“Memories are a collection of special moments that come together to tell our story. And the memories that were made on this trip will forever be a part of my story.”- Obiajulu Ogbo
Every single memory made from the trip even down to the ones leading up to the trip will forever be a part of my story. I remember the day that I received the acceptance email informing me that I was officially chosen for Trip of a lifetime 2016. It was after school and my friends and I were walking to get something to eat when I decided to check my email to my great surprise I was picked, I immediately started to freak out jumping up and down and hugging all my friends. After calming down I shared the news with everyone I knew while counting down the days to the kickoff meeting. When the day for the kickoff meeting finally arrived I could barely sleep the night before from all the excitement rushing through my bloodstreams. During the meets, all details of the trip were gone over by not only both Stan and his team but also some representatives of the travel program Rein Teen Tours. By the end of the meeting my feeling of excitement towards the trip were through the roof. The Meeting was so informative and inspiring that it made me want to spread the word of what a wonderful program this was even before I had even left for the trip. I couldn't help but feel that it was all too good to be true but I crossed my fingers and continued hoping for the best.
My nervousness didn't kick in until I was at the airport and had to say goodbye to my mother. I mean don't get me wrong I’ve gone away before but not for such a long period of time, and not without at least a couple of people that I knew. The only other person I knew was Jackie, an acquaintance from school, we shared a couple of classes together but we weren't so close. Pushing this thought aside I made my way through TSA. Wasting no time at all I began to introduce myself to people and before I knew it I made some friends while waiting to board the plane.
The plane ride to California was long and exhausting but I was entertained by one of my new friends Ben who so happened to be seated next to me. When we finally arrived we met up with the other groups, got on the coach bus and headed for the hotel. At the Hotel we played a series of icebreakers and before we knew it, it seems as if we knew one another previously rather than just a couple of hours. The rest of the trip was packed with fun-filled adventures and bonding with new friends. We did activities such as walked across the golden gate bridge, went water tubing, shopping, white water rafting and much more. From all these activities I would have to say my all-time favorite was my stay at Lake Tahoe. Merry, Jordyn, Jackie, Sydney, Melanie and myself had our very own cabin. We used our time at the cabin bonding over making dessert for a baking competition which was judged by our trip director, preparing lunch for our day at the beach, or simply just over drinking hot cocoa in our sweatshirts and pjs on the balcony talking about life.
Among the great adventures and memories made on this trip, I also learned more about the world and myself. I learned that anything is possible, only some have to work harder than other to achieve it, Also that I tend to take on roles of leadership because according to my friends since I was so responsible I was the mother of the group. This experience also made me realize that more kids should have the opportunity to travel out of their comfort zone because it really helps to build a person's character in areas of independence ,responsibility, and meeting new people of different backgrounds. And I think that if people are exposed to different cultures the world might just be a less ignorant place. Lastly, this trip strengthened my burning desire to travel and experience things out of my comfort zone. If there was a way that I could partake in this again I would be the first one on that list because I had so much fun.
With this opportunity that I was given, I plan on making an impact in my community by helping in encouraging kids my age or younger to never stop chasing their dream so they can grow up to help make a change in the world like this wonderful organization. And maybe sometime in the distant future, I could be one of the donors for this organization so that this program can continue giving kids a lifetime full of memories. Like the name of the program this trip was truly a trip of a lifetime and I will be forever grateful for being granted the opportunity to participate in the trip of a lifetime summer 2016.