As a resident of South Florida I am engrossed in a plethora of different cultures and people from every corner of this world every day. These surroundings evolved my interest in the world outside of South Florida. I took every opportunity to study such countries as Costa Rica, France, Cambodia, etc. My first opportunity to travel was when I was 14 years old and my mother and I took the 9hr flight to Great Britain.
This trip was not only a chance for me to see a new way of life separate from my own, but also meet my mother’s side of the family who predominately reside in England.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
The true greatness behind England being my first out of country experience is that like America it is very diverse in culture and the technological advances are similar and in some cases more advanced. This allowed me to more easily adjust to this new country. What I loved the most was how the two countries differed especially in their history and architecture. Through our travels we visited Buckingham palace, The London Eye, The Bloody Tower, Piccadilly Circus, and my favorite a fish and chip store on Waterloo Rd. Not only do the landmarks bring a smile to your face but the history behind them takes your breath away. The death, the romance, the deceit, the pure grandeur of it all is almost too much to take in in one visit. Walking down the cobblestoned streets, the blooming flora, hills upon hills of extremely well kempt houses, and seemingly endless gray clouds. It rained so much; we spent more time skipping from canopy to canopy than actually seeing the history around us. The one thing I do regret about the trip was I was unable to hop on the back of a double decker bus now-a-days the buses are more modern so they more resemble those in the U.S. The one I did see was across heavy traffic and my mother would not let me go I was quite sad for a good hour. Other than that it was an amazing opportunity to try new foods, see new fashions, and experience a heart breaking exchange rate.
Though we were tourist at the same time my mother’s main objective was to introduce me to her side of the family. From the very first kiss on the cheek and “hello love” I knew these were extremely loving people. Every moment with them was filled with stories of my Mothers childhood, pictures out the kazoo, and apple pie with warm custard and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream “Delicious”. Meeting all my cousins; there children, wife’s, husband’s, and friends was interesting. They’re a very diverse group of people all with interesting stories to tell some were athletes others scientist and my uncle Courtney was a music producer being 14 that was the coolest thing in the world to me. They gave me a new sense of family pride that I never really felt with my dad’s side of the family. Between the Sunday dinners and the late nights watching Britain’s Got Talent within a short two weeks I felt truly connected to my new family.
Though my first my trip, England has not and will not be my last journey out of the U.S. I hope to see this world in its whole the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. But, I will never forget the experience I was lucky enough to experience in England. It was a time for me to grow in maturity and grow closer to my family. I hope others are as lucky as I and can also experience the world beyond their own countries.
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