Showing appreciation is often difficult. Loving what one has is challenging, though craving what one does not is simple. This becomes apparent when traveling through my life-changing experience.
Going home, I planned my strenuous speech for my parents, which was the start to my infinite workload. I didn’t receive an immediate “yes” as I had hoped; however, I was able to convince them to attend the informational meeting. While sitting through flocks of questions asked by worried parents, I constructed more strategies for persuasion.
â–º SEMI FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Testing the tactics designed at the meeting, I realized that my parents were building every fence possible to keep me trapped in the yard of a young child with no privileges. After countless hours of the uphill battle, they finally tumbled down planting their feet with a frightened, but positive, “It will require a lot of hard work.”
Persistence was the characteristic that made me succeed. I looked at every day as a fundraising opportunity. Everyone wanted to help with my fundraisers, and I must have told my story upwards of fifty times, but fifty wasn’t enough. A pancake breakfast to be held at church was next on my outline of objectives. After the breakfast I counted my money in awe as the amount rose. At this point I began to appreciate. I appreciated the people who wanted me to have what they knew would be a life-altering experience.
I was off to Paris before I knew it, expecting some great and out-of-this-world trek through the fashion-filled streets. Being so far off from my expectations, I was shocked to see that our group’s first place of residency was named a “Hostal.” Cramped rooms, a corner bathroom the size one would find in an airplane, two bunk beds for three girls, and a preparation place containing a two-feet square mirror with outlets that fried our hair appliances were all the accommodations we received.
The crowded metros of Paris supplied an easy place for a scene, which is where a drunken man began yelling at our group. Our group eventually conjured up the courage to scurry away from the ill man; however, a friend and I were split up from the group. We did as instructed by our tour guide—sat on the bench in the metro until he came for us. Clinging to my possessions on the stain-filled bench, I began to think about my family. They did so much for me, for which I was not always appreciative. After an hour and a half of tightly clinging to our belongings, we lost hope and searched for our “Hostal” ourselves. In the midst of our journey, I gathered my thoughts. At the top of my list was being appreciative for my life, my friends, and my family.
We found our way back to the hostile by using multiple resources, none of which were the rude residents of Paris, who had no intention of helping us. We waited in the lobby until everyone got back. Not one person in the group, one of whom was supposed to be my friend, said anything about being thankful for our being safe. Instead, everyone was mad at us for getting lost, and we were classified as outcasts for the remainder of the trip.
Upon my return home, I realized a lot of things. One thing that caught my attention was that by getting lost, my friend and I gained more than anyone else on the trip. My trip was more than an experience. It was a way to pull out my inner appreciativeness and display it for my friends and family.
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