The Trip I Just Couldn’t Miss….

Have you ever been given opportunity that is so amazing and so unique, that you would do absolutely anything to take it? A few months ago, I was presented with one of these opportunities by my grandparents, and it was by far the most enriching experience of my life.

As a meeting planner, my grandma travels all over the world, and this year her destination was Rhodes, Greece. When she invited my family to come with her, I was thrilled; my biggest dream has always been to travel and experience other cultures, and I had not yet been given that opportunity. However, this was to take place the week of October 5th, which initially presented many conflicts with school work and college applications.

As a senior, I have had a lot going on this fall semester, and the height of my senior year just so happened to fall on the week we were to go to Greece. Early last spring, we received permission from the school to take the vacation, and everything seemed set in stone. However, at the end of the summer, we realized that the October SAT, which is critical to my college applications, was to take place on October 5, one day after we were set to leave.

Luckily, my Dad managed to rearrange the flights so I could still go on the trip and take my SAT. However, just when I thought all of my conflicts were resolved, I was presented with a personal dilemma; I would be gone for Homecoming week. While this upset me, as it would be my last homecoming at ODA, I knew I couldn’t pass up a chance of a lifetime, so after my SAT, we set off for Greece.

If I ever had any doubts about going, they were erased the second I stepped off of the airplane. Greece is by far the most amazing, beautiful place I have visited, and the culture I encountered was the most eye opening experience I have ever had. Everything you hear about Greek culture: the food, dancing, music, and general friendliness of the people is true. Each person I met radiated positive energy, which surprised me since the country is in distress. The trip has not only given me a greater appreciation for the life I have been given, but allowed me to see up close how other people live their lives, which was a wonderful experience.

I met many exceptional people in Greece, though one person in particular have made a lasting impression on my life. His name is George, and he is without a doubt the most generous and hospitable man I have ever met. Not only did he teach me about Greek history and culture, but he also managed to plan a last minute birthday party for my brother. Most importantly, George represented to me the true meaning of Greek life, living your days to the fullest, which I think is an amazing way to strive to live life.

I could have stopped time and blissfully stayed in Greece forever, but all too soon, reality called me home, and with it came a huge amount of overdue school work. I had completed most of my homework on the long flights, however making up tests was unfortunately not something I could do while I was away. The first week back was a struggle; I had Calculus lessons to learn, history tests and essays to complete, and a group project to finish in ICS. However, I received more support than I could have hoped for from my teachers, and with their help, I managed to turn everything in quickly.

Despite the conflicts initially involved, I am now so thankful that I decided to go to Greece. Though I knew I would have a lot of catching up to do, nothing could compare to this experience, and I fortunate to have been given such a remarkable opportunity.