The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

Small Moments Offer Lifelong Memories

Suitcase packed – Check. 

Passport out – Check. 

Camera Charged – Check. 

Ready to go – Maybe? 

Story continues below advertisement

Staring at the list that I made the night before heading to Spain for Spring Break I go over each bullet point.  

Each item that I need and have packed is scribbled out with a red glitter pen.  

But that last line has me stuck.  

Sure, I have packed everything that I will need, I had my clothes, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.  

But I had my doubts. 

Nine days is a long time to be away from home. 

What if something bad happens while I’m stuck thousands of miles away from home? 

What if the people on the trip don’t like me? 

What if I spend too much money? 

The ‘what ifs’ continue to run through my head as I look at my suitcase and carryon bag by the door. I debated for a second whether I should just stay home and not go on the trip.  

My mom can see how nervous I look so she attempts to make me feel better. She reminds me that I spent my whole summer working for this trip and how much my family has helped me to get here. That I should not quit now because of a few last-minute nerves.  

I agree with her. 

After taking a few deep breaths, I brace myself for the next day and the adventures it would bring.  

Getting to the airport the next day was a mix of excitement and terror. There were huge crowds of people and lots of noise filling up the large rooms. 

Starting the trip I only knew four of the people beforehand, with a mix of students from multiple different schools it was overwhelming trying to meet everyone.  

Since we arrived at the airport four hours early, we had plenty of time to hang out and get to know people. My small group of friends and our teacher/chaperone Tyler Merrell decided to go to the food court.  

If you know anything about airport food, you know that it is ridiculously expensive and just ok quality. After just buying lunch and a coffee, I was at the point where I was starting to wonder if my worry of running out of money was a possibility.  

The plane ride, it turns out, is the hardest part about traveling. 

Sitting in a plane with stale air, a chair that is slightly too small, with not enough leg room, and a stranger taking up my armrest, causing me to lean on my friend for most of the first flight, is not a fun experience. But being able to talk to the other people on the tour around me made it better.  

Over the next few days, I saw so many new places and buildings and was able to meet some amazing people.  

But one moment that stood out to me was going to see flamenco dancing.  

I wasn’t originally meant to go on the excursion. I had only picked out one extra activity to not spend too much money.  

But after a bit of persuasion and just telling myself that I would spend less money elsewhere, I decided to sign up to go.
The performance was in a small natural cave that they had painted over and added colored lighting. If someone hit the wall or kicked back their chair too hard, sometimes a little bit of dust would fall off the ceiling.  

But you hardly could notice the appearance of the building when the dancers came out, in bright colorful dresses, spinning and moving their feet to the music.  

Even without being able to understand the words that they were thinking, I could feel it through the emotion in their voices and the dance movements. The lights shining down on the dancers, leaving me unable to divert my eyes. 

I was mesmerized the whole time they were out. The only thing that distracted me was when my camera ran out of storage from taking too many pictures. 

The only thing I could think after the show was how disappointed I would have been had I not gone to the event. Just because I hadn’t wanted to spend a little extra money.   

Looking back on the trip, I learnt that the best you can do is live in the moment and try not to worry too much about the future.  

So go get on that plane.  

Go talk to new people and make friends. 

Attempt to speak Spanish and fail, but keep trying. 

Enrich yourself in a new culture. 

And don’t be afraid to try something new. 

Finally checking that last box. 

I am ready. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Reagan Jones, Photo Editor
Senior Reagan Jones is in Newspaper and Yearbook, and she originally joined to expand her knowledge of photography and storytelling. Jones is also excited because it is her second year in Viking Student Media and first year in newspaper. "I love working with the media team and creating stories for the whole school," Jones said.

Comments (0)

All The Viking Vanguard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *