What does it mean to travel? To many individuals it would imply a persons adventure to a new and personally unexplored place. It could also mean to create a new set of memories and personal growth. I believe that my traveling experience this summer fits both of these categories.
The thrill of traveling to a new place can never get old. This summer I traveled to Los Angeles, California. Being from Manhattan, it was thrilling to compare a massive city like Los Angeles with New York. Los Angeles, clearly miles from New York surprisingly contained many similarities as well as dissimilarities. Los Angeles, like New York contained colossal buildings that one could see from miles away. On the other hand, Los Angeles was very spread out, containing many different sections such as Beverly Hills and Hollywood. This is very different from New York, where everything is very contained. I found it fascinating to be able to compare such great cities with each other.
During this summer, I have traveled with both my family as well as a group of fellow teens. When with a fellow set of young adults, replacing an adult figure, I was overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility and individualism. I also learned how to appreciate miniscule details of my surroundings that I otherwise would not have noticed when with an adult figure. When I was in a place as immense as the Grand Canyon, I learned how to appreciate the inner beauty of nature’s work. I studied the greatness of the humongous craters with awe. Later in my summer, my personal growth in the Grand Canyon directly affected me in Niagara Falls while with my family. I had never thought that through traveling without someone to guide me would help me grow as a person as much as it did.
Traveling with both a group of teens as well as family provided me with a lifetime worth of experiences and memories. When in California, I visited the San Francisco Giants’ stadium. Being an avid baseball fan, I was very excited to visit this new ballpark and see a team that I have never seen play before. I was overwhelmed with excitement. In the middle of the game, a foul ball was hit in my sections general direction. Having never caught a foul ball before, I was eager to catch this ball. I threw my hot dog to the ground and put my hands in the air, ready to catch the ball. Just as the ball was about to land in the section ahead of me, it bounced off of a seat, jutting it in the air. The ball floated up in the air as if it were in a zero gravity area in space. Those seconds that the ball was in the air felt like hours as my heart raced. Finally, the ball luckily landed right in front of me. I quickly grabbed the ball in disbelief. For a few minutes, I felt as if I was dreaming as I studied the detail of the professional league baseball, having never had one before. I still have that ball and will never lose it, as it symbolizes an unforgettable summer.
I feel that through all of my travel experiences this summer, I have come out a stronger, more independent individual. Travel is something that everyone can appreciate, whether they are old or young. Through traveling within the country as well as Canada over the course of as short of a period of time as one summer, I have come out a more independent, aware, and well-rounded person.
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