Spring break...a time to decompress and enjoy time off from college. But in my case, my last spring break trip did more than allow me to decompress, it changed my outlook on life. I had an opportunity to travel to California with my roommates and it was the best experience of my life.
A packed experience
The amount that we packed in on this trip, was like trying to squeeze that last article of clothing in your suitcase right before it's about to pop open. This trip to California was exciting, eye-opening, and overwhelming all at once. The places I saw, and the people I met gave me insight on how much more is out there in this world. Venice beach, Hollywood sign, Los Angeles, San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge, Full House house, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica Pier, Mill Valley, Pier 39, and more was all packed in this one week trip. But the places that I saw had no significance on the experiences I went through at each location.
One might say I'm sheltered in regards to traveling, my roommates definitely weren't. I didn't have as much travel experience outside of my small hometown in Michigan. These fun four girls were spontaneous and that spontaneity was huge part of this trip being as incredible as it was.
Brush off the past, and get busy living
Traveling to California gave me a lot of insight on seeing the goodness in life past your struggles. For a long time, I put too much emphasis on high school friends that didn't really act like my friends. I was fresh out of high school, at the time, and held onto a lot of baggage of hurt feelings from the past. I got the chance to meet all kinds of people in California and I didn't realize how many wonderful new people I would meet in college. Everyone holds some kind of weight on their shoulders, and sometimes you just need that push or light bulb moment to help lift the weight away. This trip was my light bulb moment for me.
Witnessing different lifestyles
Being in California, one might expect to see someone famous...the most eye-opening part of this trip was actually getting to hang out with a group of semi-famous people in Beverly Hills. My roommates and I decided to spend half the trip at my friends house in San Fransisco, and the other half in a hotel in Los Angeles. We knew a friend from Michigan State who lived in Beverly Hills, and he invited us over to hang out with him and his friends: one being the daughter of an actresses who stared in Full House (which is my favorite childhood show). When the Uber pulled up to his friends $40 million house, I couldn't believe what I was looking at. I grew up seeing HGTV mansions on television and hadn't witnessed the life of people with a crazy amount of money, and I actually got the chance to step into their shoes and live their lifestyle for a couple nights. From that, to observing the unfortunate people in the suburbs of Los Angeles, that live off of $5 a day, was the yin and yang: the have and have nots: the jaw dropping emotions on both spectrums that made it an experience I'll never forget.
Move outside your comfort zone
Everyone enjoys comfort, especially in regards to where you live. You know the people, you know every single pot hole in your commute to your local grocery store, you know the entire menu of your favorite restaurant. However, comfort inhibits adventure. Sometimes, it's important for your growth as a person to push your comfort zone and actually be uncomfortable. After visiting California, I gained some insight on wanting to travel more and possibly live somewhere new when I graduate. I was enlightened by getting more outside of my comfort zone all through this trip.
I will take what I learned from my spring break trip to California, and continue to apply it to my life in the future. I have gained life lessons and memories to tell my children one day. What an incredible experience it was.
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