It started out as a trip my Grammy and I made to Utah, to visit my cousin and her family. I was only five years old and it was my first time on a plane. Grammy was so nervous taking me across country that young, but typically I was a good kid and behaved. The flight there is a blur to me now. I’ve been told I just slept the whole way and was very peaceful. I don’t remember very much from the time being there, just a few flashbacks of her house and the snowing. Being from Georgia, snow wasn’t so common and if it was it was a big deal. So when I freaked out because it was snowing, my cousin just laughed. It was so different for me. I could see that the world wasn’t just the same everywhere. The neighborhood itself was very open and plain with not many trees and lots of open space. That was a big thing I wasn’t used to.
When the day came for us to go home on September 11th, 2001, I was packing my bag and just getting some breakfast when Grammy goes “Oh my God!” She starts to call a bunch of people and my cousin comes and turns on the television. I watched as the news reporter showed the buildings smoking and falling apart. I was so scared thinking about how that could have been us. Almost an hour later Grammy makes the decision to ride the charter buses back to Atlanta, since that was also the same airline company we...
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...one outside of the bus stop. I was so scared. That was the first time I’d ever been that far away from them for that long. A few more long days and outlandish stories from people and we finally arrived in Atlanta. The bus station was so crowded and loud, but my only goal was finding my parents. After searching the bus station for almost an hour, we found them in a hallway waiting for the buses to unload. I’d never ran so fast in my life. I jumped into their arms and almost wouldn’t let go.
My trip across the country really opened my eyes to a new world. Everything seemed so fascinating and terrifying at the same time. The country was never the same after that day, but my world was even more different. Home now looked like a bleak place in my mind, no mystery, no excitement, and no strangers. I will always cherish the four day trek home, because it changed my life.
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