My most memorable travel experience began on June 25, 2008; I had just turned fifteen the day before, and I was a nervous wreck. I had just completed my freshman year, and I felt intimidated as I sat on a bus packed with seniors from a different school. I was already homesick the second the bus left the high school. Even though my aunt, SeÃ±ora Filizzi, and a couple of my cousins were also going on the trip, I had not had the chance to get to know them very well. I was afraid that the next two weeks would be a nightmare for me. I honestly wanted to cry, but at the same time, I was excited to explore Spain and Italy during the next two weeks.
One of the best memories I have from this trip was on the fourth day. I was still dealing with my fear and intimidation. We were in Madrid, and I was sitting in my hotel alone. After thoroughly examining everything in the room, I mustered up the courage to go find the others. I found them all in the living area, watching the final game of the UEFA European Football Championship. The energy was so alluring that I found myself cheering Spain on. Imagine the roar that went up when they won with a single point! That night was crazy, people ran around yelling “ESPAÃ‘A!” and honking their horns, some people were even lighting fireworks in the middle of the street! After that night, I started feeling more comfortable around the seniors, because I realized that they were there for the same reason I was. To not only experience a foreign country, but to enjoy it too.
By far, the funniest night was on the fifth day of the tour, in Barcelona. We watched a Flamenco performance while drinking Sangria, which I ended up giving to a chaperone because I did not like how it tasted. During the performance, one of the male performers took off their shirt, so afterward, one of the more charismatic seniors on the trip jumped on stage and did the same. Although he was a terrible dancer, everyone ended up laughing at his performance, including the real performers.
My favorite place was the Isle of Capri, off the coast of Italy. I would love to go back someday. We went around the island in a small boat, and the color of the water surprised me most. It was the deepest of blues, but it was clear enough to see the coral reefs on the seafloor. When we came close to the Faraglioni, three enormous cliffs that loom in the ocean, the boat driver said, “If you close your eyes and make a wish while traveling through the tunnel in the Faraglioni, it will come true when you make it to the other side”. Although I cannot remember what I wished for, I remember being inspired by everything on the island, from the small shops, to the huge flowerbeds, and the amazing view from the top of the island.
I have so many good memories from this trip. I loved walking around Toledo and the Palacio Real, both of which I had looked forward to, as they are both rich in history and have a medieval feel to them. I even look back at the security men in the Sistine Chapel yelling “No photo!” This trip started my love for travel, and now, no matter where I am going, I look forward to every adventure I take.
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