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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?
Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.
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April 25th, 2013
Montage Hotels & Resorts is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the opening of its first hotel, Montage Laguna Beach. In honor of this milestone, they’re holding a Montage Memory Makers Contest, which will award five young humanitarians (between the ages of 13 – 17) with a $10,000 college scholarship for their efforts in inspiring and providing service to their communities. In addition to the scholarship, the five winners will also receive a trip for two to Montage Laguna Beach to meet with Montage Founder and CEO Alan Fuerstman. Not a bad deal for a few lucky winner
Ten finalists have been announced and need your votes! See below for the list of what these young humanitarians have accomplished. After you read about them go and vote! Hurry, you have from now through April 26, 2013- vote here.
April 17th, 2013
The cold of New Zealand winter wind whipped my hair around my face and stung my cheeks with icy kisses turning my face a slightly red color as blood tried in vain to warm it. I hugged my coat around my body greedily holding in the warmth. My sister, walking beside me, looked and acted a lot colder than I felt and I knew she was. Cold weather has always been much nicer seeming to me than the heat of tropical places such as Thailand. The leaves above us whipped around in the wind creating a noise that was a perfect background noise to the quiet of the public park, which is called Wellington Botanical Gardens and this is a link to it, http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/gardens/botanic-garden. A woman jogged by us, red hair blowing around her oval head making her look like she was on fire. A few minutes later we started to hear the cries and screams of pleasure coming from the mouths of many little children as they ran around in a playground.
We crested a hill and rounded a corner before we saw the park. Swings hung on metal bars, which were stretched from one side of the park to another. Our friends sat on a bench talking with one another. Their daughter, Miss Z, ran with the other kids. We reached them and exchanged greetings before my brothers and I dispersed into the crowd of little people to play. Tag was agreed upon and Ezra was it. He chose me as his first target, rushing me in a headlong charge, head down, shoulders hunched, and arms out. Turning, I ran between bars and slides, carefully avoiding scurrying children. One of them decided to stand and watch me come instead of move to the side as most others did. I stumbled to a halt before I could trip over him and hurt him. His wide eyes looked up at mine and then he calmly stepped to the side. I mocked a bow at him and returned to running and dodging. Two hours of this and lunch passed before Mom called us together and told us that we were going to go down the hill to hunt for the eggs my dad and Miss Z’s were hiding them.
We went down the hill, Elisha, Ezra, and Miss Z, running on light feet. Mom told them to wait at the bottom of the hill and once we finally got there we found them waiting without patience for us. The wind blew their hair in and around their faces. The men were down at the end of the path in a little clearing waving us to wait. A few minutes passed and then they waved us forward. In that time Mom handed out egg cartons and told us our colors. Mine was dark blue. When we got to the clearing I saw many of the eggs laying about and decided that mine would not be among those but instead somewhere in the trees and the bushes. I looked around and then went to a tree where I saw a small speck of blue peaking out from a fork in the tree that only Dad could have reached, besides me, without jumping.
Half an hour later we stood with cartons full of different colored eggs. I went alone back up to the park to use the restroom and when I came back there was nobody where my family was. I looked left, I looked right, then, I heard, “Gabe!” Looking up I saw Dad on one side of the next to our camper, which was running. I ran up the steep hill and clambered over the fence. When I had joined Dad and his friend in the front of the camper Dad leaned over and said above the roar of the campers engine, “We had a vote if we should leave you, we didn’t even remember you were gone, until we were in the camper.”
As we drove home the wind rocked our camper and made it slightly difficult to drive the Thunder-Pig, as we have christened it. Leaves blew across the road and were kicked around by the cars and trucks that rushed by. The sun shone down on the building windows and made reflections on the sun-basked road. Life was good and the chocolate was tasty in my mouth and for a while I was content with my lot in life. That was before night came on and wind rocked the camper and cold seeped into my bones. Then I wished for another blanket.
April 14th, 2013
From March 23-30 I traveled with a group called WIT Travel to New Orleans. Two other high schoolers and me planned the trip with the goal of promoting the idea of teenagers everywhere making volunteering part of their travels. Below is my blog from day 7, more will be posted over the course of the week.
The desktop image on my computer is a quotation by Kurt Vonnegut that says, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” I love that quote, but the kind of moments that make me think of it are very rare. They have to be spontaneous, a scrap of time where I abandon all stress and truly immerse myself in the beauty surrounding me.
Today, I actually had multiple moments like that. The first was when we volunteered at KIPP McDonough 15 School for the Creative Arts. While we were in the auditorium filling snack bags, some of the third and fourth grade students had an assembly. We were concentrated on organizing the bags, half-paying attention to the proceedings around us, until the end. Then, suddenly, two teachers started singing and playing guitar to the song “Lean on Me”. A chorus of all of the kids’ voices rose up, and all the WIT members couldn’t help but stop and listen. I’ve heard a lot of childrens’ groups sing before, but nothing can beat the sound of a hundred kids from one of the most musical cities on Earth. It was a really heartwarming, stunning moment that I could have stayed in forever.
Then, later and in a completely different situation, I felt the same way. We had lunch at the Green Goddess, an innovative restaurant located in a small nook of the French Quarter. It’s on what’s either a narrow street or a wide alley which looks like it should belong to a European city. We ate a great meal on the outdoor patio, as the sun came out and warmed us. It felt so slow and relaxed there, and I could have simply sat and watched people pass by us all day.
Instead of doing that, we continued on with our activities. We visited the aquarium and insectarium, then did some work at our hotel. For dinner, we walked to the Palm Court Jazz club, an all-ages restaurant with a live band that plays every night. We had seats with a good view of the band, and I enjoyed a delicious, classic Nola meal of sausage gumbo. When I was finished with my food, I again had that well-fed, content feeling. The sound of New Orleans jazz surrounded me, and I was completely engrossed in the experience.
This whole day, but especially those three wonderful snapshots of it, will be the source of a lot of nostalgia for me in the weeks ahead. As I plunge into school and the craziness of my routine at home, I know I will find myself looking back on those moments and remembering those rare feelings of complete bliss.
To learn more about our trip, visit facebook.com/WIT.Travel or follow WIT_Travel on Instagram and twitter.
April 14th, 2013
It took an hour to ride on a boat out to this Island. Waves smashed against our hull and sprayed us with water. In moments we were almost all soaked. I laughed aloud as we caught a wave and rode up it then took a long drawn out drop down the other side. I smiled at dad, and then the next wave splashed me in the face. That’s when we saw it. Coming out from the lee of another island we saw a little hummock of trees sticking out of the water with bleach white beaches surrounding it. Surrounding that was aqua blue waters. That surged up against the sea wall on one side and leaped and smashed against the beach on the other. Dipping my hand into the ocean I found it cool but not cold.
Suddenly the darkness of the deep ocean disappeared and we were over crystal clear waters. Coral flashed by around us and I could tell that fish were zipping through the water to escape us. The wind whipped against my face making my hair fly out behind me. All to soon we came to a sudden halt right on the beach. We pulled our stuff out of the boat, thanked the driver, paid him and followed another person to a house that was raised off the ground. The man led us in and made us comfortable by bringing us some coffee and tea. The coffee was gritty but reviving. Almost immediately I felt my nerves start to thrum. Restlessness over came me and I grabbed my snorkel and Elisha. We headed out to the side of the island without any seawall. Putting on our snorkels we dove in together, hand in hand. The sand moving below us made a clinking noise. We kicked out and headed into deeper water. Fish flashed back and forth in front of us and we followed them quickly. I saw a puffer swim away and pulled Elisha to follow it. He of course had seen another thing as well and I watched with a trace of regret as the puffer swam quickly away from me becoming a memory. Suddenly coral loomed out of the sandy clear water and in just a few seconds Elisha and I were swimming among huge hills of coral that stretched down ten or more feet. A stingray sat below us half hidden by the coral. His tail twitched back and forth. A fish delicately floated by on the current and then shot away when he saw us. We regained the sandy part of the island and swam in. I stood up out of the water before Elisha and walked swiftly in onto the island where I lay down. The water tickled my legs with sand as the waves swept in and out. Elisha flopped down next to me, then stood up again touching me lightly on the arm.
“Tag! Your it!” and sprinted away. Leaping to my feet I rushed after him, sand flying off my feet as they rose and fell in a rhythmic beat that I continued to try to speed up. My hand reached out and touched his shirt very lightly.