The phrase, “It’s a small world” is, in my opinion, used way too much by people today. I say this because the world is not a small place when you consider the size of a human being. Most people will see many different places in their lifetime, but it is virtually impossible for any one person to experience all that the world has to offer. During the spring break of my seventh grade year of school, I went on a trip that would change my view of the world and my place in it forever. I discovered that there was so much more to the world’s different cultures and places than I had previously believed.
When I was younger, my view of the world was not very broad. My parents were hard working people who did their best to provide for me and my sisters, and they still are to this day. All I wanted to do with my life was be just like my father and to grow up to be a hard working individual with a job that I liked and a family that loved each other. I didn’t care for extravagant things, and I thought that I would be satisfied with just surviving from day to day. This would change when my grandparents offered to take me on a trip outside the country.
My grandparents are to be credited for my current views. They always appeared out of reach when I was little. My grandmother, Nana, was originally from England and met my grandfather during his travels with the navy. They have always been into traveling, and when my parents would tell me that Nana and Granddad were away visiting England or some other place, I never thought much of it until the day when they would invite me to go with them on a trip to England and France.
At first I was excited. The idea of going somewhere so far away was unreal. My young mind couldn’t comprehend the amazingness of the opportunity before me. I had gone to Disney World when I was around six, but I couldn’t even remember being on the plane which added to the overall experience. The seven hour flight from Atlanta International airport to London was an intimidating experience. I had never seen so many different kinds of people in one place. In this plane that seemed to be bigger than my house, there were people of every size, shape and ethnicity that one can think of. While most people would probably be agitated by screaming infants and that guy talking really loud on his cell phone, all I could do was sit there in a perplexed state of curiosity.
People always talk about the majesty of the world’s largest cities. Places like New York, London, and Beijing are filled with life and excitement. When I first stepped off the plane in London, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see. Though I didn’t stay in London that day, I was able to get a glimpse of what was to come through the cab window. Living in Franklin, Tennessee, I had been up to Nashville several times, but this place was far bigger and more captivating than any sight I had seen at home. However, the first stop on the itinerary was a small coastal town called Portsmouth.
Portsmouth is where my Nana is from, and my great grandparents still live there to this day. After a good night’s rest in a nice hotel, we went to visit my great-grandparents as well as some other extended family. Throughout the day, I walked around this quiet little town exploring old British navy ships and talking with my great grandmother who was in her eighties at the time. I found her to be an extremely interesting individual. She was not only part of a generation that is mostly gone, but she was also in a country still foreign to me. Also, I got to meet several of my second cousins who lived in the area as well. What shocked me was there curiosity about America. They would ask me all kinds of questions that seemed rather trivial to me. As they asked me about different words for things and other questions about American culture, I couldn’t come up with anything to ask them about their home. It was as if I was paralyzed by the fact…