My dad was turning 50- (sorry dad) and he wanted to do a family trip of a lifetime. First let me explain my type of vacation. It would include a beach, suntan lotion, and a good book. My ideal trip would not include sleeping outside with scary creatures and bugs, going to the washroom in a box, and sitting on a raft for 7 days. So, when my dad first told me about this family trip, needless to say I was extremely nervous and not happy. Hey, I was 20 years old and a sophomore in college and was already taking on the world…by college, not by raft facing class 10 rapids.
Needless to say, I the bratty teenager/young adult who loved/loves to complain had the most amazing trip ever. It is incredible how your new family on your raft becomes such a large part of your life. You hold onto strangers who you have barely spoken 10 words with but in the face of danger, are your life support. The first night I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was the only person out of the entire group that made their family set up a tent for their child. You better believe I slept inside that 900 degree tent that night and my family laughed at me- oh, i deserved it.
I learned to appreciate the beautiful skies without the coverings of roofs, tents, or even blankets. I was amazed that without my contacts, I could see thousands of stars on a nightly basis. How taking the "scenic view" to the bathroom is "so much cooler" than using the washroom in a moth-infested tent. How I could remember how much I loved my family and needed them by spending more than 2 hours with them, but rather a whole week. To make those necessary foundations with my parents and re-instate their faith/confidence/and trust in me.
The people that I met on this trip were the most amazing, beautiful, kind hearted, and personable people I have ever met. I love my dad for pushing me to go on this Grand Canyon trip. I love my brothers for putting up with my needing them to kill scary bugs at night. My ever increasing love for my step mother who would go to the washroom with me at midnight because the night is scary haha. To the kindness of strangers who became my extended family and looked "fear" in the eye with me. Who held my hand when there was not one, not two, but three enormous waves coming straight toward us. To everyone on that trip who showed me that life has so much more to offer than IPods, IPhones, television, etc. Thank you for making my life so much more enriching, your kindness has not gone un-noticed. I miss the laughs, the stories, and the people…my extended rafting family.