Alexa Rivera

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This experience was so amazing, it changed me as a student as well as an individual. It all started at the airport. As soon as I stepped into the airport I was excited, amazed and nervous all at the same time. I had never been to an airport, never had the resources to travel. I was confident that I would make new friends, but I was extremely nervous about the unexpected.

At the kickoff event, I had the opportunity to meet other students. I met Marwa and Brianna, both girls shared similar fears to the ones I had, they expressed the same excitement, and like me, they were also fortunate to be Trip of a Lifetime ambassadors. Although these were my new friends, I felt as if I came face to face with myself. We had so much in common and the encounter felt as if we were old friends, reacquainting.

Prior to getting on the plane, my new friends and I joined together in the airport. After we passed through the security area, there were no parents allowed, freedom at last, I thought to myself. When I boarded the plane I felt different emotions run through me. As the plane took off and I looked out the window I remember saying, “Oh my, this is unbelievable, it’s completely surreal!” My new friends sat beside me, also excited and in disbelief. When we landed in Phoenix, Arizona I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. For the first time I saw palm trees, desserts, and I had to get use to the change in time. It was amazing to actually see and experience things that I had only seen in movies and in video games.

When I joined my assigned group, I noticed that my peers were very friendly, and like me, they were all eager to make friends and have a great time. While in Phoenix, we made a visit to see the Arizona Diamond Backs, the Wet n’ Wild Water Park, and we went ice-skating. The hotel stays were a dream come true. The hotel rooms were comfortable and they felt like home, but better. We stayed in Phoenix for two days and after, we made our way to Flagstaff, Arizona for another two days.