When I was asked to write about my biggest adventure, I really had to put my thinking cap on. What is my biggest adventure? A memorable holiday? Undertaking a challenge? Or even an adventure I have planned for the future? I’d like to think my whole life up to now has been an adventure in itself. What we do and where we go makes us who we are today.
The word adventure makes me think of my childhood, and there are many different things I could talk about, but one of my biggest adventures when I was younger was a school trip to America in Year 8. This was my first holiday abroad without my parents, and after 9/11 my parents weren’t very keen on letting me go to begin with. Eventually I managed to persuade them, and off I went! I was attending an all-girls school at the time and it was a skiing trip to Killington, Vermont. It was my first taste of freedom, and I loved it! Although being a vegetarian had its disadvantages while I was away (lots of meals were meat-based), it taught me to speak up for myself as my parents weren’t there to do it for me.
I shared a hotel room with 3 other girls from my school, one of which was my best friend at the time. I remember staying up one night and sharing a tub of what was my first taste of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (Cookie Dough). It was my first skiing experience (excluding the 2 previous practice sessions on dry slopes in the UK), it was so cold on the slopes but I was a natural at it – I even managed to do a little jump once I had got the hang of it. After the skiing part of the trip, certificates were handed out and I remember getting two – one of which was something like “coolest jump”. I was pretty proud as you can imagine!
We were only in America for a week, but I enjoyed every second of it. Our last night in Killington meant we had to attend a disco, and lots of different schools on their school trips attended, including the all-boys school from my local town. I remember it being so weird being in a different country and still recognising people, and at that age I still didn’t understand boys so I didn’t really dance much – boys were a foreign species back then.
The last two days were spent in New York, in which I still vividly remember visiting Macy’s, the Hard Rock Cafe and the Empire State Building. We also went past ground zero on the coach, and I everyone was silent as we did. We visited quite a few places in a short amount of time, but these are the ones that have always stuck in my mind.
I took many photos of my adventure, including images of the Statue of Liberty, however as I’m sure everyone can relate, in Year 8 I had an old brick phone so the quality of these are not so good, I apologise. At the same time I’m still glad I took these so I can look back (after lots of rummaging through old photos!). I’d love to go back again and visit the same places and more, plus get a few more decent shots! I have a group shot of us and our skiing instructor (although I don’t keep this at University so I cannot show you), who was so lovely! I still kept hold of a few momentous from my skiing trip such as the certificate, the group photo, a lanyard from the Hard Rock Cafe and a few fliers from New York. Just these few little items remind me of the trip, and what I gained from it. I definitely was more independent and felt much more grown up after my adventure to America.
If you’re interested in sharing your biggest adventure, I’d love to hear it! Gapyear.com is providing an incredible prize for a trip to New Zealand for one lucky winner, so what are you waiting for!