In 2010, my mom, sister, and I traveled to England for a week. My grandma came to America from London when she was 17 years old, and all of her family still remains in London. We try to make it back to London and the Isle of Wight every few years to visit our distant relatives. Personally, I have been to England 4 times. However, I was 3 years old and 5 years old the first two times I went, and don't remember too much. We did make it back in 2006 and 2010. When I went to England in 2006, I was amazed with the country. Everything was beautiful, particularly the English countryside. This was the first time I was able to see all of the sightseeing spots (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, etc.), and each landmark amazed me. While in England in 2006, I met my second cousin Aaron, who is only a few years older than I am, and we grew close during the trip. He has come to visit America twice since our trip (2007 and 2011).
2010 was even a better experience than the 2006 trip. I was able to reconnect with my cousin Aaron and the rest of my family in England. I was able to play my first round of golf in England (I am a huge golfer! I got to play a round of golf at Bromley Golf Centre in 50 degree weather!) along with going to other places to sightsee (The Globe Theater, Tower of London, and Tower Bridge). Being even older than I was in the first 3 trips, I was able to appreciate England for the atmosphere and beauty of different parts of the city.
However, after the 2010 trip, I realized that most of my grandma's family is getting old. My grandma is the youngest out of her siblings by 10 years. Her siblings are all reaching their 80s and are beginning to have health problems. Most of their children are now reaching their 60s. When I returned home, it occurred to me that there is a chance that a family member could pass away before a return to England. Even if you return to England two years later, there is no guarantee that every single family member will be alive and well, particularly with the older generation of family. You never know which return to America could be the last goodbye to a certain family member.
In addition, I realized the importance of keeping a bond with the younger family in England. If my sister and I didn’t get to know the younger generation of our England family, the bond between our families will eventually be gone (we are my grandma's only grandchildren). My sister and I both enjoy spending time with our cousin Aaron along with others from the younger generation from England, and we don't want to lose that bond.
After coming to these realizations, I have decided that I will try my best to return to England over the summer after I graduate (Summer 2013) and spend time with all of my family for a week or two. I will also try my best to return to England every few years to keep that bond alive and stay close to our distant relatives.
My 2010 trip to England was an incredible experience, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I am looking forward to planning the next trip to England, and hoping that everyone will remain healthy in the time that will elapse before I am hopefully able to return in 2013.
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