I have to admit, when I found out S-Trip! would be sponsoring Miss Teen Canada-World with a “Social Media Queen” prize, I was overwhelmed with excitement! Having gone on my first S-Trip! in 11th grade to Quebec City, I know from experience that it’s a great organization that goes above and beyond to ensure that its’ travelers have the best time possible, experience all they can, and are safe at all times.

Jessica & I in our S-Trip! shirts

For over 35 years S-Trip! has been a leader in student travel providing life-changing trips to over 40,000 students annually in over 40 destinations around the world. S-Trip! travelers are encouraged to become global citizens; opening their eyes to new cultures, languages, and experiences. Recently named Profit Magazine’s 25th fastest growing company in Canada, and recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte and CIBC, S-Trip! is a leader in student travel in North America. Find out more at www.s-trip.com.

So where would I go if S-Trip could take me anywhere? That’s easy. Because I am a multi-generational Canadian, I have little knowledge of where exactly my family came from, but all I do know about being proud of ones background I’ve learned from my best friend Jessica’s family, the Bellais – the proudest Italians you will ever meet. I would love the chance to explore Italy with Jessica and see all of the beauty and history it has to offer (okay, and maybe shop a little bit!).

A beautiful museum in Vatican City

At first my interest in travelling to Italy was based solely on all the yummy Italian food that my “second family” has fed to me. Pasta, pizza, all the great things I’ve had to limit my enjoyment of in recent weeks due to pageant prep.. the list goes on and on and let me tell you from experience, no one cooks like a true Italian. More thinking, however, has made me realize how much I really do appreciate Italian culture and how much it has influenced me. Italians generally have strong family ties -many Italians even live on the same street as a lot of their family – and back their family up 100% in any situation. That’s a value I think anyone can relate to and aspire to have. As a Roman Catholic, my religion also has strong ties to Italy, and as I mentioned in my first blog – my religion & relationship with Christ is a large part of who I am.

Italy also has so many famous landmarks I’d love to experience. In particular, I’d love nothing more than to visit Vatican City. I truly feel that as a Catholic, I need to experience the very area that can be seen as the heart of my religion. Aside from my spiritual connection, Vatican City is known to be one of the most beautiful landmarks one can visit. I’d also have to go on a gondola ride through the canals of Venice. The remarkable architecture and history in that city is breathtaking – to experience it first hand could only be described as a dream.

Gondolas In Venice

Beyond what I truly believe I have to gain from this trip as someone who has never been to Europe, I think Jessica deserves to travel to Italy and see what it is that has her family so passionate about where they’re from. She has been nothing but supportive of my MTCW journey since the beginning, and that’s just one of the many ways shes helped me – its time for me to give something back.

Thank you so much to S-Trip for making my dream trip a possibility and supporting the pageant that means so much to myself and 70 other girls. A special thank you for the memories your company has already made possible for me. Ill never forget my S-Trip memories.

S-Trip! takes student travellers on unforgettable adventures around the world. Celebrate the exciting conclusion of high school in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica or Bahamas with all your friends on Grad Trip. Spend a weekend skiing or snowboarding at one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts on Ski Trip. Experience culture, sightseeing and events in Montreal or Quebec City on Busaway. Make a difference in an underdeveloped country on an impactful student Volunteer Trip. Explore the culture and history of Europe on Euro Adventure. For more information visit www.s-trip.com.

(Photos of Italy credited to goeurope.about.com)

Written by: Tricia Braunstein

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