Leila Zein-Phillipson | Torrey Pines High School Senior
|Photo Leila Zein-Phillipson. Click to enlarge.
Stuck in the middle of a surplus of unknown bodies I cling to my purse. My other hand grips a silver pole for balance. The doors of the Parisian subway open again, like floodgates on a dam, allowing yet another wave of people to come crashing into the subway car. I push through the crowd to exit at my stop of the day, the Champs-Élysées. I have been immersed in the hustle and bustle of the famous city for a week now, and though I feel privileged to be here experiencing all that Paris has to offer, I can’t help but contrast the cosmopolitan feeling of Paris to my beach town of Del Mar, 5,000 miles away.
Each time I rode on the crowded and smelly Paris metro system I found myself thinking about my old coconut scented red jeep and the ease of driving in Del Mar. Sun bathing on the grassy hill of Montmartre, I was reminded of the Powerhouse Park. The noises of the city and the commotion made me reflect on the serenity and peace of the Del Mar Village.
“Traveling makes you realize what you miss and love about home,” said Nicole a senior at CCA who spent her summer traveling in Thailand and looking at colleges in the US Midwest. “I like the sense of community we have [in Del Mar]. We look out for each other. It’s safe.”
Many incoming seniors used this summer to begin their hunt for their perfect college. A key factor for many of us is the location of the school.
Ryan, a senior at TPHS would like to remain in California for college. “The West coast is the best coast. As long as I’m next to a beach I’ll be good.”
Kiersten, a sophomore who lived in Chula Vista the past year and recently moved back to her home in Del Mar believes the best beaches are in San Diego. “Living inland for a year I missed the beach. No beaches are comparable to the ones on the 101.”
Claire, a sophomore at TPHS and Camilla a senior at TPHS spent most of their summer vacations away from home.
Claire and her family participated in the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. By the end of the trip, Claire found herself greatly missing easy access to the variety of food we take for granted.
“[At home] we have every variety of food and whenever you want [to eat] you can. Along the Camino we didn’t know what food there was and when we would be able to eat” said Claire.
Camilla traveled throughout Europe for a month before attending a fashion design camp in New York City. At the end of the summer she will have spent a total of 3 weeks in Del Mar.
“It went by so fast but I’m really excited to come home. I miss everything so much. I mostly miss my sister, my car, my friends, my dogs. I especially miss my daily Torrey Pines State Beach hikes” said Camilla who plans to do 2 hikes a day to make up for the hikes she’s missed the past 2 months.
Like Dorothy at the conclusion of the Wizard of OZ, for my Del Mar friends, there truly is no place like home. We leave for the adventure, but when we are away we miss the enchantment--the enchantment of Del Mar.