Down Town | My Family Travels
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Rome, Paris, Fiji are probable names to think of when someone says travel. They are places for the few lucky people to escape from ordinary lives, no problems, no doubts, just happy families on vacations. Some people learn new languages or about a mysterious culture during their getaways. Then there are average folks who can only visit those oases in their dreams, never having a hope or chance of fulfilling their passions or their secret travel desires. I learned things during my get away that bettered my future, showed me who I am, who I was and that I am not defined by my past but my actions today. My travel escape was not a fun or ideal “Hot Spot”, but it changed my life and how I viewed my past, and my future. I didn’t leave America or my state to discover my story. I just had to break the law one too many times.

I was sent to Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center-Nampa, on March 19, 2007. It contains programs with positive building blocks to help juveniles stay out of jail when they turn 18. It’s a place that appoints juveniles a program to help them with anger, mental health disorders, drug/alcohol problems, authority issues or sexual crimes. The staff led me to recovery through personal and family therapy, AA and NA meetings, and anger management. Staff prepared me to take care of myself and my loved ones the right way and organize my future goals.

People may look at my travel escape as a punishment, but I see it as a lifesaver. Since I was committed to Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center-Nampa I learned from my mistakes and have learned what will prevent me from making the same mistakes or worse ones in the future. I learned that being rebellious wouldn’t get me a successful life. Coming to Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center-Nampa opened my eyes not to the prettier part of the world, but the reality of it.

I thought at first I could lie my way out, that I didn’t have to talk about my problems because they were mine and didn’t have to be shared. That lasted about two months. My defenses then fell and I came clean. I felt I didn’t have to lie or worry about people not understanding or judging me. I didn’t want to hit people for disrespecting me anymore. I realized I wouldn’t be successful or even anywhere close to going home if I kept up with old habits. I learned tools to help me become successful. I felt like I could be one of those people who could take their children around the world and see sites I never got to see. I knew I would overcome my abusive, addictive past and become the strong woman I was meant to be in the first place.

I’ve traveled great distances, but not to Paris or Rome. I traveled to a place that changed me. I didn’t spend thousands of dollars. I didn’t even have to leave my state. All it took was a seven by nine cell for eight months. I didn’t learn a different language or what to tell others about a mysterious culture. I learned that I am someone that will do something great while I still have time. I owe it all to my naïve past actions.

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