I have been very fortunate in my life and have gotten to travel to many places around the world. All my travel experiences have helped me grow as a person. However, one specific trip exceeds the others. Last summer my family and I spent two weeks traveling Europe. We spent a week in London at my Aunt and Uncles house, and then took a cruise through Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. This trip taught me so much from social skills, to learning about customs in other countries, and just expanding my mind and realizing there is life outside of America and that all people are the same. Our adventure started out as soon as I stepped off the airplane into a whole new world. In just the course of five minutes I learned that the restroom is called the “washroom”, a line is called a “que”, and we got in a taxi that drove on the other side of the road! When we got to my Aunt and Uncles’ house I thought maybe finally things would be back to normal, but boy was I wrong. I learned that groceries get delivered to your home, there are no ice cold drinks, and that we had to walk everywhere no matter how far. I had so many good experiences staying in London for a week. I visited the very proper London school that my cousins went to, met many interesting locals, and saw some very exciting tourist attractions like Big Bend, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, and Stratford Upon Avon. As soon as I thought this trip couldn’t get any better we boarded our cruise ship the Sapphire Princess. The cruise brought me to very cool attractions as well. I got to see the famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen and go to one of the world’s first amusement park Tivoly Garden. I also learned all about the Denmark Royal family and the Viking ships in Norway. I ate Belgian waffles and chocolates in Belgium and even got to see where my ancestors came from in Sweden. Along with all of this, I met friends of a lifetime from all over the world! The first night on the cruise I decided to check out the Teen Club for a little fun. There were only 3 other teens from America. One was from Florida, one was from California, and the other was from New York. All the others were from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. We all immediately got along. We would spend hours just talking about our lives and where we lived. We would stay out till the early morning hours. For fun we would eat at the midnight buffet, go to the poolside movies, have hot tub parties, and dances. Sometimes we would just go into the teen club and play Pictionary. The day the cruise ended was one of the saddest days of my life. I felt like I had known these friends forever. We all exchanged phone numbers, e-mails and facebook profiles. Even over a year later, we all still keep in touch and even travel to see each other. This trip truly changed my life. It gave me confidence, independence, and helped me realize that you can be friends with people from other countries because they are just regular teenagers just like me.
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