I was determined to make the most out of Summer 2019. Even with a part-time job and an internship, I still made time to travel, show up for my friends, and take some much needed me time. My first trip was to a small rural town in Virginia. My dad thought it was important that I knew where my family originally came from. Being a city girl, I wasn’t super interested in the mountains and wildlife that would come with the visit. Still, it wasn’t every year my family, which stretches on the East Coast from Canada to Florida, came together as one. The drive began Brooklyn, where I grew up, to the South where my grandmother grew up. My grandmother left the South and headed to Long Island, NY when she was in her late teens. As I observed how isolated and quiet the town was, I admired my grandmother’s courage to go from somewhere with a population of less than 20,000 to New York City. I loved how peaceful her town was but I silently thanked her for leaving, if not I would have never grown up in NYC!
After talking about my travel aspirations to a close friend she surprised me by buying my plane ticket to join her family vacation in July! I told her I had never been out of the country before and I was interested in getting a stamp or ten on my passport. I was super excited but my parents were concerned. The trip was to the Dominican Republic! It seemed like every day there was a new update on American’s visiting the Dominican Republic… and never returning. I told them no matter what I was still going and I promised I would come back in one piece. They trusted me and I had the best time. I touched dolphins, tried new foods, and brushed up on my swimming skills. It was a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of NYC.
My last visit was to Toronto. I am a HUGE Drake fan so to be in the place he talks about so much felt surreal. As a quick pre-Senior year trip my dad booked a cute hotel in Downtown Toronto and we had a blast together. Our first stop was a small diner called Lena’s Restaurant. We thought it was so cute because Lena is my nickname. We snapped a quick photo in front of the diner and started our tour of the city. One thing we noticed was how nice and welcoming the people of Toronto were. In NYC you could fall in broad daylight and people would probably step on you to keep going! We walked for hours and ended up at the aquarium. That was my favorite stop of all, my inner child was pleased.
Last summer I worked just as hard as I played. Days I woke up early and went to bed late all seemed worth it when I think about all of the new experiences I had. I stayed balanced within and when I felt like I needed a break, I took one. I hope after I graduate and have a career of my own I have all these luxuries.