By Ramal Rashid (YES 2021-2022, Pakistan, placed by CIEE in Edmonds, WA)
During the winter holidays, my host family gave me an experience of a lifetime. I never thought that I'd be able to visit another state in the U.S. other than my host state of Washington. Visiting California made me much more aware of the cultural diversity in the U.S. California has so many people from different regions of the world with different ethnicities, cultures, dress, traditions, languages, and lifestyles.
My host family and I flew to San Diego from Seattle early in the morning and witnessed the warmth of the sun for the first time in many days. San Diego was a beautiful city with huge buildings, tall palm trees, and warm beaches. We stayed in Anaheim, really close to Disneyland. On the first day, we went to Universal Studios, which was a world of its own. It is hard to put in words the amount of things I got to see and experience. I have to say, my jaw was hanging open the entire time because of everything that I was experiencing.
We also visited Disneyland (a dream come true!) and Adventure Park, which was by far the most lively and enthusiastic place I've ever been to! At the end of our trip, we watched the Disney fireworks and walked around Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Finally, we came back to Seattle to enjoy a white snowy Christmas!