Right before you start your vacation, you try to imagine how beautiful all the cities are and how perfect your trip will be. Like a box of cake mix, the result usually isn't as perfect as the planned picture, something usually goes wrong. This summer I had the once in a life time opportunity of going to Australia with EF, Education First, tours; I went with my school and my parents did not come. Not only was I excited about traveling the world, I was also excited to go without my parents and in a sense be on my own.
Just like a box of cake mix, my trip was not perfect. When we arrived in Fraiser Island, Australia, like most travelers, I had to use the bathroom and I accidently broke the toilet. Not only was I embaressed, but we were going to be on the island for two days; without plumbing, that can be an awefully long two days. Luckily I did end up getting the toilet fixed. In Surfer's Paradise, Australia, I took surfing lessons. My group and I had two hours to try to master the white waves of the ocean; easier said then done. I fell many times, hit someone with my board and worst of all, I got stung by a jelly fish. On the boat headed to the Great Barrier Reef, I just about got sick, but luckily I was feeling well enough to snorkel in one of the seven wonders of the world. I learned a valuable lessen that day, don't touch coral. I didn't purposly snorkal right over the coral, but I ended up cutting my knee very badly from the living organism, and till this day, I still have scars on my knee from that experience.
Not all experiences on my trip were bad; some were almost perfect. One early morning in Surfer's Paradise, Australia, two friends and I dedieded that we wanted to watch the sun rise. After getting up very early, we walked a couple blocks to the beach where the sky was still pitch black. After about a half hour, the sun started to rise; it took an hour for it to rise and we saw the whole thing. There's something about watching the sun rise that brings peace to you and you are suddenly greatful for all the little things in life; it was a fantastic way to spend a morning. In Cairns, Australia, I was sitting near the water with my friend, just enjoying the day. We see many people passing by, one stuck out in my memory though. He was a couple years older than me and as we were sitting there, he rode past us on his bicycle; nothing strange about then. Then however he stops, turns around and comes back. He stops right in front of me and says, "Sorry, but I had to come back to tell you that your beautuful." I will remember him saying that for the rest of my life.
One of the greatest things I gained from this trip was a greater sense of confidence. Living in a small town, I never had to worry about getting lost; in Australia however, we only stopped in large cities. When we first arrived in Australia, our tour guide handed us each a map, showed us where we were, and then told us to direct him to the Sydney Tower. Not only are we exhausted, but we are all unfamilier with this city. Somehow we managed to get him to the tower. From then on, we were all very confident in reading maps. Being away from my parents for three weeks and making all of your own decisions, buying food, deciding when to go to bed and managing money helped me in self-confidence because I couldnt rely on someone for the answers.
Overall this vacation is no doubt one of the best experiences of my life. I saw the Sydney Oprah House, the Great Barrier Reef, the Steve Irwin zoo and many other places that I will always remember. The destination though didn't make the trip, it was the good experiences, as well as the emberassing ones that helped make this trip truly remarkable.
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