Through a series of vacations I have taken throughout my life, I have learned to value diversity and to embrace people of all backgrounds, ages, and mindsets. Here is the story of these vacations. It is a representation of how my outgoing personality, constant curiosity, and acceptance of differences will benefit my future endeavors.
Come the first week of August every year all my family piles into three cars and takes a 6 hour trek up to Ocean Point, Maine. The tradition has been kept since my mother was young: same town, same beach, same house. We’re not alone these weeks either; our friends, who we’d rather call our non-biological family, come from all over also take this journey to Maine, friends from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and even Canada. For me this trip is not just a time to “hang out,” I take my time in Maine to form bonds and relationships with everyone.
By going to Maine in the summer, I have grown a special bond between my family and myself. Every morning I wake up with my grandfather at 6 AM and drive about 3 miles away to get some homemade doughnuts and every evening my grandmother and I take a walk along the ocean and just talk and listen to the waves. My Aunt Renee is the adventurous type and the two of us go for great kayak rides through the waves. My sister and I have to share a tiny room about the size of a closet so there is always chaos there. During the day, my mom will join me out on the rocks for a quick yoga session, and we always laugh as she falls over doing the warrior pose.
My bonds with my non-biological families are no different. My Canadian “mother” Teresa is always cooking something good and I am always there to give her a hand. My “brother” from Pennsylvania and I can always be found waist deep in freezing water trying to catch crabs with butterfly nets. The rest of my “family” all have happy hour with me on the beach at night as we watch the sunset.
This may seem to be just happy recollections of vacations, but it is so much more. I have made friendships with people of all ages, people from many different places, and people from a variety of socioeconomic groups. They have helped me to realize and even embrace the differences and similarities of all people. I truly believe that these trips have become a part of me, and have made me the unique person I am.
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