Growing Up, then Back Down Again - My Family Travels

I did it! I did it! I convinced my parents to send their fifteen year old daughter to Europe! I couldn’t believe it!  It was all really happening; the luggage, the tickets, the passport, I was on my way to England, France, and Italy with my drama troupe! 

I lay in bed all night awake, practically shaking with anticipation. When my mother came into my room to wake me up, I bolted out of bed and ran out to the car. Only a few hours later I was kissing my family good bye as I boarded the plane that I believed would somehow magically transform me into an adult. As the plane started rumbling, and getting ready for take off, I grabbed my best friend, Raechel’s hand and braced our selves for the adventure that awaited us.

We were sure that when the plane touched down in London, we would no longer be screaming teenage girls, but sophisticated women who have traveled abroad.Our first day in London was unforgettable. A rain storm broke a week long heat wave, and Raechel and I were convinced it was our lucky touch that had relieved the city from it’s exhausting temperatures. Of course we did all the touristy things, but doing them on our own, we felt independent, and unstoppable!

Our next stop on our two week excursion was Paris. Paris was magical; and all of the vintage clothing stores seemed promising. Raechel and I strolled into every one, tried on two hundred dollar dresses and giggled as we day dreamed of actually buying them, all the while feeling self-sufficient strolling down strange city streets, trying to speak in foreign languages and being our own guardians. The experience was liberating and I couldn’t imagine going back home to rules and the monotony of suburbia. However, this feeling quickly faded when a sudden pang for my own bed came over me when I saw my room on the train from Paris to Italy.

It was a five foot by six foot room with six tiny bunk beds. Even though the five other girls I was sharing my small quarters with were my friends, I certainly longed for my own space. When in Italy, my drama troupe and I were enjoying the lovely sights of Florence. While we were walking down the street a strange man grabbed me and licked my ear! I hastily opened up the wet nap I had teased my mother for packing in my phanny pack, that she said was ‘in case of emergencies’. I was so grateful that even though my mother wasn’t vacationing with me, she had already anticipated all of my needs.

Finally after seeing the breathtaking island of Capri, and two weeks of remarkable memories it was time to fly home. I was sad to leave, knowing that my life would go back to normal when I returned to my safe home. On our final flight home, the pilot made an announcement that the air traffic towers at LAX had failed and we were unable to land in San Diego! Our teacher said not to worry that we would be landing in Los Angeles.

I had a personal dilemma however, my father, who lives in Los Angeles, was driving down to San Diego to pick me up. I quickly called him on the air plane using my nearly exhausted credit card. I told him to turn around; we would be landing in Los Angeles. He informed me he was already in San Diego, but would turn around right away. My nerves had calmed a little, until three hours later when the pilot announced ‘Good news! We’re landing in San Diego!’ All of my classmates cheered as I felt my stomach drop. I had to, yet again call my father and tell him to turn around once more.

It was at this moment I started crying saying ‘I want my daddy’ over and over again. The mature adult I thought I had become, faded quicker than it had come. When we eventually landed in San Diego, I was the first one off the plane. I carried my luggage down through the gate, and then I saw my dad. My bags hit the floor as I rushed into his arms with tears streaming down my face.’I missed you, babe’ he said, to which I replied ‘You have no idea.’

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