Last summer before the start of my freshman year, my family decided that we were going to vacation on a cruise to Alaska. In order to know what the trip meant to me, you must know a little about me first. Before I went to Alaska, my life was exiting through the tips of my fingers and gradually my body was becoming numb will the will to no longer live. I come from a place where beauty is often overlooked and found in similar forms. That summer I needed nothing more than to go to a place where I could see there is beauty and things bigger than myself. That is exactly what I found in Alaska. Though Alaska was a family vacation, my whole family used it as a time for personal rest. We all sought comfort in different ways and often by ourselves. My comfort was found in the beautiful fog that was just over the ocean and in tips of the mountains upon my arrival. We spent two days in a small town so that my dad could fish before we loaded the cruise ship. Coming from California where most always it is sunny, I enjoyed those days of rain and fog that followed us until our last day on the cruise. A cruise is often a hard place to find solitude and rest, which is why I’m grateful I didn’t have to look very hard. We stopped in three small towns that were all beautiful in their own way. I saw bears, sea life, and nature at its best. On one special instance, my mom and I decided to go on a small boat ride on one of our stops which took us in the ocean where we got within 100 feet of a bear and its cub. Often on that boat ride, I would see little places with shores that I wish I could stay and sleep on for the rest of my life just analyzing the beauty around me. One thing I really enjoyed was talking to the native Alaskans themselves. One man in particular told my family about how he tried to go to college on mainland United States but couldn’t stand the tall structures of metal as compared to mountains of trees he saw in Alaska. He described the feeling of unity in Alaska with both people and nature that in the city he often saw people ignore. I’m a city person myself, but what he was commenting on was so much bigger than differences between city and country but on human nature. He was commenting on how with the business of life we forget what keeps us grounded and what surrounds us. On the cruise ship, I found a deck at the back of the boat that no one ever used. Every morning at 2 a.m. I would go on that deck and I would just take it all in. The expanse of ocean and where I was. In my solitude I saw that my life was not broken but I was. When you ignore beauty you will never be able to feel it, touch it, and more importantly live it. On my vacation my life struck a balance. I knew that wherever I was with my life, there would always be something bigger. On the last day of our cruise, we entered Canada where the sun was finally shining. As we sailed into the sunlight from the clouds and fog of Alaska, it was if I was sailing into the new chapter of my life worth living for.
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