It is pretty difficult for me to choose just one trip that was my favorite. But if I had to choose, I think my favorite “trip” was when Brittany, our mom and I went to our local park.
After an hour or so of tennis it was time for us to head back home. I said something about sitting in the front seat of the car, and when I glanced over at Brittany, we locked eyes and I knew: it was on. We both took off running to the car, giggling the whole way. The only problem was that there was a three-foot, wooden fence in our path. Since this was around the time that I was participating in outdoor track, and had been doing pretty well with my long jumping, I figured, “I’m a champ, I can do this,” so while Brittany slowed down like a chicken to step over it, I hurdled that fence. But, instead of clearing it like a gazelle, my foot got stuck on the top piece of wood and I landed face first into the grass on the other side. Yes, it was painful, but so hilarious that it was my favorite “trip” ever.
HAHA, okay, I’m only kidding. I mean, yes it did happen, and yes Brittany did laugh hysterically at me for a solid five minutes before she offered me any help (actually I don’t think I ever offered any help, and I still crack up every time I think of this story to this day – B). But here’s my real favorite trip experience:
When I was 8 and Brittany was 12, we went to Italy with our mom, aunt and cousin. That trip was probably one of my greatest life and travel experiences. We got to visit Rome, Positano, Florence and a small town in the mountains where my aunt was born called Sassinoro. At each location we were able to see a different way of life, different sites and attractions.
My favorite part of our trip wasn’t captured in photos or plastered on touristy postcards. What was so great about this trip for me was that it opened my eyes to see that the world is huge and made up of unique and interesting people and places. Our trip to Italy really sparked my interest in looking at how people live. The music, food, holidays and clothing that people associate with really show you what is important to them, and how they see and live their life. One of the coolest parts of our trip was when we were able to interact with the kids in my aunt’s hometown.
One day, Brittany, our cousin and I were all hanging out inside the house where we were staying, and getting ready to take our afternoon nap. This was one of the things I dreaded, but also loved since my mom would let us stay up late like everyone else in town. Anyway, my mom walked in to our room and yelled “girls, you’ve got to come see this!” We headed outside and saw close to 20 Italian children standing outside our house, wanting us to come hang out! Our mom let us go wander with them throughout the town, and go down to the park. As we tried to communicate with each other, though we shared quite a language barrier, I found it so cool to learn about the things they liked to do on a daily basis, like playing soccer. They showed us their shortcut to the park through an old lady’s garden, where I was absolutely certain a snake was going to bite me, or the lady would come running out of her house screaming at us in Italian. We became friends with the other children and would hangout at night, at festivals and at the local stream on hot afternoons. Some of us really became good friends with the kids and even had a budding romance *cough* Brittany *cough*. But believe me, I too had my Italian boy crushes! haha.
When all of these kids really welcomed us and became our friends, I felt like I never wanted to leave Italy. I could have stayed all year, eating delicious food, dancing in the piazza every night and hanging out around town with my new friends. Though we lived so far apart and spoke different languages, I learned that my Italian friends and I were quite similar. This was probably the greatest part of the trip, being able to learn about people from different parts of the earth, yet realize how alike we all are.
I’d love to hear about others’ experiences as well. What trips have been your favorites and why?