The single tear running down my mother's face as she is struggling to let me go out of the reach of her arms. Smiling, I look at her tear-filled eyes and tell her “it’s only ten days mom, I’ll be back before you know” as I put my backpack over my shoulders. I grab the plane ticket from my mother with my shaking hand. I say my final goodbye, holding back my tears, I then grab my suitcase that I barely had the strength to carry. It felt as if I had heavy rocks piled in my backpack and trying to pull my bulky suitcase, I somehow made my way over to my loud teammates all squeezed together. Seeing all of them smiling from ear to ear filled the air with joy. Everyone anxiously waiting for our coach waiting for him so we could make our way to plane to take the 9 hour flight to Barcelona, Spain.
Finally, after the everlasting time of getting through security and boarding the plane I sat in my my squished seat with my teammate next to me thinking about the trip. Little did I know how my relationships with my teammates would grow over the next 10 days. As I thought to myself about the trip and how I was alone without my parents just my teammates and a few parents. I felt all these emotions running through my body, butterflies flew inside me. I didn’t know what to feel as we flew 40,000 feet in the air getting closer to start the overwhelming trip.
When I first arrived in our hotel room I had all the excitement rushing through my body. My teammates screaming, laying down, throwing their shoes everywhere as if they were in the comfort of their own home. It was at this moment when I paused and the thought of reality occurred to me. “Now what?” Without my parents I realized that I chose where I got to eat and when I wanted to. These were the small moments throughout the trip when I grew as an individual by learning to become independent and to not always rely on my parents being there for me.
After spending 9 days with my teammates my relationship with them had grew in unbelievable ways but also at the same time some relationships weakened as the days went by. As the trip went by we really started to see a different side of each other. Before the trip my parents had told me that the real side of people always come out when you travel with them, Which I found to be very true. When something did not go as planned, I noticed how differently we all reacted. On the very first game we had our tour bus running late, and I noticed how easily frustrated my coach got when he started screaming at the tour guide. I was in such shock because I had never seen him lose his temper besides during a soccer game. I also observed how each of my teammates treated each other differently. One of the nights one of my teammates had gotten into a fight with each other and we all started taking sides. The next morning when one of my teammates went to tell our coach about what had happened. He then told us that it was not his problem and we had to grow up and settle amongst each other. This was another moment when I grew as a person and realized that sometimes I had to be the bigger person in certain situations.