From the moment I was born, I was immediately traveling. Going on airplanes, long road trips, whatever it is, i’ve done it. My mom and dad introduced traveling to me when I was first born, the second I was born, I was already traveling. I know, it sounds strange, but my trips are strange. I’m pretty young and i’ve already been to places like Mexico and the Philippines. Well, at least those are the two that stick with me. I always think about the Philippines and Mexico because of my everlasting souvenirs. No, I don’t have the mediocre keychain or sweatshirts that say, “I love Mexico” or, “I love the Philippines.” I have souvenirs that i’ll never lose or forget.
Wow, it is extremely hot in Mexico. Even during December, the winter time, it is very hot. Mexico is a pretty notable trip for two reasons. My love for it, and my irritableness for it. Now, where i’m from it is always hot. California will never see a day away from the sun. But, when I go on vacation and i’m away from home, I love to experience new things. In Mexico, I did not experience different weather. The sun always brings out the annoyed side of my personality. When it is hot, I get all sweaty and sticky. But, my love for Mexico comes from the lessons it taught me.
It was a very hot day, I actually remember the exact date. It was December sixteenth. I probably remember this date so much because of how hot it was. The weather got up to over one hundred degrees. And let me just say, one hundred and four degrees does not make for a pleasant attitude. My mom came into our hotel and told me that we had a day full of activities because it was, unfortunately, our last day.
My mom excitedly said, “we’re going to the Mexican National Softball team’s game and after that we are going snorkeling at night!”
Of course I was excited, especially for the snorkeling. But, for the softball game, not so much. Like I said, it was hot! The last thing I wanted to do was sit through a seven inning softball game with the blaring sun shining on me. My mom saw that I wasn’t looking too happy about the plans she just told me about. She gave me the option to stay in the hotel during the game and they would come get me for snorkeling, but I didn’t want to be that boring person. So, I lathered myself in sunscreen and I went to the game.
The game was pretty interesting. Interesting in the sense that it’s where my parents gave me a souvenir. They gave me a doll. I remember it was the last inning and Mexico’s team was winning. My parents went to get some water and snacks, but they also brought back a doll. This doll had dark brown hair, brown eyes, but had pretty fair skin with a little tint to it. My teenage self was not as excited to receive this doll as my five year old self would have been, but it’s the thought that counts. After the long, hot game, we went back to the hotel to get ready for night snorkeling. I was so excited.
The water in Mexico is so clear and warm. Nothing like the beaches in California. We hopped on the boat that takes us out to where we snorkel and it was a pretty long ride. The kind people on the boat explained the procedures to us and helped us put our snorkel masks on. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t want a shark to attack me or for me to get hurt, but my dad calmed me down.
“It’s okay, you will be fine.”
After being told that, I went in the water. It was perfect. The water’s temperature was not too cold, but it also cooled me down from the hot sun. As I dipped my head in the water, I saw amazing things. I saw fish, plants, and many other things you would find in the ocean. I never wanted this to end. This snorkeling experience made the whole day of sitting in the sun worth it. I guess that was the lesson. The hot, blaring sun blinded me from seeing the real beauty of Mexico. I saw this beauty when I entered the water with open eyes. I saw the things that I was too blind to see.
We went back to the hotel and I showered then sat in bed. Before I fell asleep, I grabbed my doll and just stared at it.
“Hey mom and dad, why did you get me this doll?”
They replied, “It’s your everlasting souvenir.”
The doll looked back at me, and looking at it, I smiled. This doll will always remind me to look beyond the blinding sun, into the beauty. My everlasting souvenir.
My trip to Mexico was absolutely amazing. Next came the trip to the Philippines. This trip was also amazing and permanent because of my everlasting souvenir. We flew the long fourteen hours to the Philippines and the second I stepped out of the plane, it was perfect. The weather was just right for me. It was hot, but the humidity took a little heat off the sun. Of course, I brought my doll.
I thought it was kind of strange for a teenager to carry around a doll, but it always stuck by my side. I could not get rid of it, and I didn’t want to.
We left LAX at around four PM, and we got to the Philippines at around six AM. But, the time difference is fifteen hours which caused me to be jet lagged the whole time. I knew that I would be tired this whole trip, so it kind of put a downer on my whole mood.
We got to the hotel and we went up to the room, but we didn’t sleep. We just sat around and waited until we got tired. My mom planned for us to go to a Bay and have a day full of relaxation.
It was 8 AM in the Philippines and 5 PM in California and my parents were ready to go to the Bay. I was very tired and not so excited to go, but I got up anyways and followed my parents. We got to the Bay and we rented chairs and towels to sit on. We set up our chairs then my dad and I went to the water. Just like Mexico, the water was warm and clear.
My mom stayed back to relax, but I looked over to our chairs and she was gone.
“Where did mom go?”
My dad says, “I think she went to get food and more sunscreen”
I was so excited that she was getting food because I was starving! Just like the sun, hunger does not equal a positive attitude. When my mom got back, I ran over to her to get my food. I was very disappointed when I saw that she did not get any food. Instead, she came back with another doll.
“Look! They have dolls here, just like the one from Mexico!”
Only, this doll had much darker skin, very dark brown hair, and even darker brown eyes.
I replied, “thanks, but i’m starving, can we please get some food?”
The rest of the trip consisted of getting no sleep and eating a bunch of amazing Filipino food. Then, the day we were leaving came around. It was March eighth and we weren’t leaving until night time. We decided to spend our last day walking through the towns and looking at all the small shops.
We walked around and bought a couple things, and then I remembered my doll. I had disregarded this doll when my mom brought it back to the bay, but I actually really loved it. It was very pretty. It’s hair was much longer than the one from Mexico and it had much darker skin. I pulled the doll out of my backpack and my mom told me once again, “that’s your everlasting souvenir.”
I smiled back at it, and then we headed to the airport. The flight was long, but I slept most of the way.
We got back to California and I unpacked my suitcase. I pulled my everlasting souvenirs out, my Mexican doll and my Filipina doll, and put them on my bed. After finishing unpacking my suitcase, I lied down with the dolls and drifted off into sleep.
“Kaylyn, are you awake yet?” my mom yelled from the kitchen.
I was too tired to wake up and answer so I just continued to sleep. I heard footsteps coming toward my room and my mom soon opened my door to see if I was okay.
“Kayl…” she stopped herself.
I heard more footsteps coming toward my room and pretty soon my dad joined my mom at my door.
He whispered to my mom, “i’ve never seen them get along so well”
And there I was. A blonde, blue eyed girl, laying next to my Mexican and Filipina everlasting souvenirs. The souvenirs that occupy not just my bed, but my heart. The souvenirs that can annoy me, but also show me the beauty of life. The souvenirs that make my family, a family of five.
The everlasting souvenirs that I call, sisters.