I was honestly dreading the day when I would have go to Europe for two weeks. It wasn’t that I was nervous but more of the fact that I assumed that I wouldn’t make any friends. I was going on a travel abroad program, and the people I saw prior to the flight at meetings had nothing in common with me, but I wanted to revisit Europe. I was afraid I’d be alone the whole trip, but the friends I made were one of the best people I’ve ever met. My friends on the trip stayed with me through the hardships and to this day we still hang out, despite the fact that we live quite a distance from each other.
The idea of Europe conjures up the image of a luxurious vacation, but the program I went on was tougher than you would think. Everyone was constantly tired and hungry, and the fact that the American dollar was so weak didn’t help us. The most memorable night was in England, where we survived a night at WarwickCastle. It was freezing in the tents as the rain dripped through the holes in the canvas, and you would assume that peacocks were quiet, but they wouldn’t shut up. It was, however, a fun experience because we were able to “battle” each other with swords, and we were privileged to be able to stay in such an ancient structure. We even met delegates from different states who were staying there at the same time as we were.
We had four delegation leaders, but two of them were uptight. There was a day when they tried to separate the girls from the boys, saying that girls were “pink”, boys were “blue”, and there was to be no “purple”. That didn’t last long, however, as many of the guys and girls were friends. Although the sites of England were fascinating, my friends and I liked to go around by ourselves at night and explore on our own. I wanted to see the country through a local’s eyes. The European teenagers were friendly to us and even showed us around one night. We had a very chill leader named Alex. He was British, young, and very cute. Although he looked responsible and very grown-up, I was able to really to get to know his fun, immature side. He would talk to me about his feelings and impressions on everyone, and he was a really cool guy to hang out with. After the first half of the week, there was some conflict, as we were spending practically every hour with each other, and nerves were being grated. One of my friend and I were angry at each other over nothing, but towards the end of the trip, we made up. Although we couldn’t make up for our lost time, we had preserved our tight bond. The most important thing I learned on the trip wasn’t trivial facts, but to appreciate people for who they are and to learn how to apologize because pride isn’t worth losing a friendship over, and also, despite different origins, teenagers from every where just want to have fun. I came on the trip introverted and frightened, but I came back confident and gregarious. The people I’ve met still play an important role in my life, and although two weeks doesn’t seem like much, the experiences we’ve gone through makes seem as if we’ve known one another so much longer.
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