don’t get me wrong, the riders were fun but I felt they were more family oriented. On one of the last few days, we went to Six Flags; we went on a few rides but we saw their animals – dolphins, porcupines, snakes, possums, and dogs. I got a picture with the dolphin and she felt soft. We also went to a  jail called Alcatraz off the San Francisco Bay. It was slightly disturbing and incredibly creepy.

     There were so many things I did but didn’t tell about in this essay. For instance, we went to the beach for the first time in the whole trip and the first thing I did was test out the water. Although it was cold, I didn’t mind since I love the water. On that trip to the beach, we learned to surf and I wasn’t half bad. The second time, we went to Lake Tahoe to go tubing. We spent nearly six hours at that cold freshwater lake. The water was freezing because it came from the melted snow on the mountain tops. Tubing was incredible but the driver was freaking me out because I told him I have never been tubing. The day after tubing, we left to go whitewater rafting which was both fantastic and a funny experience. It was funny because our instructor fell out of the raft during a rapid and I willingly went into the water and swam a little. We also did a whole bunch of normal things that I don’t do very often like go bowling, see a movie, laser tag, tennis, ropes course, and etcetera.

     I would like to dedicate a paragraph to thanking you for giving me this opportunity in the first place. Without Trip of a Lifetime, I would have not been able to see the other side of the United States. I had the best time and you guys brought me one step closer toward my goal. I would like to deeply thank you for allowing me to go on California Caper 2 and paying for all of my expenses. Your organization is stupendous and I hope you guys don’t stop changing the lives of inner-city school kids. Thanks to you, I get to add four states to the list of states I have been to, which totals 16 plus Washington DC. To honor your organization and to thank you immensely, I wear my Trip of a Lifetime wristband everyday since the day.

  • 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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    "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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