Tourist or Terrorist? | My Family Travels
Summer 09 428

This trip may sound all too familiar to many: Dad attempting to fit the last duffel bag into the overflowing Suburban whilst Mom frantically runs around trying to find passports – younger brother fending off the dogs as they ensure they are not left behind on this grand and exotic adventure. I kept my cool as I helped out with odds and ends rolling my eyes as we embarked on my parent’s idea of vacation. We were off to the distant land of Canada. Sounds fun, eh? For some reason the land of hockey and maple syrup did not quite compare to my fellow class mate’s cruise through the Bahamas. At the tender age of fourteen a trip in the company of my 11 year old brother, my mom, and my dad also added to the pain. The car left and the ear phones went in as I entered the realm of hip hop and Jonas Brothers. What seemed like hours later we pulled into the extensive line leading up to the Michigan and Canadian border. Finally, as our car pulled up to the booth my 11 year old brother took the opportunity to proclaim, “Mom, since we aren’t Canadian, does that make us terrorists?”

â–º  Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

In horror, my mother responds, “Honey! No, that’s not how it works, we are TOURists.”

I then proceed to bang my head against the window as the border patrol woman nervously laughs as she contemplates whether or not my eleven year old brother’s back pack could contain weapons of mass destruction. Fortunately, we were waved on and deemed not a threat.

I would like to say the day improved from then on, but I would have to say the farmland of Canada was not as exciting as threatening national security. We then arrived at a rental cottage on Lake Huron, and I realized just how overrated bad teenage attitude is and how awesome spending a week on the beach with my family could be. I was right too, the week ended up being amazing.

The beaches were beautiful and I loved spending it with the three people I love most in life. We biked together every morning, swam all afternoon and watched the sun set painting the sky with beauty I had never seen beyond a post card. The neighbors were friendly and my brother and I even made friends with the boys down the street.

I also learned Canadians do say “eh” a lot, but they do not bleed maple syrup or play hockey all day long. Even little brothers with big mouths can be your best friend; it’s all about the right frame of mind. No matter how terribly ordinary a vacation may seem, it’s all about whom you are with and your own attitude. Make the most of it; it could end up being one of your most cherished memories.

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