I always loved travelling, it is in my blood. While some people would prefer sitting and watching T.V or going to a restaurant and treating themselves with a good meal, I always preferred adventure however small it was. Travelling, for me, is not only about enjoying new experiences and seeing new things, but also about discovering new things about myself. Travelling changes someone’s attitude towards life, people, and cultures. In this paper I will present a personal narrative.
My first major travel was my trip out of my home country to the U.S. I had just finished high school and I wanted to further my education. No country offered a better chance for me than the U.S; it had the best schools and the best people from what I heard. I remember going down the airplane staircase with my family and reflecting on how beautiful the place was. I had always envisioned how the country would look like based on what I saw on TV. I was not disappointed, I hear my father say, “We are finally here” with a big sigh as if we had just finished climbing Mount Everest. Everyone in my family seemed cool, but they all had a strange look on their faces that conveyed a mixture of astonishment and determination at the same time. As for me, all I could think of was how I was going to explore the country. I thought of myself as a young Christopher Columbus or the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Only this time I would be travelling to discovered places. I always remember that feeling of anticipation that has never dwindled.
We immediately left for our new house in Arizona. It was a bigger house than the one we had in Qatar. I remember the first day we set foot in that house and my young brother shouted “we are finally going to play soccer in the house”. My eyes shifted to my mother, who had a serious look on her eyes that had my brother retract his words. My mother made it clear that nothing has changed and that we were going to behave as we always did back in Qatar. I was already enrolled in college and I had just arrived on time to begin my first semester. My first day in school was exciting. I met two local students and one foreign student like myself. Wesley and Mark had lived in the U.S all their lives, while Marco had just flown in the country three months earlier from Spain. The four of us developed a great friendship that lasted the whole semester. When the school was about to break, we had already planned visiting the Grand Canyon.
The day of our great escapade was here and Mark had told his older brother to give us a ride to our destination. I was the last person to be picked by the crew. Everyone had come prepared with camping materials, a camera, clothes, and last but not least enough food to last us during the trip. Marco was so excited and kept exclaiming how he had the “greatest friends in the world”. We were heading to the Grand Canyon located in northern Arizona. In order to get to the south rim of Grand Canyon National park, there were different routes we could have taken. However, we settled on taking a trip to Los Angeles arrive at Barstow and then take interstate 40 east to Williams in Arizona. From Williams we would go straight to the Grand Canyon.
When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, my mind was blown away. I had visited deserts in Qatar, but it was nothing like what I was seeing. I took many photos and wished my family was there t witness it. I was never a scared person, but this time I felt scared to peep below the Grand Canyon. The sight was so overwhelming and I imagined myself falling in a bottomless hollow. I realized that I too could get scared. Throughout this period, I was taking spectacular photos and learning more about my friends. I realized that Mark was sought of a genius; he had a sought of a lab in their basement that he would use to make electronics. Though he never mentioned it, his brother said their parents were proud of him, and that he was considered the “black sheep” of the family. Wesley was always the quiet one, but even he could not hide his excitement on this day.
After lasting three days at the Grand Canyon and finalizing out trip, I realized this trip was not about visiting a site and being blown away, but it was about learning my strength and fears and understanding my friends. I discovered I could get scared, that I was a risk-taker, and that I love photography. The great escapade can be equated to a journey of learning and discovering new things about me that I would not discovered had I not taken the journey.