Kiara Soto

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An unforgettable experience

Summer 2017 has to be without a doubt the best summer ever. I am a teenage girl that loves to travel, and I always love to try new things. This summer, Trip of a Lifetime gave me the chance to experience traveling to a whole new level. I joined the trip Western Adventure(1) with Rein Teen Tours, and I have to say that it has been an unforgettable adventure. I been given the opportunity to try new things such as tubing, surfing, and even hiking in amazing places that took my breath away, literally, but completely worth it. My western adventure started on a plane that went from New York to the beautiful state of Colorado. I honestly never saw myself going to Colorado in the future but guess what? I did, and it was the best way to start my summer. I started being shy at first, which to me was weird since I consider myself an outgoing person. Once we got to denver and we gathered with the other side of the group, things started to change. The beginning is always the hardest part, but it only gets better from there on, as long as you make it better.

Out of all the the places we visited, and all the things we did I have to say that my favorite experience was from a late night in Vegas(NV) to a late second night in San Diego(CA). Why? Because That’s where I spent my birthday! That’s right, my birthday lasted three nights and two days. Rein Teen Tours really made my birthday special, the staff, the people, everything was too good to be true; but it was. It was my first time being away from home in such a special date, and I slowly started to get a little homesick; it was tough to handle my emotions at the moment, but eventually things got better. The new friends I made on the trip managed to make my birthday special and put a smile on my face throughout the whole time.

My 17th birthday started on a late night in Vegas, with a delicious dinner with my new close group of friends. Then, it moved on to a fabulous view from the High Roller (2nd highest ferris wheel). Finally, after quite a long walk through the brightly lit up streets in Vegas we arrived to our hotel, The Luxor. The next day, I was officially 17! And ready to be in a bus for at least six hours. It was a travel day, and we were on our way to San Diego. One of my biggest surprises was in the bus, where my counselors had separated my favorite seat and was able to travel like a princess. Most of my day was spent in our tour bus but like I said, it only gets better. At night I had an official birthday dinner with the same group of friends as before in an italian restaurant, and when I least expected it my tour director and one of my friends appeared out of nowhere with a box full of macarons filled with different types of ice cream for my whole table. I was so shocked and emotional after such a kind gesture, also embarrassed since I was still chewing on my pasta. The part that really meant the most is the fact that my tour director, and friends found out that I love ice cream cake and did everything they could to find one. After singing Happy Birthday, and paying the bill, we were on our way to go laser tagging. It was such a fun experience, and a great way to end my night. The next morning after breakfast we got in the bus and the balloons, and Happy Birthday sign were still up, and my seat was still reserved. It felt like my birthday never ended, so I kept celebrating by simply having fun. We were on our way to the beach for surfing lessons. I always had a great fear for the ocean, but I didn’t let it stop my fun. I was asked if I wanted to take the surfing lessons and I agreed. It was the BEST experience of my life! It took so many tries to stand on the board but once I was able to stand on it I felt no fear. I felt the wind and adrenaline in my body, such a unique feeling. Now,I’ll definitely try to do it again in the future. After surfing we went back to the hotel, to simply find out that we had no activities planned until that night. I was able to spend the whole day going back and forth from a jacuzzi to a pool, simply tanning, relaxing, and swimming. Who could’ve asked for a better birthday, Am I right?. That day, all of us ended up with a beautiful tan, some more than others, but in general we all had horrible burns, really painful. Anyways, that night we got ready to go to dinner as a group to an italian restaurant, and guess what? It was another camper's birthday, and the staff arranged everything so at the end of our dinner her and I would get a small cake and the whole restaurant sang to us. It was unbelievable, and a birthday I’ll never forget.

I made so many memories, and friends on this trip. I was part of so many adventures that helped me discover new parts of me. This teen tour helped me experience full on independence, and helped me grow a sense of responsibility, as an upcoming senior these are skills that I’ll definitely need in the future. I love taking pictures and videos, but most of the time I decided to live in the moment. Now, I will always look back, and say I had the trip of a lifetime...