I am proud to say that at the age of 17 I spent my spring break of senior year in London and Paris! Not many teens are given the opportunity to go half way across the world and experience a new culture and new surroundings. I counted down the days until I would board the plane and await a 13 hour flight to arrive at my destination half way around the world. Best of all, I had 3 of my friends attending the trip as well. Leo and Raymond are in the same program as me so every so often we would look at one another and say “__ more days!” Juan has been my friend since middle school so the fact that he also went made the experience a lot more meaningful. Arriving in London was hectic because we found out that our luggage didn’t arrive with us. (That was the worst part of our trip; we were stuck with the same clothes for 2 days!) On the other hand, the one place I really wanted to see in London was the first thing we saw, Big Ben! I remember the first night in London Leo and I stayed awake the entire night just contemplating the fact that we were actually there in London, England. The next morning we ran downstairs to wake up the boys and as soon as we got back to our room to “get ready” we ended up falling asleep and missed breakfast. (The boys weren’t so happy that after we woke them up we “had the nerve” to fall asleep. It’s okay though, they got over it.) Besides the great landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey and St.Paul’s Cathedral, one thing that amazed me was the fact that the streets were so clean. (I believe we were all so impressed because all we could think was “there’s no trashcans anywhere yet there’s no garbage on the floor either”). Although I enjoyed London, I believe I enjoyed Paris even more because that was where I built some great friendships. My school was only one-third of the entire group that attended the trip and I can’t imagine spending that trip with anyone else than the new friends we made. Paris was unforgettable! Besides the fact that I was in Paris, France, the place where many of my friends have dreamt of visiting, I made some of the greatest memories with some of the greatest people that I’ll never forget. Being in Paris is what brought the group from Canada, Virginia and California together. I shared a room with Leo and Amy, from Canada, and every night we had a little reunion in our room. The boys would come down and cook something and we’d sit down and just talk until we realized we had to go to sleep because we had to wake up early the next day. Every night was a night that turned into morning with some wonderful people and because of that it was difficult for us to say goodbye on the last day. Not many people, let alone teenagers, can say that they’ve climbed up the Arc de Triomphe, but I can. Best of all, I can say that I climbed 670 steps in order to get to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Climbing those two landmarks were my greatest accomplishments of the entire trip. I am blessed to say that I was given the opportunity to travel and learn while enjoying myself and because of it I made some of the best memories in my high school years.
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