This summer I was able to visit California and make new memories with new people and experience things that I’m unable to do in New York. I'm so thankful for Trip of a Lifetime because without this program I wouldn't be able to do some of the activities that we did in California
I wasn't as nervous to leave for two weeks because I've been away from family because of school trips. However, I was nervous because I get anxious when I'm by myself and I don't know anyone. On the flight I was extremely nervous because I sat next to Ethan, he was apart of the Rein Team Tour. However the whole flight we didn't speak so it was awkwardly silent between us.
When we arrived I had thought we were going to our hotel and just relax since we just got off a 6-hour flight. But nope that wasn't the case, Ryan, the leader of the trip took us to a conference room in the hotel where we would introduce ourselves and tell the other teens our name and where we are from and some of our interests. I was thankful for that because I didn't know how I was gonna introduce myself to the other teens. After introducing ourselves we head up to the hotel room where we would settle in and then head back down to head to our first restaurant of the trip. On the first day, I didn't really try anything new so I just kept it simple with chicken tenders and fries. But the portions over there are huge I got full quickly but the food was delicious. After eating we went bowling, and I wasn't a fan of bowling but it turned out to be fun because although I didn't know some of the people on the trip they were nice and motivated to keep on trying even though I lost by 14 points.
Honestly, I loved visiting Alcatraz, water tubing, rafting, and surfing. When we visited Alcatraz, it was freezing and all I had was a jean jacket but I loved being able to walk around the prison and just see some of the stuff the prisoners left behind and be able to walk where well-known prisoners like Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly used once walk upon. I loved how I was able to hear how the prisoners were treated or how some tried to escape and also hear about their escape plan or about the Battle of Alcatraz, which was one of the most violent escape attempt lead by Bernard Coy. I love visiting historical places. While we were in Lake Tahoe, which is beautiful, we went Tubing and Rafting. At first, I was scared because I had thought Tubing was something completely different than what it actually was, so when I saw a video of what we were going to do I kept psyching myself out. I had to wait because we were going in groups so we had to wait our turn. When it was my group turn I didn't go first, I had to see how it went for the other people. I went second to last, it was actually fun well when my face wasn't hitting the tube because of how fast the boat was going. As the boat kept going fast I was holding on like my life depended on it. I was glad that I went and that I made friends that pushed me out of my comfort zone because I almost didn't want to get on. Also in Lake Tahoe, we went Rafting, I went rafting before but I still had an amazing time and it wasn't the same like when I went rafting in Utah. We were rafting the American River and it had more ranges of difficulties than when I was in Utah. I got soaked but I loved it. And don't be fooled, it might look like the water wasn't deep because the water was clean and we could see the rocks but it was deep and I made that mistake. Our guide gave us the option of going in the water and I went in thinking it wasn't deep but it was but I hung on the side of the raft. Also in my other favorite activity, I was able to surf the waves of the Pacific Ocean. And I had a blast that I wanna go again. I was proud of myself because I’ve never surfed a day in my life and in my first try I stood up although I fell quickly afterward. The waves were huge as well so for me to stand and surf was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
I loved staying in the college dorms of the University of Santa Barbara. I roomed with a girl named Natalie. She was one of the four girls that I grew close with on the trip she made me smile and always seen the best of things on the trip. She didn't always complain about things like some of the girls on the trip. If I wanted a laugh I would go to her because she’d make these corny jokes but they were so funny. We’d stay up just talking about things and it's crazy because we come from different backgrounds but we managed to be friends and we still talk to this day I have her number and we talk.
For me on this trip, although it was an amazing experience, some of the people were ignorant. On the trip, I was the only latina, and Aria who was also on the same trip as me and is also apart of Trip of Lifetime was the only African American on the trip and the rest of the people were whites. And some of the things that were said on the trip I hope people as they grow up realize that the things that they say have an effect on people. A boy who was apart of the trip was saying very inappropriate things about gay people, I couldn’t let him say those stuff because I support the LGBTQ community. It was sad that I was the only one who said anything to the boy because I was getting offended by his comment but I hope in the future the counselors do something about things like that because I feel like nothing was being done about the boy saying those offensive comments.
Honestly, I see myself working for Rein Teen Tours only to better things and also with Trip of a Lifetime because with this program it diverses the Teen Tour more and I feel like that is much needed in the world. People need to be more open minded and see that other people don't have it the same as others. Some people struggle to get things that others might get without even struggling.