Teen Travel essay - My Family Travels

As I look at my life which in my opinion has been blessed, I must say that no matter how rough things seem at times, I look at the big picture and realize how lucky I am. I have traveled to many places near and far. I have been privileged enough to have traveled to Europe numerous times and have seen the many beauties of Italy and France. I believe that at this tumultuous age, it is extremely hard to see the bigger picture in life. The reason I believe that I’m able to see the big picture is because I had the chance to see my roots and the origin of my family.

When I first arrived in my family’s country of origin which is Italy, a feeling of nostalgia and overwhelming excitement ran through my body. After several hours of driving to the small rural town my family is from we pulled up to the house surrounded by farmland and mountains, I felt I was home. However, at the young age of twelve, as I walked up and down my grandfather’s farm with him, I realized how lucky I was to live in America.

The smile on my grandfather’s face as I arrived made it all worthwhile, he was so proud that his grandchild was by his side walking down the dirt road streets he once played and walked to school on. During that week, I met my relatives for the first time. I was a little nervous because I did not speak or understand the language. I felt I would be lost during the conversations. They were very excited to see us and welcomed us with open hearts. Looking back on that day it makes me laugh, because I have come to realize how the comical stereotype of Old Italian women was true. They cannot do enough for you. Once you sit down in their house, the first thing they do is start getting drinks and food and offering it to you. If you do not accept it, they will take it as an insult, so even if you are not hungry or thirsty take some thing anyway to make them happy. Not only was I pleased to see where I am from but also I was also able to learn and experience the traditional festivals and holidays in the city.

We walked up to the city where I saw a tall monument erected in the center of the square with St. Cono the patron saint of my town on top with his arms spread over the city protecting it. This was such a beautiful sight. Every year a medieval festival is held in the town. Men, women, and children from all different regions of Italy come dressed in homemade costumes designed to resemble the clothing that was worn during the medieval ages. They parade all through the narrow streets of the city followed by drummers and flag throwers all night. The parade ends with the prince and princess. Afterwards all the people walk through the streets to enjoy some delicious homemade pasta, desserts, or some gelato.

On my eight hour, flight back home I began to realize that you should never take what you have for granted and forget where you came from. Then the true vision of “The American Dream” ran through my head and I realized that it came true for my family. Though not evident fifty years ago, today it is clear that as a second generation American, I am living “The American Dream.”

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