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Smiling in San Francisco

USA | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [176] | Scholarship Entry

My favourite feeling ever is that one where you suddenly realizing you have the biggest smile on your face and you had no idea. Sadly, this is rarer than one would hope.
I dream of embarking on an epic adventure, nothing but a spare set of clothes, a good pair of shoes and an embarrassment of writing supplies. Twice I thought my dreams were going to come true when my company announced they were sponsoring a yacht in two successive Clipper Round the World Races and would pick employees participate.
I did everything they asked of me, submitted short answers to questions, wrote essays, campaigned for votes, even travelled to Southampton, UK to participate in a selection boot camp. I was determined to earn a berth on that yacht. Two races in a row I made it to the final selection and was devastated not to be chosen either time.
That smile, the one you have and don’t even realize you have, that went away completely.
The finish point of the sixth leg of the race is San Francisco, California; one of those dots on a map that I stare at longingly. As a consolation my company offered to fly me to the City on the Bay to help with corporate and restart festivities. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and even finagled being flown out a week early for a vacation.
My first order of business in the city was City Light bookstore, a temple for anyone like me whose literary Hero is Jack Kerouac. I stored my bags at the hostel and for some reason didn’t think to change into cooler clothes. By the time I got there I was drenched in sweat, dehydrated and could not have been more uncomfortable, and when I saw my reflection in the window of the bookstore, I didn’t recognize myself.
I had the biggest smile my face.
I planned a tour out to Muir Woods National forest; I wanted to hug thousand year old red woods. The drive is full of twists and sharp turns. I feared for my life, I really think the driver should have been paying more attention to the road. I was looking down the cliff beside me and saw my face in the side view mirror.
I had the biggest smile on my face.
During the corporate Clipper Race activities, I had the opportunity to sail an ocean racing yacht around the San Francisco Bay, a lap of Alcatraz, and I was on helm under the Golden Gate Bridge. The skipper was giving me an instruction, I saw myself in his sunglasses.
I had the biggest smile on my face.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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