Aria Manley

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Trip of A Lifetime: Trip Reflection

Thank you Trip of A Lifetime and Rein Tours for allowing me to attend this teen tour. I was honored to attend the California Cruzin’ trip this summer. During these two weeks, I learned many things about myself and was able to get out of my comfort zone, which was a goal of mine. I also learned how to work well with others and how to be more independent.

It was very nerve wracking for me to jump into a trip with complete strangers. I was nervous to being the minority instead of the majority. Being around people who looked different from the majority of which I am usually around, and of whom come from a wealthy background made me anxious. I had to step back and realize that many of the students were not much different from me, but just lived differently. This was a major culture shock, but I was able to get out of my comfort zone and have an amazing time. I was able to work around the culture shock that I was experiencing being one of the two people of color on my trip by making new friends and having fun. I really made some close friends during this trip, especially since it was with peers instead of a family vacation. This trip pushed me to learn how to get along with people who have different beliefs and a range of personalities. I have realized that the world is made up of several types of people who I have to learn to tolerate by using the utmost amount of self-control to deal with ignorance. I hope to be able to travel in the future to help spread knowledge, break the stereotypes, and learn how to handle different types of people.

This trip allowed me to visit California’s well known places and sights and be apart of adventurous activities. I really enjoyed going white water rafting, water tubing, surfing, riding cable cars, and attending the Improv comedy club. I was nervous to try ocean and river kayaking, but I faced my fear trying something new and adventurous. I was also extremely grateful to have the opportunity to go to both Disney and Universal Studios theme parks, especially since this trip was already so event filled and expensive. Being able to go on the Universal Studios Tour was one of the major highlights of this trip. Most people can only dream of going to a few of the places I was allowed to visit, which is why I am so grateful for this opportunity. During this trip I was also able to venture out and try many different foods since we were allowed to buy our own lunch every day. I figured out that I enjoy eating salads and shrimp tacos, which I had several times during my trip. I really enjoyed the independence that this trip gave me when venturing out to find food instead of always being in one large group. I also realized that character is an immense part of being a respected person of society, especially when adults aren’t around. I attained the knowledge that not everyone is taught the proper personality traits it takes to be a young adult, and am very much pleased and aware of how lucky I am to attend KIPP. They have taught me the needed personality traits of a kind and well mannered person to gain respect and trust of others.

This trip makes me want to travel even more than I had wanted to in the past. I have a passion for travel and want to be able to experience all of the amazing wonders of the world and its people. I am really fascinated in traveling to Africa at some point in my life and this trip inspired me to travel there even more. I was allowed to travel for two weeks on an eventful trip and participate in a wide range of activities, which pushes me to want to explore what the world has to offer. This trip allowed me to be apart of activities that pushed me to expand my horizons and be even more adventurous.

This trip was not only fun but it was also an amazing learning experience for myself and my peers. While writing this essay, I became aware of all the amazing opportunities I was presented with while on this trip and I am very thankful for this opportunity and this program. I wish I could afford to go on another trip like this in the future, but maybe I will fundraise to attend a community service trip next summer. I would really like to be able to intern and get involved with TOAL in the future. This is a wonderful program and I support the idea and effort in allowing teens to travel especially when they can't afford to otherwise.