My Thirteenth Birthday | My Family Travels
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Most vacations provide serenity to people. It doesn’t matter where – the lush islands of Hawaii or the elegant streets of France, vacations often offer joyous memories.

            But this trip was different. It was an unfortunate surprise for my family. We traveled around Texas in a journey marked with adversity. But now as I reflect upon this appalling trip – I can only recall its positive impacts.
             Stepping out of the airport and into the car, I looked out in wonder at the land of opportunities. We finally made it! After all the troubles and procedures, our family finally reached our new home – America. Traveling through the highway, I enjoyed the verdant greenery of America. After reaching the apartment in Port Arthur, Texas we unpacked and settled down to relax after the wearisome trip.
            “Thank god we are finally home! Oh boy I do not want to go on another trip any time soon” said mom.
            A day has passed and we started unpacking our entire luggage.
“Turn the TV on, the news is on” said dad. No matter where we were in this world, dad still needed his news.
“Breaking news: hurricane Rita is to hit US in a few days. If you live in southeastern parts of Texas please prepare for evacuation.”
We soon got a phone call from my mom’s agent, she said to take a few necessary belongings and be prepared to leave in the morning.
Everyone was startled! What was going on? Why do we have to evacuate? My little siblings and me were simply puzzled as our parents frantically began packing.
            Our mom woke us up at 4 in the morning, the sun was still sleeping, we left our apartment and boarded our transportation – the local school bus.  
Most teenagers throw a fabulous birthday party when they turn 13. But I suppose this year fate gave me an unfortunate birthday present. Yes, I was in the bus, driving off into uncertainty, celebrating my 13th birthday. Our bus was moving slower than a turtle, stuck in midst of the thousands of cars jammed in the highway. My mind was in complete shock. Our lives changed in a single night, we were in the midst of strangers, with few of our belongings, seeking a land of safety, and yet still to answer the underlining question – what does the future hold for us?
            After the 19 hour tedious trip, we were exhausted! However, we finally arrived at Tyler, Texas. We were to stay at the local church’s hall – it was crowded with many refugees; the rain drops dripped down the leaky roof making the place extremely uncomfortable and damp. I sighed. Yes, this was our new home; well for now at least. After standing in line for hours, all we gained to eat was bread and beans. This was our lifestyle for a couple of months. We shifted from camp to camp as hopeless refugees for months facing various hardships. So much for the land of opportunities!
            After a few months, my mom gained a job. I was definitely glad the nightmare had ceased; I simply smiled as we entered our new home in San Antonio, Texas.
            It was definitely an uncontrollable roller coaster with twists and turns in the troublesome journey. But now as I reflect upon this incident, I realize how glad we are to be surrounded with luxury in this joyous place. This journey is definitely memorable. It tore apart the pampered child inside me as reality slapped me in the face with hardships. I had to take on responsibilities and deal with difficulties. This trip rewarded me with the perfect present – it created a transition from my childlike stage into a mature, strong person.
 

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