When we boarded the plane in Chicago, my peers and I knew there was no turning back. No more hiding in the comforts of our hometown. No more kisses from mom and dad. No more communication with friends and family back at home. This was it; all we had were each other.
For one week, we were expected to learn how to be comfortable in a place none of us had ever been to. A place we had seen plenty of times on television, but could only dream to visit. A place with free universal healthcare; no, we were not going to Canada. We were going to Europe! The greatest of all continents (sorry North America)! We were getting a chance to step out of our comfort zones and experience the lives and cultures of people we thought we would never get a chance to encounter. We were going to Europe.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
First stop, London. Yes, yes, the place with the red telephone booths and the men with the funny hats. But the experience I had there were more than that. London was an urban city full of graffiti, rockers and fashion; my kind of place. There I grew to love my dream career choice. I have always dreamed of being a writer for a fashion magazine who travelled around the world to write other culture’s fashion. When I visited London, I wrote a lot about the people and their style, so below is an excerpt from my writing journal.
“I saw a lady today with an all black body suit. It was awesome! To top it off she had on a pair of pink Doc Marten combat boots. She rocked her style and she opened my eyes to why I love fashion so much and this metropolis. Go London!”
After London, we made a pit stop to Switzerland. Crazy, right? Although, we didn’t get to do much exploring, but walking around the airport was enough for me! With a previous knowledge of Switzerland being one of the richest countries in the world, I wasn’t surprised to see that a burger at Burger King cost 18 swiss francs! Although it was unbelievable (probably illegal) for a company to charge so much for so little, it helped me understand the country’s economy and their strategies to improve it.
Next stop was Spain. I was so excited to visit because I would actually be able to converse with the people there in their language, Spanish! I had been taking Spanish for 9 years and I was finally given the opportunity to put it to good use. During dinner, while shopping, even while in the bathroom, I communicated with the people in Spain. Getting a chance to talk with the Spaniards really helped me appreciate my knowledge of and ability to speak a second language.
Our final stop was Paris. Oui, Oui, nous allions Paris (Yes, Yes we were going to Paris). I must admit, I was not excited to go. Prior to mytrip, I heard that the people there were mean and hated Americans(which turned out to be partially true)! However, in Paris I did less interacting with the people and more tours for a chance to see historical monuments and museums. From palaces to bridges, I saw everything I had ever seen on television! The last thing I did in Europe was snap a picture of the shinning Eiffel Tower and before I knew it I was saying, “Goodbye Europe. Hello Chicago!”
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