Beautiful. Breath-taking. Exciting. Adventurous. Unpredictable. During the summer of 2009 I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado. I was going with a couple of other members and advisors from my high school’s Student Government Association. We would get a week’s time to explore Colorado and go to the National Association of Student Councils conference.
Arriving in Colorado, I was becoming more filled with enthusiasm. A conference meant having a blast, learning about innovative ideas, and meeting some great new people. In addition to my anticipation for the conference, being in Colorado was surreal. Everywhere I looked it could have been a shot from a beautiful post card. I loved the mountains, the bright blue sky, and the lush green plants. I begged my advisor pull over in order to get a snapshot!
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For the first few days of my Colorado adventure I was able to visit some must-do’s! Going to places like the Royal Gorge and Continental Divided filled me with awe from the majestic sights. Being a history-buff, Pike's Peak was a place I could not wait to see. As we traveled up the winding roads of Pikes Peak I had an epiphany: traveling up a mountain meant it was going to continually get colder. Very cold. I had packed for a summer trip. The cold and my summer attire aka flip flops and shorts did not get along well.
Once we reached the actual peak my peers and I were all huddled together in our pictures to try and stay warm. It brought us all closer together — literally. A little bit of cold was an easy sacrifice to make in order to experience and explore the area. One of the things I appreciated most about the Peak was how natural it was. There were not any ropes or walls at the edges. And of course I had to walk to the very edge of the rocks. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest ideas in flip flops, but I loved the feeling it gave me. It overwhelmed me with moments of thoughtful peace. It was so serene and beautiful it made me appreciate the life and opportunities- -like that trip–that I had earned and been given.
Our next stop was my personal favorite, white water rafting! We all piled into our rafts and were off on our odyssey. Rafting in Denver was almost comical to me. We would wind through some gorgeous scenery and rapids then, all of a sudden, you would be going through a park or able to see a Burger King. Rafting here was a neat way to see the ‘best of both worlds.’ I was able to see the gorgeous outdoors but also the actual city.
Playing tourist for a few days came to an end-it was time to go to the National Conference. It was an amazing time filled with meeting people from around the nation. There were kids from all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. We bonded through silly and fun cheers while demonstrating pride for our states. We bonded through the things we learned from speakers. We bonded through special activities like our night at an amusement park. We bonded in growing together and having an amazing few days.
My week in Colorado was one top experiences in my lifetime. Exploring the beautiful and magnificent mountains and rivers gave me moment to self reflect and be grateful. It made me value and appreciate everything I have had happened or done. The trip gave me memories and relationships that I cherish to this day.