The excitement that built up inside me over the year was finally expelled when I saw my parents carry the suitcases upstairs into our bedrooms. The leftover smell of the spices in the bottom reminded me so much of Syria. I couldn’t wait to pack up and leave. My parents started taking my brother and me to Syria when we were young in order for us to better appreciate our background. Every other summer, I got increasingly eager to take our family trip in order to experience the diverse culture and traditions they possess. I’d watch through the window of the plane as we glided in the air and anticipated our arrival.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
My most recent trip was life changing and extremely adventurous because I was finally at the age where I could go out and experience my family heritage on my own. I faced many challenges while I was there, especially because the customs were so unique, but my encounters were definitely worth the trip. The kids were all extremely respectful to their parents and made me realize how thankful I really should be for my parents and how I could possibly change for the better. I soon became conscious about my behavior before coming to Syria and the old-fashioned culture made me seek a change in my actions. After realizing that, I soon began to recognize other differences around me.
We visited many extremely old museums and churches, and I couldn’t help but notice the beggars on the street; not only were there adults but many children as well. The sight was so heartbreaking. It made me consider how thankful I should be for my life. Once my parents realized how much my experiences impacted me, they trusted me enough to try new experiences on my own. My time there was life altering and I now have an appreciation for my Syrian heritage and understand the meaning behind my culture. I loved seeing the country, eating the food, and learning about the traditions because I am aware now of what I had been missing all these years.
My trip to Syria was a boundless exploration and life changing opportunity to grow from a teenager trying to dig deep into the understanding of her roots and traditions to an adult who is grateful and thrilled to have such an incredible background. If chosen to receive your scholarship, I will put it to great use because it will not only go to help me financially, but also while getting involved on my school's campus. My interest in the Syrian culture helps me realize that I look forward to spreading the importance of knowing ones heritage while attending college. I am anticipating attending college and sharing my experiences with my fellow students.I will not only share my own heritage on a diverse campus, but also learn from other students who find interest in other cultures. While attending college, I will aim to meet unique students and challenge them to teach others about their diverse backgrounds.
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