“I don't want to go”, I shouted.
“You have to” my parents fired back.
Imagine not seeing your extended family for a lot of years on the other side of the country. What would you expect, and what would be different? As I boarded the giant plane, I just wanted to go back home or go on a regular vacation. I did not know what to expect.
“Everything will be fine, it’ll be very fun”, my mom assured.
I rolled my eyes, knowing that it wouldn’t. But when I boarded off the plane to meet my family, that’s when I wanted to go back the most.
As I got out of the airport to the city, it was a lot different than what I was used to. There was graffiti everywhere, the roads were really disorganized, and there was a lot of noise and traffic, even for 2:00 AM. The smell of the city would fill my nose and make me want to vomit. But my mind soon changed midway into the trip.
In the summer of 2016, my family and I went on vacation to Pakistan to visit relatives who we haven’t seen in a really long time. At first, I wasn’t too excited to go because I didn’t really know the relatives I was going to see, as I had only met them twice in my life. Above that, the country was a lot different than America and I was certain that I wasn’t going to get used to the country and lifestyle. But that all changed. I learned a lot when I went to Pakistan.
I realized how important and fun it is to spend time with your family. I think this way because I barely ever get to see them, so it is important to spend time with them because I won’t get to see them for a long time. I have a lot of relatives that live in Pakistan, and I barely ever go there. I went to a lot of places and did a lot of things with them. For example, we would eat dinner at a really good restaurant almost every day, and go to a shopping mall right after. When I came back home, I could only remember the heat of the house and the lizards that would crawl out of nowhere in the house. I would remember the air conditioning that would stop working in the middle of the night. I remember big, brown cockroaches crawling with their tiny white legs across the floor. I would remember all of these little things. Even today, I look back at all of these tiny memories and realize how important it is to cherish memories.
When I was leaving to go to the airport is when I realized how important it is to see family. “Goodbye”, all my family members were saying. “Allah Hafiz” everyone said, which means “goodbye” in urdu.
As we were saying our final goodbyes, a million thoughts were running through my head. When am I coming back? When am I going to see them again? Will I ever even see them again? Why can’t I be staying for longer? Did we have to leave now? On the drive to the airport I was really quiet because I was just thinking about the whole trip. I learned a lesson on my trip to Pakistan.
When I came back home, I would always see something that would make me think of Pakistan. Crawling along the floor, every bug would remind me of Pakistan. Whenever I went out to dinner with my family I would remember the dinners I went on with my relatives. Whenever I’d be shopping for anything that would remind me of the nights we went to the shopping centers. I learned that you should always spend time with your family because you don’t know when they’ll be gone; time goes by really fast. You should cherish the smallest moments with your family and create great memories. Time flies by really, really fast to the point where you don’t realize it. One month for me wasn’t enough.