European Odyssey - My Family Travels

Family: ”a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for.”
With that said, I have many families. One that has made the most difference in my life, besides the family that is my true blood, would have to be my People to People family.  We met in the summer of 2011 when we went on a journey to Europe.

We traveled to France, Italy, and Greece. We had a group of forty- five student ambassadors and five leaders. We looked up to our leaders as if they were our parents. We didn’t always want to do what told us, but we had to. The rest of the students, including me, started building sisterly and brotherly relationships. We grew as friends with the many hard journeys such as: climbing volcanos, repelling down a castle, and just being brought into a new country not knowing anyone. When we were in Italy, we had to spend time away from the group and stay with a random family from Mestre, Italy. At first, I was scared not knowing them. But, after meeting them, I realized they were just like my family back home. They had a different lifestyle, customs, and language; but so did I. I learned about how their schooling was different. They went to regular school until they were eleven, and then they had to decide what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. At this point in their lives, they had to choose their occupation and decide their educational choice based on that. It was so different from our schooling where though we can do just about anything we want at any time in our lives.

                One of the most interesting experiences was tasting food I’d never experienced before. In France, I tried so many different foods like duck, and snails. At first I was a little unsure, but I was up to trying it. The duck tasted great, like a nice, tender, buttery piece of beef. I thought it was worth it, even though I got food poisoning the next day. But the snails were great, tasting like shrimp. Some of my PtP family encouraged me to eat it, so I did.

We then traveled to, Greece which I was probably the most afraid of. People had always told me that Greeks were rude and very mean, and they were the hardest to understand. When we first got there, we could not understand anything, especially signs on the buildings. But, then we went to a school where we were taught some of the Greek dances. That was really fun and I was told I was one of the best dancers. Then, we taught them some if our group dances. Following that we had dinner with some of the kids though neither of us could understand each other, it was okay. We just had fun together.

Through this trip with my new family, we made peace through friendship with the other kids and adults from the different countries. We learned about their different ways and culture through their foods and lifestyles. We all grew as people by putting ourselves in different challenges. I learned through this experience that I should not be scared and try new things. The more, I do, the more cultural impact I will get out of my life.


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