Cyprus for kids
I was really excited about my school’s trip to Cyprus, a small island nation lying in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. I couldn’t wait to explore the beautiful beaches and forests; but I’ll admit, I felt a bit nervous about going to the airport without my family. Who would I sit with on the plane? I took a deep breath and kept packing my things.
At the airport, I waved goodbye to my family. It made me a little sad, but I was happy to see my friends and teachers who were going on the trip with me. We all gathered in the boarding area, talking and trying to calm each other’s nerves.
“Are you feeling nervous too? I asked my friend Miles, who was standing next to me.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Miles replied with a smile. “But I’m also super excited. This trip is going to be amazing!”
I nodded, feeling better knowing that Miles felt the same way. It’s always nice to have a friend by your side.
We waited for our flight, and when it was time to board, I started to feel less worried. But as I walked down the aisle to find my seat, I realized I was alone. I looked around, hoping to find someone I knew.
Just as I was about to give up, I saw Miles a few rows ahead, also looking for his seat. I hurried over to him. “Miles! Can I sit with you? I asked, feeling a sense of relief as he nodded.
“Of course!” he said. “I was hoping we could sit together. It’s way more fun that way!”
We settled into our seats, buckled up, and gave each other a reassuring smile. As the plane took flight, my worries quickly faded with the ground beneath us.
I fell asleep shortly after takeoff and awoke when we landed in Cyprus. The airport was so different from what I was used to, with all-new restaurants and funky, colorful designs. I could smell the mouthwatering scent of Greek and Turkish foods wafting through the air.
“Wow, everything looks so different here,” I said to Miles as we got our bags.
He nodded, looking equally amazed. “I can’t wait to see what else Cyprus has in store for us!”
We found our teachers and counselors waiting for us by the baggage claim. They would be leading our activities during the trip. Together, we got on a bus and headed to our village, Kritou Terra. I was excited to find out who I would be sharing a room with and what our cabins would look like. When we arrived, I learned that my friends and I would be rooming together. Yay!
We opened the door to our cabin and were surprised to find a kitchen inside. A ceiling fan took the place of air conditioning, which meant it would be a bit hotter than we were used to. And there was absolutely no Wi-Fi. We really were on our own!
The second day of our trip was packed with fun activities. We were going snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming; but the most important thing was the research we would do, learning about the effects of plastic on the beach. Plastic is harmful to animals, so we wanted to learn all about how we could help.
I hopped onto the bus, along with Miles, hoping to get the cool seats in the back. Luckily, we did. The views were beautiful as we rode to the beach. A mountain range loomed in the distance and, the closer we got to our destination, the more excited I became—crystal clear, turquoise waters stretching out ahead of our bus.
Finally, we arrived. I was so excited to try everything, especially kayaking which I had never done before. Our instructor gave us a brief tutorial on how to paddle, and then we stepped ever so gently into our kayaks, rocking back and forth. It was a bit difficult at first, but I just kept trying until I got the hang of it.
After kayaking, we decided to go snorkeling. We all put on our masks and began to swim, faces immersed in the water as we searched high and low for signs of life. The ocean was teeming with colorful fish, and we even got to see a turtle. “Look!” I shouted, muffled by my snorkel, pointing vigorously towards the graceful creature swimming nearby.
Miles gasped, his eyes wide, “Wow, I’ve never seen a turtle up close before. It’s incredible!”
We swam closer, admiring its beauty, but careful not to invade its territory. He glided through the water, coming up for air every now and again. We followed him, taking pictures with our underwater cameras. When we emerged from the water, we were so excited. We ran back to our friends, eager to share the incredible experience.
“Guess what? We saw a turtle!” I said, waving my arms to get everyone’s attention.
“No way, seriously?” our friends were excited to hear more. We nodded, grins stretching from ear to ear, and breathlessly shared every detail from his brown and green spotted shell to the rubbery flippers and playful eyes—the way he so gracefully flew through the water, not a care in the world.
After that, we continued with our day. Now that we had a chance to really soak up our surroundings, it was time to give something back. We began collecting bits and pieces of plastic scattered along the beach that had washed ashore. It was a harsh reminder that we need to take care of our environment and not litter.
During the trip, we learned a lot about how to protect the Earth. We talked about recycling, reducing waste, and taking care of nature. It was a great experience, and I realized that even kids like us can make a difference.
On our last day in Cyprus, we had a special ceremony to celebrate all that we learned and accomplished during our trip. We shared our research findings about plastic pollution and discussed the importance of keeping our planet clean.
As we said goodbye to Cyprus and boarded the plane home, I felt a mix of emotions. I was sad to leave this beautiful place, but I was also proud of what we had done. I knew I would always remember this trip and the lessons I had learned.
When we landed back home, our families were waiting for us at the airport. I ran into my parents’ arms, excited to tell them about all the things we did and saw. “Mom, Dad, you won’t believe it! We saw a turtle swimming in the sea!”
My parents smiled and listened as I ran through every detail of our adventure. They were proud of me for taking part in such an important trip and for caring so much about the environment.
As I reflected on my time in Cyprus, I realized that even though I was nervous at first, stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things led to amazing experiences. It taught me that it’s okay to feel scared or uncertain, but it’s important to face those feelings and embrace new opportunities.
Most importantly, I learned that we all have a responsibility to take care of our planet. We can make a difference by being mindful of our actions and making choices that protect the Earth and its creatures.
So, if you ever get a chance to go on a trip like this, don’t hesitate! Embrace the adventure, learn, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
About the Writer
This episode was written by Salman T. (age 13) of Boston, MA. “I moved to Saudi Arabia when I was 10. I love to travel with my family and friends. It’s exciting to see how places differ from each other. My hobbies include reading fiction in my free time and having fun with my friends!“
This story is part of a new series launched in 2023 thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Big Writers, Little Ears features real and make-believe stories written by big kids, just for you—our younger listeners. Learn more »