My family and I were at the airport waiting for our boarding call to Argentina, “It’s finally here,” I said to myself. Up to this point I was very stressed out with school work and friends, so I was very excited and relieved to go on vacation. We were going to Argentina for my 15th birthday and to visit my family. The last time I visited was eight years before and everything was a blur. But what I do remember is that I stayed with my great aunt who was like a second grandmother to me. It was supposed to be a simple visit, but it turns out she was dying from breast cancer. So this trip back to Argentina meant a lot to me.
Argentina is a lively country. Everywhere you go at any hour there is always something to do. First, we went to the capital, Buenos Aires and we stayed at the hotel Dolmen (www.hoteldolmen.com.ar). We saw the Argentinean white house which is called “La Casa Rosa”, and around the corner is “Avenida Florida”, which is a big shopping strip. In that area we went to see a tango show. In Buenos Aires, tango shows can be found in shopping malls, restaurants, dance theaters, and even in the park. The next day we went to Estancia Santa Susana a traditional ranch in Buenos Aires, where they had the traditional dances, food, activities, and shows (www.esantasusana.com.ar/english). Then, we went all the way south to Calafate, a city close to the tip of Argentina. There we saw the only natural occurring glacier dam, called Perito Moreno.
After touring Argentina, we stayed with my family, in the city of Mar Del Plata. Mar Del Plata is the same city where I stayed with my great aunt. We went to visit her at the cemetery and at Christmas my great great aunt told us stories about her. All throughout Argentina there are soccer stadiums, shopping centers, and beaches along rivers, lakes, and oceans. The beaches in Mar Del Plata are amazing; they have little huts to rent, playgrounds, restaurants, little shopping stores, and even a pool.
The customs in Argentina are different; everything is based on food and family. For example, asados (a barbeque) and mate (a tea rite) are all get-togethers with a group of close friends or family. Seeing my family again was wonderful. They helped me become a better person because they are not judgmental, they don’t hold grudges and most importantly they treat others the way they’d like to be treated. Experiencing all these customs helped me appreciate my family even more than what I used to. Not only did I changed at home, but also in school. I was an average B student, very quiet, but when I came back I started trying, participating, and asking questions in class. I also realized that first impressions are everything and it would not hurt to show my personality at any chance I get.
At the time, I was glad to just get away, but now my whole life perspective and goals are based on that trip. Of course, not everyone has to go back to their homeland to change for the better. But I do recommend traveling and experiencing different customs and traditions. Traveling helped me open my eyes to what really matters in life and appreciate what I have. It helped me to reach for the best and be my best. If I have to choose an event that changed my life, it is this trip to Argentina.
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