FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship - My Family Travels

 My family always go on vacation every summer. We love to travel around the world. The most memorable vacation I’ve ever been to was in Vietnam, my home country.  Going to Vietnam changed my life. It was a gratifying, yet a bitter experience.

About 2 summers ago, my dad announced that we were going to Vietnam. Me and my little sister, Van-Anh were so excited. We were finally going to visit my parents’ home country. One of the few things I loved about Vietnam is the motorcycle rides. I love the feeling of the wind, running through my hair as my cousin rides his motorcycle around Ho Chi Minh City. My cousin, Truong took me and Van-Anh to one of the coolest hang out spots called the Ciao. The café was very elegant, I loved everything about it. We had the most delicious soup and ice cream there.

When my family visited Vietnam, we never spent more than a week in one city; we traveled to almost every city in Vietnam.  When we visited Nha Trang, for the first time, Van-Anh and I rode an ostrich. It was the scariest experience ever. Ostriches like to run fast, to the point where you can fall off the ostrich’s back. I asked the trainer to make the ostrich go slow, so it wasn’t as frightening. We visited some of the beautiful beaches in Vietnam. The sand was a soft endless fabric of silk that lined the pristine blue ocean. Once I dipped my feet into the crystal clear water, I could still see the sand massaging through my feet. We visited so many beaches that I can’t even remember what they were called.

I also experienced some doleful moments in Vietnam. When we visited Ha Noi, one of the poorest cities in Vietnam, I was devastated to see so many people around the ages of 60-80 still begging for money. In Ha Noi, I met my great grandmother for the first time. I knew it was going to be the last time I was ever going to see her. She was about 107 years old. She barely said a word, she too weak to do anything; I almost burst in tears just holding her soft baby-like hands. I was so glad I got to meet her at least once in my life.

Occasionally, when Van-Anh and I were at the mall, we ran into impoverished people asking us for money. Once, a young lady that was holding a baby that was about 2 – 3 years old asking us for money, we didn’t have any money with us, but the reckless lady kept on asking. Her baby decided to pee on the floor; we didn’t realize he didn’t have a diaper on because his shirt went to his knees. The lady put the baby down, as she took a piece of cloth from her pocket, and started cleaning his pee off the ground. We realized that the woman was too poor to afford diapers. Van-Anh and I began bawling, asking my mom for money to give to the poor lady. We gave her a few coins, as Van-Anh and I watched her disappear through the large crowd. Seeing people in poverty made me realize how grateful I was to have a family that could give an unlimited supply of love and care.

I loved visiting Vietnam; we stayed for about 5 weeks. I believe that everyone should visit at least one foreign country. Visiting Vietnam was a life changing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.



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