In April of this year, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I had the chance to travel to France and England with the People to People organization which offers students, unique travel opportunities for personal and professional growth and continuing education. The journey to Europe a two week sojourn, opened my eyes to the wonders of the world and to what is really out there; and, above all, I discovered the importance of what I left back home.
On this trip, I was able to gain insight into British and French history; into European art and architecture; and into international politics and other governments. Even while furthering my education, I still could have fun, see different parts of the world, and be a part of history. In Paris, I beheld a thrilling view from the pinnacle of the Eiffel Tower. Standing atop the glorious Tower, I felt free and unstoppable. I saw more than just the magnificent Tower; I toured the landmarks France, including the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre Museum. I was able to appreciate in person the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory. In England, I visited several cities, including London, Oxford, and Woodstock. In London, I experienced so very much—I saw the London Tower and got to know the Beefeaters, the official guards of said London Tower. I cruised past Big Ben and other landmarks on a Thames riverboat. I soared over the city in the London Eye, the world’s largest Ferris wheel, thrilled by the sights. I went on to experience life in the Middle Ages, including a royal feast King Henry VIII. Moving on to Oxford, I explored the famous college town with my fellow People to People ambassadors. In Woodstock, I explored the Blenheim Palace and admired its priceless artworks. My breath was taken away walking the halls of the Palace and learning of the history therein: this palace was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, for example. Besides the sightseeing, I was able to interact with locals from both countries; they were so courteous to us ambassadors, to my pleasant surprise, and so I was able to learn about the locals and their lives. Finally, through the journey, I was able to try the countries’ own cuisine, sampling exotic delicacies such as escargot and the delicious crÃªpes of France.
My journey to Europe was so amazing and fantastic that words cannot begin to convey the impression made on me by the trip. I have meaningful memories along with the thirty-nine other students from different states with whom I was traveling; I went so far as to make friends, Brae and Elise, with whom I still keep in contact because we had grown closer to each other and formed a bond. The journey made me aware of how splendidly beautiful and special countries in Europe can be; I now know how spectacular they can be, due to their monuments, their people, and their history. But most importantly this trip made me miss my life back home—especially my family. I realize now how important my family really is to me, to anyone, and how grateful I am to have such a loving family. Without them, nothing would be the same; my life would not be as it is now. Surely, I would never have had the chance to visit Europe, let alone take in the humanity of any other place in the world.
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