I once heard an ancient proverb that said, “only he who has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep”. As these words slowly echoed across my mind, neither a sense of inspiration nor understanding transmitted through my body. In actuality, the only thing which wandered across my mind was that this must have been a pretty dangerous road. As I reflect on the words which my Spanish teacher said, I no longer think about his heavy Spanish accent. Surprisingly, I soon began to focus on the words which he said. I began to ask, what did these holes symbolize? Was I an experienced “traveler”? And ultimately, I wondered whether, I as an individual, ever truly opened my eyes and notice the “holes” surrounding my path. These were the questions that I continuously pondered about. Little did I know that a three day vacation in upstate New York with my family would have ever helped me find the answers.
“We are going on a three day vacation to Upstate New York”! My mother’s excitement could not be held back. Her smile stretched vividly across her face- making her eyes slowly squint as she stared at us for some type of response. With my customary habit, I continued chewing on a piece of cold ice, eagerly waiting for dinner to be prepared. My father attempted to look somewhat excited- when truly focusing on his empty stomach, and my sister continued rocking back and forth listening to her iPod. As I reflect upon that moment, I realized that for some reason I feared going to upstate New York, for it was out of my comfort zone. The best part of it was that we were all stepping out of a comfort zone, and ultimately, we were going through this transition as a family.
It was September 6, 2009. We finally arrived to the hotel after an eight hour ride! An interesting eight hour ride in which all of us sang, ate, and slept. There were those few fortunate people who had the honor of sitting right next to the bathroom. I then realized why many of them weren’t able to sleep! The Sleep In hotel was beautiful and extremely comfortable. It had a family pool and Jacuzzi and best of all: all you can drink- French vanilla lattes! Yet the experience which truly changed me was our visit to the Niagara Falls. In a strange way- it took the witnessing of a rapid waterfall to truly appreciate nature and my family. As I stood before the cold, rushing water, my eyes sparkled with amazement. I didn’t move, I didn’t hesitate; I even tried not to blink.
I did not want one moment to slip away. For I was witnessing with my bare, naked eyes, an impeccable force of nature. When I entered the “cave of the winds” I had the opportunity of standing right under the Niagara Falls. Step by step I cautiously went up the stairs; my adrenaline increasing every second. And there I was, standing directly under the Niagara Falls. I closed my eyes and stretched my arms. Something overcame me- a sense of freedom and liberation- I simply began jumping with my father. My body was cold but my joy was overwhelming. With my eyes closed, I slowly whispered a prayer and simply embraced the fresh water. At that moment- at that instance- I was fulfilled. With my family by my side, I truly felt content. Ultimately, we were sharing this moment- we were bonding for as the proverb says “we were travelers on a road”.
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