taniya gayle



When I first saw the big posters and little flyers around my school that said “Trip of a Lifetime: Travel somewhere this summer for free”, I was immediately interested. I had always wanted to travel somewhere for fun and for a vacation that wasn’t just to a relatives house that was out of state. Fast forward two weeks and there’s and information session held after school that’s expected to last 45 minutes. The turnout was depressing. Including myself, only 7 students from the entire school attended. From this pocket sized gathering I was slightly reluctant to stay for the meeting myself since very few were actually interested. Despite the overwhelming hesitancy, I stayed for the meeting and I was pleasantly surprised. I learned about the different types of trips that were available and I saw many destinations that I’ve only seen in movies and never thought I’d get to go to. Fast forward again but about two months ahead and I’m opening an email from my homeroom teacher and writing teacher. They’re excited and used about 10 exclamation points saying how happy they were and how excited about my acceptance they were. From that I gathered that I was accepted even though I had not received an acceptance email from the program yet. About two hours later on the same day I got the email, and I felt nothing but joy.

Some of my favorite places that I visited were the Canyons Park CIty Resort, Scottsdale Resort in Arizona, Lake Tahoe, and the Circus Center in San Francisco. I enjoyed these destinations the most because we got a lot of free time to explore and to do what we found appealing. Especially Lake Tahoe, despite my tubing disaster, the natural beauty of the destination was simply breathtaking. Also, the resorts I stayed at had very nice pools that allowed me to relax especially when they were completely desolate on 109 degree days. Some challenges I encountered on this trip were finding something to do with leftovers from meals and getting over feeling bad about not being able to eat everything and feeling that I wasn’t wasting. Eventually I realized that we never stayed in one place long enough to to keep food for a different occasion and that over time it would just accumulate and go to waste anyway.

What I learned from my trip is that this truly was a trip of a lifetime, because I likely won’t ever get to revisit these destinations that I got to go to and that its always best to savor the good rather than dwell on the bad. In order to try and make a difference in my community I will try to raise awareness for this program itself so that many more students will take a risk and apply for a trip that will likely take them out of their comfort zone but will help them to grow as a person as it has helped me to accomplish. Hopefully in the near future a lot more people from my neighborhood will apply and get the same opportunities that I have gotten and that they will help them grow as it has helped me to.