” You can’t add more days to your life, but you can add more life to your days”– Francisco
Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed the Disney movie Aladdin. My favorite scene is when Aladdin and Jasmine are singing A Whole New World. To this day, it is my favorite Disney song because of the emotion and passion delivered by Jasmine even through animation. The joy on her face when she finally steps out of her comfort zone into a world of unknown and beauty opened my heart to travel. Traveling to a new place can be very exciting while as causing unnecessary nerves. The constant wondering if you forgot to pack something important or anxiety building up until takeoff. Try adding on that you are going to a different continent without any sort of parental figure for the first time. That was me 5 years ago when I went on a trip with my high school to Ireland, Wales, England and France.
I was nervous about everything: sitting on the plane as I only knew a 3 people out of 150 on the trip, the flight, the airline losing my luggage, going to a new place and the unknown. I even lost my phone on the first day and got it back later thankfully. I spent the first day and a half worrying about everything going wrong that I was starting to miss everything that was happening around me. I stressed myself so much that I forgot my cellphone in the bathroom of the airport in Ireland. Trying to control and overthink everything caused me to not enjoy the first moments of my trip. Once I finally stopped trying to control everything, I began to enjoy myself. I have some of the best memories at the Eiffel, the Louvre, going to Shakespeare reenactment in England, and catching my own fish for dinner in Ireland. I even made a group of friends on the trip and we went on to be close for the rest of high school. From my first trip, I learned that bumps are going to happen along the way and you either let them trip you or you can jump over them.
While cleaning my room the other day, I came across a journal that I hadn’t seen in a long time. My mom gave me it before my trip so that I could document all the fun things that I did on my trip. I didn’t realize how grateful I would be for this journal until I found it years later. Hearing my 17-year-old voice through my writing caused me to remember events that I had forgotten about. My goal for this trip is to live in the moment and to not be afraid of trying new things. The opportunity to travel is a gift and not everybody is fortunate enough to experience it. For 10 days, I will explore the famous aspects of Paris, France, the French Provence Arles and Avignon, and Barcelona, Spain. I’m really excited to see France again from an older perspective and to see Spain for the first time. I’m so excited to document my experiences through this blog. Be prepared to read about my site seeing, trying new foods and wine, finding hidden gems and exploring the go to spots that the locals visit. Every day is a chance to have a new adventure. For the next 10-12 days, I will explore, witness and appreciate new cultures. I can’t wait to see the Eiffel tower lit up at night, to constantly be eating pastries and bread, to experience the beautiful and timeless cathedrals and museum artwork, and to have the trip of a lifetime with some of my closest friends.
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