It wasn’t until this trip, that I thought of traveling as something I’d like to do before I got old. Before this life changing vacation, I had only been out of the country once before. When I was nine, I went to the Philippines with my family. My mom and all of her brothers and sisters were born there, so we stayed with my grandma’s sister. I really didn’t have a good time because I was comparing my hometown, Las Vegas to the Philippines, rather than seeing how great the country was by itself. When I got the call, seven years, telling me that the family was going to the Philippines again, I decided I wanted to go because my cousin was going, and I figured I’d have more fun. I begged my mom to go, even though she told had already told me we couldn’t go because of financial issues. I continued to beg, regardless, and eventually she decided it’d be a good experience for me, and paid for my trip with savings bond she had been saving for years. It didn’t occur to me yet, but my mom was right, and this trip turned out to be the best of my life.
As the long plane ride ended, everyone was getting excited but me. I was groggy and sticky from the humidity that I could already feel before getting off the plane. We arrived in Manila, and had to take about a four hour drive to our small town in Zambales. As soon as we got into my grandma’s sister’s house and said hello to everyone, I had to take a shower. I couldn’t continue to feel sticky, and have a shiny face all day. After taking a shower, I still felt gross and my face was oily. I went straight to sleep, feeling tired, and regretting going on the trip.
I awoke to my mom on the phone. She was calling to tell me she loved me, and to enjoy my time there. She said I wouldn’t be able to come back for a while because of money problems, and to have fun for her, since she couldn‘t go. I considered what she said, and realized I was being incredibly selfish. My mom paid for me to come instead of herself, who was born in the Philippines. This phone call made me stop being so stubborn, and learn to enjoy my time. I got called outside to eat, and finally took a look around at my surroundings. The backyard was full of trees. There were coconut, banana, and even my favorite mango trees! Roosters and chicken walked freely, and the air was so fresh. I didn’t know why I was complaining in the first place.
The rest of the trip was great. I saw so many new, beautiful places. My favorite was at a buffet. A waterfall came down to the ground and we walked in the water while eating. The biggest culture shock came to me at a family reunion. They were serving dog, in a big pot. As soon as I opened it, someone rushed to me and told me what it was. It was disturbing at first, but I realized it’s just part of their culture, although it’s now illegal. By the end of the trip, I found that the Philippines is a beautiful place. I didn’t want to leave. There were so many more places to visit. I definitely plan on viewing more areas of the world.
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