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A Teen's View

Before England

Kat Dart

(2/2010) After a few months of planning with the Girl Scout Troop, this month we will all be leaving for England.

Weíve had to do an astonishing amount of work for this trip to work out. We held multiple fundraisers in all types of weather. All of us girls have been saving for money for spending, for meals, and for tickets to museums and events around London. Of course, we also had to pay for airfare and hotels.

Weíre all excited to visit England for our own reasons. One of my troop mates, Lauren Reiser, told me, "I am excited to go to England to see the history first hand! I also want to drink tea."

Betsy Burnett told me over Facebook, "I'm excited to go to England because itís my favorite country in the world! All the great stuff comes from there Ė soccer, The Beatles, Harry Potter, McFly, Misfits, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Skins, The Inbetweeners Ė and thatís not even half of it. Plus, itís beautiful and has a lot of historical landmarks like Big Ben and the Tower of London.

Did I mention the accents?"

Naturally, weíve also had to do a ton of research. Luckily for us, our troop leader (Joyce Ulrich) booked our flight and hotel. She informed us it took a few hours for the travel agency to get it right. None of us had to worry about making the same flight!

What we did have to do, however, was make lists of places to visit, and then agree on where to go. In order to do so, weíve looked up lists of Londonís best tourist attractions, historical sites and places that just look really cool. I believe Big Ben, the Tower of London and the London Eye have all made the list.

But those are places to see only in London. Thereís a lot more countries with gorgeous sites, and we have a way to record all the countries we travel to Ė through our passports.

I received my passport a while ago. Itís a small booklet full of papers, and every time I go to a new country, I can get a new stamp. Isnít it amazing to think that this tiny book can show a lifetime of adventures in a few pages? And heck, if someone had managed to fill the whole book they have the option of adding more pages. Isnít it insane to think some people have traveled so much theyíve filled their passport and then some? Maybe one day, Iíll be one of them.

I really hope this is only the first of many travels out of country for me. There are a million different things to see out there, and I want to be able to see most of them in person. The seven wonders of the worlds, the Cathedrals, Versailles, Normandy Beach, The Northern Lights, Bermuda Triangle, The Great Barrier Reef, SaharaÖ need I go on? Thereís a wide variety of things people will never believe until they see. Hopefully, this trip is only the start.

Another main reason I am so excited for this trip is actually because of my Spanish teacher, Miss Bennett. She has traveled to many different Spanish-speaking countries and tells us about her travels. Then she encourages us to try and get there.

Sure Iíve had that talk from most of my Spanish teachers, but Miss Bennett is a bit different. She wants us to go somewhere, even if itís not Spain, Mexico or Madrid. She honestly wants us to go out and see what else is available. My interest in traveling was always high before taking Spanish at Catoctin, but Miss Bennett managed to peak it.

Miss Bennett has also given my class tips on the best times and ways to fly. She has talked about the different places to stay in most counties and explained different taxes. She has given out a lot of useful information that Iím definitely going to take advantage of.

This trip is a huge opportunity for all of us to try and expand our horizons and see what else is available in the world. I love Emmitsburg, but I want to see more of the world. This gives me and the other girls the chance to go out and start looking for somewhere to go. Itís a chance for all of us to see, at a younger age than most people, that there is more to the world than Maryland. Weíre only in one of a million places to be.

Kat Dart lives in Brookfield and is a junior at Catoctin High School

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