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I was a young Canadian- raised 14 year old journeying for the first time to the great United States. May I add that no, I was not traveling by plane but by coach bus… for three days. Where may you ask would this long journey take me? Well that’s for you to discover, shall we begin our journey?
The journey began as we traveled through Canada, the bus was nice, smooth, and there were no weirdoes. But once we hit the border, I knew I was in a new world. The police were not nice friendly guys, but big, tall, mean looking, intimidating men. They took away my mom’s beef that she insisted she had every right to take; I knew our journey was beginning to hit rocks,
“ Welcome to the U.S. baby”, I thought.
As we traveled via bus, Olivia, my younger sister, and I would insist on sitting together since there were only two passengers aloud per seat. I remember on the second day I woke up to a terrible pain in my leg and I needed room to stretch it out.. You’d think that it would be easy to convince Olivia to sit with Joe, my eldest sister, and give me some room, but well, I didn’t wake up sitting next to Olivia nor Joe, I woke up sitting next to a strange man. He told my mother and I that he was in created the Special Olympics, and owned a big piece of land where he could fish. He said that he had lost his wife and two daughters a few years ago. Though this was a sad story something was telling me he was a bit odd. I realized I’d been right when he gave my mother his phone number and his address so we could come visit, oh and when he begged my mom for ten dollars later to buy a pack of cigarettes! I remember Olivia and I collapsing in the bathroom laughing. We sat in different seats when we boarded the bus again, but only to hear the same story of the strange man, retold to his next victim!
Next stop was Kansas City Bus Depot. Welcome aboard all passengers to the Kansas depot the smallest most crowded area you will ever step foot it in. Filled with the most diverse people you could ever imagine, fitted into one single square. Despise all its adored and entertaining diversity; Kansa City Depot is one of my most vivid memories. This depot is the one where we lost our baggage, and nearly lost our minds. This is the depot that Olivia discovered a cockroach in her underwear, and nearly lost her voice, screaming. This is the depot where we met a penniless young woman and her daughter; we decided to leave her “penny-filled”. This is the depot where all things are possible, where chaos meets reality, where giving can change lives.
Arkansas was our home sweet summer, and a few years later became home sweet home. That trip is one of my fondest memories; I learnt that no matter where you go you should always bring an extra pair of underwear, and a spare suitcase. I learnt to appreciate our world’s unique people and appreciate family. Never judge a book by its cover, for it may be the most interesting book you’ve ever read. So, no matter where you’re headed , live and let go, it could be the craziest ride of your life.