Two summers ago I thought I was going on the trip of a lifetime, little did I know that everything is not what it seems. I feel like it was yesterday that I embarked on this unforgettable European trip with my classmates, including my best friend, Kat. I recall standing anxiously inside the airport with my mom. I can still see her watering eyes when she said “Honey, be careful, but most importantly have the time of your life, this is a once in a lifetime experience.” And boy was she right!
Late July of 2008 I left on an incredible trip provided to our school by EF Tours. The trip consisted of a small group of about 12, including my classmates, and 2 chaperones, our elderly but hip World History teacher, and a mother of one of the students.
Our first stop was Paris, France. I had dreamed my entire life of going to Paris, since it’s the heart and soul of fashion, at least that’s what I thought. I imagined Paris to be small and peaceful, the Eiffel tower to be huge and sparkling with lights, but most importantly I envisioned most people to be wearing the latest Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent fashions. Little did I know that Paris was the complete opposite, yes the city was small but everything and everyone seemed depressed and tired, the Eiffel tower was not as big and it was dirty, rusty and falling apart, and last but not least the people looked like they had never heard of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.
There I was in the “fashion capital” of the world thinking things couldn’t possibly get any worse, but I spoke too soon, because once we reached the hotel we were staying at , I was about to call my mom long distance and tell her to book me the next flight back to Miami. The hotel, better yet, the motel was old, dirty, and falling apart and to our surprise (not) the room didn’t have a view like the brochure said it would, unless you consider a homeless man ravaging through rubbish on the street a view? Also, the bed sheets were sticky and had holes in them; the bathrooms were so small that I could literally touch the sink, shower, and toilet all at the same time without having to stretch my arms. So to make the best of it, me and my friends decided to all sleep in one very small room and have our own little sleep over, hence it ended up being a great girls’ night.
Next stop London, England. I guess London made up for my dreadful experience in Paris, because London soon became my favorite place in the world. Most people dressed in the latest trends, the buildings were tall and modernly designed, the streets were full of bright colorful lights, but what impressed me the most was definitely everyone’s British accent. I began to enjoy my trip to the extreme; I shopped till I dropped in London’s most exclusive boutiques like Top Shop and Wallis.
I will never forget the summer of 2008. That summer changed my life for the better, I started to appreciate the good things in life, and even in my darkest hour I always like to think that things could be worse so I should be grateful for what I have. I am especially thankful to London for helping me see the brighter side of every situation. Even though the trip wasn’t what I expected, I don’t regret anything.
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