My Next Destination Essay About Myself

A dream vacation for me would be to go on a cruise ship and do everything there and just relax!

Vivian Rodriguez

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is going to Hawaii and relaxing on the beach! Also going to Tennessee to sightsee and hopefully see some country singers!

Kourtney Vasquez

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to Las Vegas.

Marcos Monroy

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation would definitely be to go to Jamaica. I've always wanted to visit a couple of islands there and live the life that Jamaicans have to live each and every day.

Claudia Trejo

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation would be going to the Bahamas with no worries. I would want it to be fun and relaxing and have a memorable time and meet wonderful people.

Alli Reid

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

Abu Dhabi is the destination for my dream vacation. It is the world's richest nation and includes so many activities. Their hotels are the size of cities, and everything there is extreme, from their shopping centers to their beaches. The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi is the most expensive hotel in the world and includes the most extravagant spa and hotel services. Plus, Abu Dhabi is the setting for the new Sex and the City 2 movie. Any place good enough for Samantha and Carrie is a place worth traveling to!

Briana Pedraza

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation is a trip to the Bahamas. From what I have seen, it is a very beautiful and tropical place. I love warm weather and the summer time would be perfect to visit this place. The Bahamas would definitely be my dream vacation.

Jaime Balli

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation would be to go to Vatican City and to Jerusalem with my family. I would love to attend a mass given by the Pope and visit St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and other memorials. Visiting Israel would be like being part of the past that is present in almost all of our lives. Then I would really enjoy visiting China, Japan, and South Korea. I feel that there is so much we can learn by learning about other cultures and customs.

Betty A.Garcia

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

A dream vacation would be my dad by my side, a fishing rod in both our hands, and a large amount of bait fishing the horizon in the most popular spot to fish. There is no presence of wind and the water is crystal clear. We would fish every morning for two weeks at this place, enjoying every detail the day has to offer. Fish hooked or not, a vacation with my dad and fishing poles in our hands is always a good day to me.

Aaron Burciaga Jr.

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation would be to Puerto Rico. I would love to swim in the blue waters and see people that to me only live through the internet. I would also like to see if it's true that it only takes 8 hours to travel the whole island. Plus it looks like there are a lot of things to do.

Astrid Gonzalez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go on a cruise to Europe. I would love to accidentally run into Johnny Depp. But it would be awesome to visit the foreign country and see the world. That would be my dream.

Mariana Perez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to New York City. I would love to go there. I want to see the Statue of Liberty and the tall buildings. I would want to see some Broadway shows and shop at famous stores. I would probably want to go with my mom!

Cecilia Gonzalez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is going to Hawaii and sitting on the beach getting a tan. I also want to go swimming in clear blue water. Playing football on the sand with my family!

Jesse Jimenez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

I would go to San Antonio. My mom was separated from her family when she was little; I would help her find my family. I probably have cool cousins.

Esteban Moreno

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to somewhere out of state. That place would be Disney World. I've never been to Disney World and I hope to go soon. We don't have enough money right now, but my mom promised me that we would go, and I trust her. My uncle has been saving money for years and we are hoping that the jar will get filled. It is almost halfway full, and anytime we get money, we put it in there. My uncle has never been there either, so we are taking our time so we can go have fun, as a big family. We'll all go TOGETHER!!!

Meriah C.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

My dream vacation would be Hawaii because of the super nice beaches. The beaches are such a nice, shiny blue that you can actually see the bottom. Also there is black sand. The nice view with the nice hotels, not to mention the nice fresh air. They also serve all kinds of cool fruit. There are also nice animals there. That is a cool dream vacation. It would be awesome.

Joshua F.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

First we would start driving up to the District of Columbia, stopping at historic sites along the way. Each night, we would get a really nice hotel. Once we arrived at the nation's capital, we would get a nice hotel and spend the days looking at the museums and other historical locations and monuments. After our last night in our luxurious hotel, we would return home. We would take a different route that way we could stop at other museums and historical places along the way.

Andrew H.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

My dream vacation is to go on a cruise to the Bahamas or Hawaii. Going to either of these places would definitely be a dream come true. I could go scuba diving, mountain climbing, or sliding down the waterslides.

Debbie B.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

Coconut sipping, waves gushing, and burning flames on the beach is where I want to be. On a Hawaiian beach to be specific, surfing on the clear blue water and visiting five star restaurants and hotels. Just there with my family having a great time!

Cody Carcia

Teacher: Stacy Hill

Gutierrez Middle School

My dream vacation is to go to China & visit its cities. Since I love ghost videos I would mostly want to visit the inside of the Great Wall of China. I also read something that there was a creature named the Yeren; but the definition of that is called the "wild man." It is also like American Bigfoot. I would also eat their cultural foods; I heard they eat scorpions & silkworms. I would mostly like to be there for their traditional festivals & see how it is. The thing that I love most is to see is the creation of how they make video games.

Robert McCormick

Teacher: Stacy Hill

Gutierrez Middle School

My dream vacation would have to be to Hawaii so I can go surfing, eat Hawaiian food to see how it taste, go scuba diving and try to dance the Hawaiian song. I would try a lot of different things in Hawaii and just have fun. I would come back with a lot of souvenirs.

April Vega

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

Well my dream vacation is to go to Europe. To explore the beautiful land of London, Paris, France, England and more. I would love to go see the European discoveries, the Castles and learn the great history that roamed those lands. The European Continent is my dream vacation.

Cynthia Martinez

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

Well my dream vacation would consist of me going somewhere very far, yet a bit unusual. Making it challenging for me to find things and experience a whole new life style. I would love to visit Tokyo, Japan. For one I'd love to own some Japanese people in Super Street Fighter IV, eat real Japanese food and basically have the experience of going to another country. Plus my friend and I would love it over there since we love their food and culture. So going over there would be a worth while experience and vacation.

Abraham Ayala

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

My dream vacation would remain memorable for the rest of my life. It would consist of a trip to the land of the rising sun. Japan for the longest time has been a place of extreme wonder and amazement for many of my closest friends and me. It's just so different than any other place in the world especially the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is a city without an equal in the world because it stands on the cutting edge of the future with a combination of high-technology and tradition. Everything about this city is so diverse that to try and explain Tokyo to a person who has never visited would be nearly impossible. For it is in almost every respect different from all other cities in the world, and Japan unlike any other country in the world.

Jose Castillo

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

I like plans. Making them. Sticking to them. Of my many faults, one is that I have trouble, as my mother would say, just going with the flow. I get discombobulated when my husband calls from work to say he'll be on the 6:20 train instead of the 6:00. I'm flustered when the baby decides not to nap. A running joke in my house is that even on weekends I ask, "What's on the agenda?" and pester everybody until we have one.

Last December, just after Christmas, I, along with my family—meaning my parents, my brother and his wife, my sister and her fiancé, my husband, and our two kids, ages six and one—took an exceedingly well-organized trip to Colorado. It was a blissful week. We went skiing, snow tubing, and dogsledding. We rode horse-drawn carriages through the glittering snow. And finally, when it was time to leave, we took a shuttle to the airport so we could catch flights back to our various homes.

At least, that's what was supposed to happen. Instead, my husband, kids, and I watched as our relatives boarded planes while we waited for our flight to Chicago, which was delayed, then delayed again… then canceled (a mechanical issue, we were told).

We'd been in the airport for five hours by the time of the cancellation, and we would spend another five retrieving our luggage, commiserating with other passengers, walking in circles around the gift shop, and trying to get rebooked on a new flight. Finally, we succeeded. The catch? The flight was three days later. And out of Denver, three hours away.

Well, whatever it takes, we thought. We hunkered down in a hotel. We cooked food in the room and washed clothes in the sink and tried not to bump into each other with every move. It wasn't until the night before the new flight that we started to relax. The children pulled the sheets off the hotel beds and made a fort in the bathtub. Tomorrow, I kept thinking. We'll be home tomorrow. Ultimately, no one would miss much school or work.

Then our flight got canceled again, this time due to weather.

We called the airline. "Three more days," they told us. "That's the best we can do." Frantically, we tried other carriers without any luck. My husband called our original airline and set his phone on the bed, hold music playing in the background as both of us checked flights online. Was this some sort of cosmic joke? Would we ever get home?

Two hours of synthesized Muzak later, an agent answered. My husband dove for the phone. He started explaining our predicament. Then I heard him say, "Hello?" "Hello?" he said again, the panic in his voice rising like a flood. "Hello!" He stared at the phone in his hand. The call had dropped.

Desperation is the most irrational of motivators. We thought we had been at the end of our rope before. Now we were someplace new—utterly defeated.

Which is why, when my husband suggested that we rent a car and drive 14+ hours in winter weather from Denver to Chicago, I agreed. It might not have been such a long trip for someone else, but the thought of a restless baby and an impatient six-year-old in the backseat for that long didn't sound fun. Worse, this wasn't anything close to the original plan. So I was reluctant, but given the dearth of options, I was on board.

We went to a grocery store and stocked up for the trip. A Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice. Juice boxes and string cheese and grapes and yogurt squeezies. After we paid, the cashier gave my daughter a quarter to ride the mechanical horse at the front of the store. We have a picture of her on that horse, an enormous grin on her face. It was the first time that she—or any of us—had really smiled in days.

The sky was white as salt as we drove. Mountains rose in the distance, massive and stoic.

After a time, we stopped at a gas station, where the children pressed their faces to the beverage cases and ran around for a few minutes before we corralled them back into the car. We did that every hour and a half or so for the rest of the trip, and usually that brief release of energy settled them down enough to get through the next leg of the trip.

In the car, we turned on the radio and blasted "Wake Me Up," by Avicii, whose lyrics about traveling the world without any plans seemed oddly apt, given the circumstances. When nothing good was on, we sang every Christmas song we could think of, and then every children's song, and then every song from The Sound of Music.

That night, as we neared Lincoln, Nebraska, I was gazing out the car window into a navy sky when I saw a shooting star. A sign, maybe, of good things to come.

We stopped for dinner at Applebee's, and when the waitress asked if we were from out of town, we told her the condensed version of our sorry tale. When it was time to pay, she said, "Your bill's been taken care of." My husband and I looked at each other, confused. "The couple in the next booth heard your story," the waitress said. "They paid for you. They asked me to wait until after they left to tell you." If the shooting star had been a sign, it was for this simple act of generosity, one of the nicest things a stranger had ever done for me, for us.

We spent the night in a hotel off the highway, one that, contrary to my nature, we booked at the last minute. In the morning, we piled back into the car, through Omaha, into Iowa. We stopped at gas stations along the way, and then soldiered on. The kids were surprisingly well-behaved. The baby played happily with his shoe for untold hours. My daughter talked to my husband and me—really talked—about her friends at school and about some of her fears, conversations that I'm not sure would have occurred if we hadn't been stuck in that car together for almost 1,000 miles.

By the time we approached Iowa City, we were in the homestretch, and we stopped at Prairie Lights bookstore, where we let the kids each pick out one book. We drove by the building that houses the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where I did my graduate work, and I told my daughter, "That's where I learned to write." She looked at it in wonder and said, "I want to do that one day."

The traffic picked up as we neared Chicago, and though the temperature was minus 15 degrees, a mere polar vortex was no match for our soaring spirits.

"We're almost there," I remember whispering to the kids. I could hardly believe it.

And when I thought about it, I could hardly believe this, either: how wonderful it had been. How, after days of being miserable because I was trying so hard to stick to the established plan, the thing that had saved us in the end was changing course, and taking a different road—literally. Maybe it shouldn't have been a revelation, but for me, someone who puts so much stock in order and routine, it was. Our vacation had been full of incredible memories, but the long journey home, the part that I hadn't seen coming, was the part I now cherish the most.

My father-in-law was waiting at the rental agency when we pulled up. We hurried into his car, which he'd been keeping warm for us, and then we took off, at last, to our house.

"How was the drive?" my father-in-law asked us as he pulled out of the lot.

"It was great," I said.

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