In May 2008, I went to Yosemite National Park in California. At that time, I was in the 8th grade and I was only 13 years old. I went to Yosemite with my school, Presidio Middle School. I didn’t really know anyone that well who was going on the trip. I signed up to go to Yosemite because when I heard about it from my school, it sounded interesting and I really wanted to try it out. I ended up partnering up with three of my friends who I knew, but weren’t that close with. It was the first time I ever went anywhere without my family. It was terrifying. I remember that when the day I was supposed to meet at school to leave for Yosemite, I kept telling my parents that I didn’t want to go anymore. I started getting butterflies and tearing up. I really didn’t want to leave my family, but I knew I couldn’t back off now because my parents spent $400 to pay for my trip and we couldn’t get a refund.
I’m happy I went though, because it was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed. I experienced a lot of new things that I never thought I could experience and I learned a lot of new things. The ride there took hours, and me and my friends just sat in the car, sleeping and listening to music. We didn’t really talk because we didn’t really know each other that well and it was really awkward.
When we got there, we were given a cabin, and we started to put our suitcases down and unpack. We chose our beds and met up with our school to go get dinner. It was kind of like a buffet so that was really nice. After dinner, our school hiked to some place and did some activities and afterwards we just went back to our cabins and slept. For the first few nights, me and my friends were all arguing and we ended up splitting into two groups. We didn’t talk for a day or two, but ended up making up with each other and everything after that was fine. The last few nights were really fun because we just stayed up late and telling each other scary stories, in the dark, after curfew.
I learned a lot of new things from the trip. I learned how to take care of myself when my parents weren’t around and I also realized how much I missed them even though the trip was only a week long. I also developed a better relationship with my cabin partners. We all got closer and learned a lot more about each other. During the trip in Yosemite, I discovered how much I loved hiking and being in nature and how much I love the scenery there. The trip to Yosemite has definitely changed me because now I love walking and going to scenic places, like the beach or a park in my neighborhood. Now, I’m also more independent, outgoing, and not scared to go on trips without my family.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.