I rested my head in a Frankfort airport, as my thirteen our flight came to an end. I took full advantage of this short time frame to rest. The other twenty delegates and I still awaited another two-hour flight ahead of us to Madrid. As I relax, I look around me, and start to think. Am I really in Germany? Will I really be in Spain in two hours, embarking on a three-week tour across Europe? Then reality sinks in, and sleep is no longer an option for excitement fills my veins.
My foot steps off the plane in Spain. My first thought is, finally! I start to think about how just six months ago I received a letter from People to People organization, asking me to partake in a glorious tour across Europe. I was a little skeptical at first but I researched the program and found it to be very legit. People to People Student Ambassador program was started by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower started this program to help promote cultural understanding and world peace. Other delegates and I researched and worked very hard in the six months before our trip.
Each month I was assigned a project about a foreign country and was asked to present it at the meetings amongst the other delegates. On top of research I had to plan other tedious events in order to even attend this once and a lifetime trip. I organized car washes, bake sales, and yard sales, all in order to pay for my trip. All my hard work was worth it and it filled me with more drive.
Upon exiting the airport we met our coach driver, Maximo, who will be driving us across Europe. We also were introduced to our tour guide, Elizabeth. Her job was to share with us all the information and history we needed to know while traveling. My mind was filled with thoughts as our coach drove us to our first hotel in Spain. Unable to focus on one thought, I eased my mind and said to myself, “You’re here to learn, have fun and represent America.” From saying this to myself, I know this was going to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. We arrived at the hotel and everyone is exhausted, but the day had just began, as we are whisked away to go eat, then explore art museums.
Our stay in Spain passed fast as we stayed in Madrid and Barcelona. Sadness rained over me as we drive away from the great country of Spain. Then, I look ahead and realize, we are heading towards France. My melancholy state soon vanishes as it is replaced by a sense of anxiousness. I knew I was going to love France.
We enter France and I am surrounded by amazingly beautiful mountainside. As we drive the view just gets more outstanding. We then learn today will be spent swimming in a river and hiking up the mountains to see caves where they excavate fossils. Time flies and the next thing I know I am experiencing French culture while staying with my home stay family for two days. It was time to leave France and arrive at our final destination, Italy.
Arriving in Italy was truly breathtaking. Our first city to visit was Assisi. The day is going to be spent rock climbing, dancing, hiking, and other group activities. I honestly think today is going to be one of the best days of my life.
Days later after touring the cities of Pisa, Florence, and exploring the Vatican, we arrived at Rome. Rome is going to be the last city we visit. After viewing all of the sights, Rome was my favorite. It was filled with beautiful architecture and so full of history. Before I knew it the trip was coming to an end, as we walked into the entrance of our plane knowing nothing could beat an experience like this.
We arrive back in the US to be greeted by parents filled with tears of joy as they see their children walking towards them after three long weeks. I gave my parents a huge hug and was overwhelmed by the sight of their faces. We continued to exit the airport. As I leave I realized I am not the same person that I was three weeks ago. In as little as three weeks, I absorbed so much information and matured a great deal. I look down at my feet, as one-steps out in front of the other and I pause. In my brief moment of stillness I think to myself, and I now know I feel more prepared for the life ahead of me.
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