Finding Home in a Grain of Sand - My Family Travels

A desert by definition is dry. The sun scorches the desert as one squeezes the liquid from a towel. It's not easy to call a place like that home, and it isn't easy to get used to either. But on rare days, I stand on a mountain, overlooking my community. The wind slashes through the strands of my hair and glides against my skin. It feels nice; a rare phrase used in a desert. A desert with chilly air and peaceful moments is not common. But it happens to me…because it is my home.


I live in Valencia, California; a place that’s only attraction is an amusement park, Six Flags Magic Mountain with a water park neighbor, Hurricane Harbor. Actually, there's more to Valencia than just roller coasters and a single water park. The next time you are looking for a road trip, stop by Valencia. Valencia is a town with many chapters, a different chapter within each new street. One street will consist of cowboy towns, while the next street consists of mid-century modernized homes. The day time is nice for pool parties or water balloon fights. The night is perfect for fire works or night s'mores under the starlight sky.

But there's one attraction that not many people know of:  it's the mountains.

A couple years ago, I took my bike with my dad and brother, and climbed over a mountain so we can go mountain-bike-riding. We expected bushes, bumps, and wild animals, for there are coyotes, snakes, and rabbits nearby. The tall ugly desert mountain looked like the Berlin Wall that split East and West Germany. With the help of my dad, we finally climbed over. Unexpectedly, there was nothing like what my imagination drew, but a beautiful flat dirt path. The dirt path followed a line of the carved mountains, just like a path for riding ATV's. As we flew in our bikes down and up the dirt path, the sun started to set and the cool breeze built up again.

While my body moved along like the movement of the sea, I stared out across the land and saw the beautiful sun setting just like in the movie Indiana Jones. Once the sun set entirely, the night sky was blue and shining like Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painting. Really, this side of the mountain I was on was a painting, a fantasy in reality.  This mountain became my second home.

When people see mountains on a road trip, they don't expect to see anything new or spectacular on the other side. But going on the other side of the mountain is something like what lies on the other side of the sea. On the sides of the Pacific Ocean, there's America and Asia. Who knew Christopher Columbus was going to sail the ocean blue to find a whole different land? Just like that, if you're not paying attention in life and just sleep walking, you will miss out on things…beautiful things.

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