By Hannah C. Rumney
6th grade, NCSS
Have you ever squeezed through a gap in a cave so tight that you could feel your heartbeat? Have you ever been on a mountain so windy that you thought you would be blown off? Have you ever stood where a queen lost her head? I have, I did all three of those things last summer in England. My family and I go there every three years. We go there to visit our family. I have been to England four times since I was born.
You could say that I am from a multi-cultural family. My mom was born in Chicago, Illinois, but she moved to Wisconsin with her parents when she was three. My dad was raised in England. He emigrated to Wisconsin in 1997 when he married my mom. They met at a summer camp outside Rhinelander in 1993. When my dad lived in England, he could look out his bedroom window and see Scotland. My mom is the oldest of eight kids which makes family get togethers crazy. My dad is the youngest in his family.
It is fun having a multicultural family because I get to visit places most people would never get to go and I get to see things tourists don’t normally see. One example is Hadrian’s Wall, built by Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the Scottish out. I visited Hadrian’s Wall last time I went to England. Hadrian’s Wall isn’t as grand as it was one thousand nine hundred years ago, but it is still really cool; especially the Roman fort in the middle. I have seen cobble stoned streets with no cars allowed. I have seen mountains so high you couldn’t see the tops because they were in the clouds. I get to see sheep grazing keeping their babies close as I walk up mountain paths. I go caving with my dad as a guide where I squeeze through gaps, walk in underground rivers, climb up waterfalls and get soaked by slipping into ice cold water in small pools!
It is also not fun having a multicultural family because I only get to see my English cousins in person every three years and my English grandparents every two. But, the good thing is that I get to Skype with my family so I don’t miss them too much. We only get to go to England every three years because it is really expensive to travel there and we have to save for a few years to make it happen. We don’t get to go out to eat very much. We also don’t go to the movies very often. Even though I like Chinese all-you-can-eat-buffets, it is still worth the sacrifice.
I have seen some crazy things on my trips to England. The main roads are approximately three quarters the width of one of our back roads in the U.S. Twice we got stuck behind a semi passing another semi because the roads are so narrow. Traffic jams are rare in the less touristy areas of England, but when they do happen there are four to five cars backed up because cows are crossing the road to get milked. That happened to us twice. One of the times the cow crossing took fifteen minutes!
Despite the sacrifices, going to England or traveling other places is so much fun. The experiences last a lifetime, so if you ever get the chance to travel, you definitely should.
By Hannah C. Rumney