Road trips are an iconic American family vacation. Driving down classic two-lane American roads across the country, windows rolled all the way down to enjoy the fresh air, board games strewn across the laps of restless little children sitting in the back seat, and parents up front trying to keep their sanity as they count down the days until they finally return home. However, the road trip that I went on with my family was a tad bit different from this picturesque all-American road trip.
This road trip started in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, the birthplace of my parents. My sister and I stayed with family in Chaguanas, a thriving town in central Trinidad. From here, our road trip took us along the western coast, heading south, until we reached the southernmost tip of Trinidad: Icacos Point.
As I stepped out of my cousin’s white pickup truck, I immediately noticed buzzing dragonflies as they swarmed everywhere. It appeared to be thousands of them as they quickly darted past each other. Not very fond of insects, I apprehensively followed my cousins, aunts, and sister along the pitch road that led down to the sand. Bright green foliage grew densely along the right side of the road. To our left were miles upon miles of clean, white sand, sprinkled with fallen palm fronds, branches, and leaves.
Where the rising water from the tides met the road, the road completely disappeared into the sand. Cracked and sunken in, it was eroded and washed away from the constant motion of the ocean. When we stood on the edge of the remaining part of the road and looked around the bend of trees and bushes, we saw where the road started again, about a quarter of a mile away. A few houses stood along the road and three little kids splashed about in the surf. None of us could believe that people lived so far from another town; the last one we drove through was miles away, past a huge coconut tree grove.
The ocean is a powerful force of nature and its beauty inspires awe. It shimmered like tiny precious jewels when the waning afternoon sunlight reflected against the surface. Clear, blue water, as far as the eye can see, melded into one with the sky. Waves crashed against the shore and created a soothing and lulling sound. The rhythmic motion of the oscillating waves had a hypnotic effect. Taking a deep breath, I filled my lungs with the salty sea air and the tang of the brine awakened my senses. We then noticed an unusual sight; apples, six of them, scattered in the wet sand. My cousin theorized that they fell off a smuggler’s ship and washed up here on Icacos’ shore.
Here on Icacos Point, my family knew that we were very close to Venezuela. They took turns trying to catch a glimpse of the country using a pair of binoculars. When my cousin exclaimed that he could see the coast of Venezuela, I was skeptical. However, when he handed me the binoculars and directed my view due left, I could not believe my eyes. I was looking at the coast of the South American country of Venezuela, the dark landform clearly visible on the horizon. Astounded, I lowered the binoculars and thought about how two countries could be so close to each other and yet have such different cultures. Though we are both unique in our own ways, we are still very much the one and the same in the human race.
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