My Summer Traveling with Mme. Kelly

I left my pocket of North-America for the first time in my life


Francisco Acuna, Reporter

As I said goodbye to my grandmother, I could hear the sadness in her voice, although I would only be gone for two weeks. Her sobbing made my heart feel heavy; I almost felt guilty for leaving her and my family. I knew I needed to be away from them though; I needed to spend some time to remember who I am. As I walked to airport security with my Casino Del Sol luggage that my grandfather got for free from all his spending at the casino, I thought How obvious will it be that I’m new to this?

The plane ride was dreadfully long. I tried to sleep on the way to London, but all I was able to do was watch episodes of Modern Family and Malcolm in the Middle. We landed in Heathrow Airport, and instantly I was surprised at how different their English accents are from ours. Going through customs and immigration, I felt like I was in a movie. Once my group was finally able to leave the airport and meet with our tour guide, I knew I wasn’t home. The streets were no longer named in Spanish or after Spanish settlers, and I had discovered a new kind of pale that I had never seen before. In London I didn’t really experience any culture shock, because to me they were like New Yorkers with a different accent. London was beautiful, but it didn’t really feel exotic.

Our time in London was quickly followed by the hustle and bustle of Paris, where I was excited to use my French, but just about everyone there could speak to me in either English or Spanish. Paris was huge. Rather than sight see on a bus, we took the metro everywhere we went. I got to see the Eiffel Tower at night, where every hour millions of lights twinkle and light it up. I will always remember how the colors looked like wonderland…

After Paris, we toured the South of France. Everything in the South of France was so much more tranquil compared to the fast city life of London and Paris. The weather was beautiful with zephyrs and a bright blue sky. In Avignon, we enjoyed walking through stone paved streets and exploring ancient castles.

Spain was the country that I had anticipated the most. We arrived by bus; I saw tall pastel colored buildings tied close together. In Spain, I got to see live flamenco  dancing and walked through the mosaic park of the artist, Gaudi . The atmosphere was attractive, with Spanish men and women proudly dressed from head to toe with traditional clothing. They held their heads flamboyantly. Each movement was a work of art.

Sadly, as all things do, the trip quickly came to an end. When we were on the plane leaving Madrid,  I remembered all things I went through in order to go on this this trip. I remembered the 10 months that it took me to save me the money, all spent in two weeks. I remembered the packing, unpacking, and repacking of bags, so many times trying not to forget something important. Was it really worth it? I thought. Yes, yes indeed.

If you are interested in a trip like this one, don’t wait. My advice to you would be follow your heart and explore. Madame Kelly says, “Don’t hesitate you will never regret it,”.  Through these trips we are given the opportunity to travel in a cushioned environment while still being given the thrill of traveling independently without family.