Braving New Heights | My Family Travels
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Family trips can be an adventure you never quite expect. When you fill a house and a guest house with seven siblings and their immediate families, you lose privacy and silence; however, I wouldn't trade in any amount of alone time for this family time.

My family has owned a lake house on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Oquossoc, Maine ever since my father was a child. Every year, his siblings and their families converge in Maine for two weeks. These weeks are filled with trips to L.L. Bean, rivers, and the raft we place near our beach. Last year, we took two new trips that tested my cousins and my bravery levels.

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The first stop we made was to this place called Smalls Falls. This was a park filled with small swimming holes and a collection of waterfalls. We started at the bottom and climbed the trails until we reached an empty one. We were all prepared to enter the water until our toes actually felt it. The sharp intensity of the freezing water sent a bout of chills throughout my whole body. My cousins and I jumped back onto the rocks. We stared at each other, daring the other to actually enter the freezing pit. My youngest cousin took a step, slid on some rocks, and fell in. We all began to laugh until he splashed us with water. That started brawl. We jumped into the water and splashed each other until we converged under the waterfall to find a small cave. We climbed through to find a rock slide. We stared at each other urging someone to try the slide out. Again, my youngest cousin was the first to step forward. He sat and began to slide. We heard his joyous screams and a splash, and he yelled for us to join him. We continued this adventure until it began to rain.

The next day, the family piled in the vans and headed to a place called Devil's Den. We hiked through the woods until we came across a cliff. This cliff led to a swimming hole about 25 feet above pitch black water. We questioned whether the water was deep enough. The only way to find out was to jump in. The tallest of my cousins closed his eyes and jumped. He hit the water and popped up sputtering from the impact and cold, but he couldn't feel ground anywhere around him. Everyone began to jump in. I held back and let everyone jump in before me. Everyone urged me to join them, and when I didn't, they all climbed back up and jumped again. I knew I was safe, but the fact that I couldn't see anything except blackness freaked me out. Leading from this pit was a small bout of rapids. The kids soon began to ride the rapids. I knew I wanted to join in, so I did the only thing I was brave enough to do– close my eyes and jump. I fell for what seemed like hours, but as soon as I hit the water, I was filled with an insane amount of joy. I had done it. With the urging of my family, I conquered my fear and jumped.

Family pushes you to be the best you can be. They make sure you are safe, but they don't want you to miss out on such an amazing experience. I can't wait to travel to Maine again this summer, not just to see everyone, but to see what I can conquer this year. Who knows? But adventure is surely out there.

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