14,505 feet above sea level. I take a seat on a ledge looking over California. This is the highest up I have ever been while my feet were still on the ground. I can feel as though I can see everything from here, but I know there's so much more to explore than what my eyes can see. I sit on top of this mountain staring off into this beautiful world. Then I turn around and see these massive trees, trees that climb up to 400 feet higher than where I already am. They’re huge, the tallest trees I've ever seen, the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen. I just imagine what kind of creatures could live up there, how their lives could be.
I have been given the opportunity to travel to lots of different places since I was 6 months old. I have lived in the same town, in the same house my entire life, but I travel a lot. My family loves to travel and it's what we’ve always done. I have had so many opportunities to go to different places, most of them being within the US. Being able to go to so many different places with so many different cultures and types of people is my American Creed. I love being able to become more cultured and learn and try new things while still not going to far away. I have family who lives on both coasts of the US, I have family that lives in New York, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and California. I get the chance to go to all of these places and many more and explore all of the different cultures and environments. And do this while all still being in the united states and being surrounded by all of these people who, that place is their home. I know there are a lot of people in the US that don't get the chance to visit new places and I get to go multiple places a year, and I am so thankful for that.
The brief story I told at the beginning happened last august. That trip to California is one reason why I love traveling so much. People from all over the country and even out of the country travel there hoping for fame and glory or maybe just to sell their products to the famous and glorious. Either way people from all over travel there. On that trip my family and I went to just three of the many different parts of California. First we landed in LAX in Los Angeles, then we drove through the mountains until we reached, Pismo Beach. Pismo is a beautiful, peaceful beach that had the most beautiful sunsets. Right next to the beach were mountains just like the ones we had been driving through for miles and miles. At Pismo I experienced all of this new culture I had never seen before. I saw real surfer dudes, I ate seafood while looking out over the Pacific Ocean with a beautiful sunset, I ran and played on the beach with my younger sister, I fell asleep in the sun and got very sunburnt with funky tan lines all over my legs. These experiences I hope to never forget. After the beach we next went to Sequoia National Park. This environment was completely different. We went from being at sea level to 14,505 feet above it within a day. The main attraction there of course was the trees which I was amazed at. I love to take pictures so being surrounded by all of that amazing scenery was a dream come true. I got to take pictures of the most amazing trees. We stopped halfway up the mountain, it was the last place you could stop before you got into the forest. There was a spot with a ledge that overlooked the mountain and the valley you had just driven up. I felt like I could see forever. I never had experienced anything like that, the huge trees, being able to see forever, drinking clean water out of a river in a national forest. These experiences made me feel more in touch with nature and made me remember how much I love being outside in the sunshine. In America we have all of these amazing national parks where you really can go and experience a well cared for nature. Next we were off to Hollywood. This was a very new experience. So many different people from all over the world. Hollywood is a very interesting and beautiful place. You can tell the locals from the tourists. The locals go there and try to sell you water for a few bucks or they dress up in costumes of your favorite characters and if you take a picture with them they ask for money. This is a very strange this for me to experience since I practically grew up in Disney World where you see the real characters and not some guy who just wants a few bucks. It's cool to experience all of these different places within only 2 weeks I learned so much from that trip and that's why I love America there are so many great places to explore. There were so many different types of people I encountered, from some of the nicest people I could ever meet to some not so nice ones, or the people who were just having a bad day. The experiences I gained in California I hope to remember forever.
Another place I have traveled to lately that showed me some new cultures and a new environment was New York City. It was February so it was cold, very cold, freezing even. This trip was with my choir and as we walked through the chilly streets of New York City taking all the pictures along the way. We saw the New York subway which is a very scary place, we got seperated a few times since out group was so big but we eventually got everyone back together. We saw Times Square, some of the people there reminded me of the people who dressed up in Hollywood. I guess it's a big city thing. I don’t think ive ever seen buildings so tall before. They scraped the sky towering over all of us. I couldn't help but to look up. Maybe that's why people in new york always have such high hopes and such optimism, they are always looking up. One of my dreams came true on this trip to New York, I got to see my favorite musical of all time on broadway with most of the original cast, Dear Evan Hansen. It was our free night in times square and my friend Rosie and I were joking about seeing it. We had no hope for seeing it since we knew it would cost so much and be sold out. But we mentioned it to our choir directors dad, Mr. Snyder, who was on the trip and he thought it was a great idea. So that cold February evening we walked around Times Square trying to find the Music Box theatre where it was being performed at and for the Broadway shop that had merchandise for all of the broadway shows. We first went to the resale/discounted tickets and no luck, but the lady at the desk said they might have last minute cancellation tickets. So, we split up my mom, Rosie, and I went to the Broadway store so I could buy some Dear Evan Hansen stuff in case we couldn't see it, and Mr. Snyder went to the theatre to see if they had 4 tickets. After we bought our stuff we went and found the theatre. We walk up to the theatre freezing and shivering when we see Mr. Snyder outside holding 4 tickets. Rosie and I screamed, we couldn't believe what we were seeing. We had seats in the 5 row and practically got spit on my Noah Galvin who was playing Evan. That night was I think the best night of my life. I hope to remember this trip. I cried and realized that dreams do come true and sometimes the best things that happen are unexpected.
Being able to go to these different places and learn new things is such a great experience. Because I have had the chance to travel so much I have gotten particularly good at it. My parents can trust me enough to know my way around. Since I have gotten so good at traveling it's given me a sense of responsibility and made me more mature than some others I know. Traveling and having these opportunities have given me so knowledge and have widened my eyes. I think because of these places I've gone to and the things I’ve done I am more optimistic and I see things differently than people who have never had the chance to do the things I’ve done. I am so thankful for the adventures I’ve gone on and the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had. It's made me who I am, and that is my American Creed.