Take a Vacation

Nicole - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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This essay is not about some insightful, philosophical dictum or a current, controversial issue. This essay is about the fanny-pack wearing, camera carrying, sunburnt tourist. That’s right I believe in the tourist. You may be scratching your chin saying, “Why would anyone believe in tourists? These are the obnoxiously loud people who feel the need to share, with everyone, their home state, hometown, reason for travel, and the difficulties of their drive, during which they were caught in a 50 hour-long traffic jam.” Despite the annoyances that tourists seem to possess, they do have something that others lack. This is an attention for detail and enthusiasm for life.

How many times have you missed a turn or forgotten where you’re going while driving because your eyes kind of glazed over and the road ahead became one large blur, and your mind shifted to what you should have for lunch? This would never happen to a tourist. As a tourist drives down the road they pay attention to every small, quaint gift shop, every inviting restaurant, and every street sign, although this may be in hope of finding their hotel. Tourists pay attention to detail. They appreciate the glimpse of fins on the horizon of the ocean, the flowers that scatter the road’s edge, the friendliness of a hotel maid, and the time they are given to explore a new area.

The tourist lives every day to the fullest, and I mean this quite literally. They jam pack their day with sight-seeing, trips to the beach, shopping, over-priced hot dogs, jet-ski rentals, stops at local ice cream parlors, bicycle rentals, well-decorated restaurants, and some more sight-seeing. This may seem like too much, but the tourist never has to follow any set plan. They can change their mind on a whim and do whatever they please without a care in the world. Stress weaves its way through our society, slithering into the lives of every innocent civilian, except the tourist. I’m a senior in high school and have been striving to be valedictorian since freshman year. With my own expectations and those of my peers in mind, I dive into a sea of stress. Some nights I border the line of insanity because it just gets to be too much, but then I sit back, take a breath, and relax. I try to be like the tourist because I’ve learned that the most important part of life is enjoying it.

Nobody knows this better than the tourist. At the sound of an alarm, they are up and ready to go, ready to see and do new things, ready to relax, ready to have fun, and ready to live. This I believe. We only live once, so don’t waste a second. Jam pack your day, admire the small beauties in our world, and live happily. Live like a tourist.