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International Soccer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The summer of my freshman year I went on a trip thatchanged my life. I ventured to another country for the first time. I was a bitnervous, to say the least. The farthest I had ever traveled was Florida for afamily vacation. I did, however, have 18 friends surrounding me. This trip had aunique purpose - my club soccer team was travelling to Denmark to play in theDana Cup International Soccer Tournament.

We had been preparing formonths, doing everything we could to raise money to help with the costs of thetrip. This certainly taught me the value of a dollar, as I had to save everypenny. It came to the point where every Saturday morning I found myself outsidethe grocery store, holding a can and asking shoppers for spare change. I nowalways empty my change purse to kids who stand outside the grocerystore.

Arriving in Denmark, I was determined to have the most funpossible. My excitement diminished when I saw our living arrangements. Our homefor the week was a small classroom in a Danish school; my bed was a mattressthrown on the floor wherever I could find space. The worst part were the showers.They were communal, which means nothing divided them into separate stalls. Myteammates and I wore bathing suits, but many European girls chose not to. Inaddition, the food was disgusting. I discovered it is possible to survive onFrosted Flakes and bread for a week.

As much as I hated the livingconditions, I had an awesome trip. It taught me a lot about life, and thedifferent way of living was actually what made the trip so enjoyable. I learned Icould survive in a foreign country in less than perfect conditions. The tightquarters brought the team closer; we discovered a lot about each other and trulybonded. As a result, we ended up winning the tournament! The feeling of a medalaround my neck was a pride I had never experienced and will never forget.

When the time came to return home, I was really saddened. I didn't want toleave the life I had grown accustomed to and return to my ordinary life.Returning, I realized what a truly amazing time I had. The trip taught me how tosurvive on my own, even if for only a week. I experienced a different culture,learned to live in it and had fun doing it. I will never forget my week inDenmark.






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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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