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  • Writer's pictureBriana Compean

My Secret Trip to the Bahamas

It was spring of 2014 when I decided to go on a mission trip over the summer. I wanted to travel, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back and experience the Bahamas. I would be working through a Christian based organization called Youth 4 Orphans in Naples Florida. The trip was intended to help run a summer camp for the children of the local orphanage in Cat Island, play games and ensure that they have a blast for a week. During our down time we were able to go to the beach or relax by ourselves. When I committed to go, it was sometime in April, the date I would be leaving was the first week in July.

As great of an opportunity as it sounded, I knew my mother would not like the idea and therefore try to convince me not to go. There were a few things that I needed, so I pretty much had to do it all in secret before telling my parents. The whole trip was estimated to be $700 and I didn’t have the money. Asking my parents was out of the question. Luckily the organization had scholarships for people who were in financial need, they believed finances shouldn’t hinder a person. Sometime in June, on a night that I was stressing, I looked through my drawers. My birthday had passed and sometimes whatever loose cash I had I would stuff into this zip lock bag. It was now a month before the trip and I still didn’t have the money to go. The deadline to pay was coming up and I still didn’t know about the scholarship. I pulled out the bag and counted exactly $700, believe it or not I had that amount stuffed away without realizing it. My prayers for help had been answered, I remember crying of happiness because I couldn’t believe that my trip was now a reality. A few days later I received the news that I was one of the volunteers who won the scholarship and half of my cost would be paid for.

It was now 2 weeks before my departure, I sat my parents down and broke the news, my ticket had already been purchased, my passport came in and transportation had already been solidified. As expected, my mother was upset beyond belief and my father was surprised yet supportive. My motto was “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” ironically, she was the one who told me about that saying. Long story short, she got over it and forgave me before I left the house.

The day was finally here, I couldn’t wait to be in the Bahamas for a week playing with children and making wonderful memories. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to leave my phone behind and only carry a camera. I wanted to be completely disconnected from my life and focus on my mission trip. I met up with the other volunteers at the church and left at exactly 5am. It sank in that I would be on a plane probably at check in. I began to feel nervous, but I pushed the negative thoughts out and put my trust in God.

Once I sat in the plane all hell broke loose mentally, I felt sick, my heart was beating out of my chest and I was ugly crying in my seat. My panic attack was minor, but it happened on both flights to Cat Island until I got off the plane. The happiness I felt throughout the week was indescribable, little did I know how far my wanderlust would take me from that moment on.

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