Fatou Tambadou

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Seeing the same people & doing the same thing every summer may seem boring. Well, I can tell you that it is boring. My summer always consisted of staying home and waiting for the next school year to start. That somehow changed. I chose the right day to log onto Facebook and I just so happen to see that my long time friend, who is indeed a traveler, has posted about an opportunity. Being that I never had an exciting summer, I asked her about the program. It happened to be Trip of A Lifetime. So I did some research and told my parents about it. They said, "I think you should apply, it seems like a great opportunity." So I applied and honestly forgot that I did.

Until one day I checked my email and saw that I was moved up to the final round. The interview process was amazing and I got accepted. I went to the Kick off meeting and I felt excitement as I thought about how close my trip is, the plane rides, and all the people I will be meeting. I was also really nervous because I've never been away from home.

On July 8th, I was so nervous about my 1st plane ride. I didn't even think about what's to come after. After the scary yet fun yet tiring ride, we finally arrived and I was kind of quiet and sat by myself most of the day. I really didn't know how to strike off a conversation. I didn't even take the chance to think about how the rest of the trip will go because I was worried about the plane ride. Well later on that day, we went bowling in Salt Lake City, Utah, I started to talking to some of the other girls and everyone was really nice and welcoming.

On the Second day I made 4 new friends. These girls were amazing people. We were all different but yet still had a connection. From that day on, we done everything together. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, hiked the Grand Canyon, stayed at a resort in Las Vegas and a condo in Lake Tahoe, California, went to the movies in LA and also went bowling. Along the way we met 3 guys, who have also been with us throughout the trip. These exceptional people have made my trip worthwhile. We shared many laughs, arguments, inside jokes, learned new games, and even cried a bit. These people became my family away from home.

On our last 10 days, we stayed at University of California, Santa Barbara. We stayed at dorms and kind of felt the college life. When the day started we volunteered for 4 hours at the Unity shoppe. I personally felt that was an amazing experience because we got to help out people that came from low income backgrounds. Seeing the smiles on their faces was worth the hard work. Later on in the day we went to the Beach and had fun in the Santa Barbara waves. The food was really great. Overall Santa Barbara was great.