A European excursion is what I was told I would go on in 2006 along with 40 other teenagers. I was excited for the day my plane took off in July. Leaving home for three weeks at the age of 15 knowing that I would have to do my own laundry, manage my own money, and be away from family and friends was hard for me to take in, but traveling across Europe to Austria, Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland was a journey I was not going to give up!
Boarding the plane and saying goodbye was hard for me; I had never traveled without my family before, but before I knew it I was off.
Out of the five countries that I had traveled to, Italy was my favorite. On the third day of my trip we took a little boat out to Venice, which was my first time on a boat since I was a child. I had forgotten the feeling of riding waves and feeling bigger than 75% of the earth, it was amazing. The first step off the boat and love hit. Venice is such an old city, but it is beautiful in every aspect. The main court yard felt huge compared to the rest of the city. The bridges to other parts of the city were a dream for me, they held such a mystery within them, leading me to different parts, unknown, only to make me get lost and find my way back! A city that had seemed so small to me grew in only a couple of minutes. Gondola rides through the canals and glass blowing in an old factory sealed the deal for me. I had fallen in love.
By the time we had to leave, I didn’t want to go. I just wanted to stay in Venice forever, although I knew I had more of Europe to see. While I was in Europe I had to do my own laundry, in a hotel sink. It was really hard for me to handle at first! I had never done my own laundry, but I learned to cope with challenges that were brought my way. No matter what was out in front of me, managing my own money at fifteen for one, I pulled through. I wanted to show people that I could handle it, that I was strong, even if I was a young adult. Throughout my journey, I saw wonderful cities and countries though out all of Europe, none of which, in my book, compared to Venice.
Venice had something that Paris, Rome, and even Geneva could never give me; joy, mystery, adventure, and the feeling of having my own freedom. As I was in Venice and I roamed through the city I felt like I was on top of the world and nothing could stop me. Adventure was all I had. Venice kept me guessing, kept me thinking, making me want more of the city I had fallen in love with.
By the time the trip was over, I was sad to leave, sad to have to say goodbye to Venice, the city I love. I made a vouch to myself that I would go back to Venice when I was older so that I could feel the joy, mystery, adventure, and freedom that I had once felt when I was 15. As I said goodbye to Europe, a place that taught me so much in so little time, I knew I was leaving with Venice forever engraved in my heart.
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