Growing up in a small town located in southeast Kansas, it is a really big deal to even leave the state; but to leave the entire region for a whole week is a whole different story. You see, I’m a simple girl with a simple mindset. To this day, I believe in small town life. When a nine year old girl gets out of this small town for the first time, it’s going to be something special. When I was nine-years-old, I took a trip to Tampa, Florida.
That’s right, this gal was on her way to the east coast with nothing but two front teeth missing and an eye for flat hills and hay. There were so many people boarding the plane; some with hats, some with tans, and some with suits and coats. I never knew so many people had so many places to go. Riding along with my parents and older sister, I was fascinated by the shapes of the earth as we flew so far above what I never as my home. It was the most amazing thing, seeing the cars driving below us.
We landed in Tampa, and the first thing I remember were cars flying down the highway, almost dangerously. In my small town, the speed limit is always 30 After a nervous ride, we finally reached our destination. You see, we were visiting some family friends who had moved from our small town only three months earlier. They supposedly knew the town by then, and they were determined to treat my family to the perks of “big city life.”
The town was dirty. Perhaps it was the sandy beaches surrounding the whole area. Never had I seen dirt and sand all over the streets! The dirt was so bad, you could see people sweeping the insides of their houses all over the town.
We headed to Disneyland, a place I had heard of, but never imagined I would visit; nor did I want to visit. When we got there, I found I was right. Disneyland is quite overrated. It reminded me of a Toby’s Carnival setup, but much classier; including princesses and less rides, might I add. Needless to say, I was ready to go. I found out as soon as we got there, I was not interested. Just because I was young, didn’t mean I had to enjoy fairytale parades, right?
So far, the trip wasn’t as fun as I thought. I had more fun on the plane! The next day I was determined to tell my mom and dad, I’d rather go home, and swim in my little 4 ft pool.
“Kelsie, we are going to the beach today,” said my mother, awakening me from my sleep. Great. We had to get up, drive by all the dirty houses, and sit on some more dirt with sand–super.
We were going to Clearwater Beach (and I was hoping the beach was, in fact, clear). I had never been to a beach before. Well, the beach at our nearby lake wasn’t actually a beach; it was a substitute for the real thing.
Might I say, our “lake beach” had nothing on Clearwater Beach. My mood immediately changed when I saw the beautiful water, reflecting the sky. There were families enjoying themselves, clearly on vacation. I walked up to the water, and I stuck my toe in. It felt perfect; way better than our 4 foot pool at home.
When it was time to leave, I didn’t want to leave. I loved this part of the trip. Nothing could compare. In fact, nothing did.
It is this point in my life where I decided I love nature. I love the beauty that life provides us, rather than materialistic things (Disneyland). In ten years, I see myself writing on a beach. I write about beauty in the world. I have not been to a beach since I was nine years old. I am currently 18 years old, living in the same small town, ready to go college. My ultimate dream would be to live in a place that had beauty. The trip I took to Florida was eye opening; I enjoy the beauty in life, because I appreciated something I didn’t have; a beach.
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