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The Trip of My Life:

This summer I was given the wonderful opportunity to travel outside of NYC for free through the Trip of a Lifetime scholarship. I was placed in the teen tour Western Adventure 1 where I was able to travel and discover the western part of the US in a month-long trip. When I first applied to Trip of a Lifetime, I thought it was too good to be true and I was dubious that I would actually be able to earn a scholarship. However, I nonetheless gave it a chance because if the case were that I would actually be able to earn a scholarship, I would have one of the best summers of my life without having to burden my parents with the issue of money and expenses. After some time, I remember getting an email informing me that I have been accepted for a scholarship for Trip of a Lifetime and soon after I was told my trip placement. The moment I looked up my trip itinerary was surreal. I remember that the first thing I saw after the trip description, without meaning to, was the cost. I was shocked at how expensive it was and wondered how did I manage to get such an amazing opportunity. Right after I read all about the trip on the trip itinerary and was so excited because the trip combined all the places I have ever wanted to go to as a child into one trip, plus many extra things. That night, I remember spending about an hour reading about the trip, and then rereading and failing to believe that this was true. It all seemed like a fantasy.

The day to leave came and I remember still being in a daze. I still couldn’t believe that I was leaving home and that I would be going to so many new places with people that I did not know. I remember feeling a little worried thinking about the concept of making friends and fitting in with the other kids, as I knew that the reality was that these kids were in a much higher economic status than me. I felt both excited yet disappointed that I would be missing my sister’s birthday and I wouldn’t be able to see my parents and family for a month. That day was really interesting. We all got to know each other better as a group and we were all creating friendships. We started out with camping, so we also got our first taste of our “western adventure” experience.

If I were to choose one specific place, event or day as my favorite part of the trip, I would not be able to. I feel that this trip was simply amazing in everything and the places we went to was so amazing that it would be impossible to just choose one part of the trip that was my favorite. Out of the many states that we visited, I feel like Wyoming was the most beautiful state. Everything there was so untouched by the modern industries that allowed Wyoming to have so many beautiful parts of nature left. The views there were amazing and they looked like scenes from a magazine, making everything feel so magical. I definitely believe that Wyoming is one of the most underrated states in the US.

I really also enjoyed Mount Rushmore and the ceremony we attended there. It was beautiful to see the sculpted out faces of four of our previous presidents in person, after of always looking at this image online or on TV. Being there in person was an amazing chance for me and this experience was made better with the ceremony that we attended that day on our visit to Mount Rushmore. We were able to attend a ceremony that not only explained how the faces were carved out, but also why these four presidents were chosen. Furthermore, the ceremony honored the people and families of people who were enlisted in the US military in any sort of way. This was really touching to see, so many people being honored for their hard work and sacrifice when enlisting in the military to serve our country.

The last place that stood out to me the most was Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon was amazing in the sense that it was unique. I really enjoyed the way that Bryce Canyon looked because it had so many unique structures and colors that wouldn’t be seen just anywhere. The hike that we took there really helped me enjoy the experience and appreciate a new type of environment that was new to me.

On this trip, I feel that I have become more social and introduced to different lifestyles. I felt that many of the kids on my trip were used to a different lifestyle than I was, causing their opinions and attitudes to be different than mine. However, after spending so much time with these kids, I slowly was able to see how despite our different lifestyles, we all were similar in the idea that we all have struggles, and hopes and feelings. Through this trip, not only did I have an amazing experience, but I learned how to be more open minded about others and this allowed me to be able to compromise more and generally become a better person. I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered.