Paris 2008 - My Family Travels


It is probably the most well-known monument a I think that it is only fifty feet tall. It turns out that the Arc de Triomphe is one hundred and sixty-two feet tall! I was amazed and could not wait to get close to it. I had to walk under the Champs-Elysees in the special corridor to get to the monument and the whole time, my excitement was building up. Immediately, I noticed how small I must look compared to this massive monument. I could not get over how small I thought it was and how huge it turned out to be. My mom had to take 2 vertical pictures to capture its entire size with my standing there next to it, barely visible! I remember the astonishment that must have read across my face as I stood next to the arch with intricate details carved into it.
I climbed the two hundred and eighty-four steps to the top and, barely catching my breath, I looked down at the busy street below. Noise from car horns, people talking, and the bustling wind began to overcome my thoughts and all I could do was experience the moment I was living. It was surreal looking at the tops of the buildings that you would only see in artwork and postcards but there I was, actually seeing it! I know that the magical city has many names, but for me, it will always be known as the city of surprises because of that one moment that even today, I still cannot get over! In that one second of surprise, my expectation of the monument changed completely. This showed me that what I expect and what I experience are totally different. My astonishment taught me not to set my mind but to be marveled by little things. This lesson parallels with food where you have to use all your senses to experience the food. I learned that life is not just about reading and writing but sensing, tasting, experiencing, and, most importantly, living.

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