Written by Jani Carr, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Parkview High School
After a long year of isolation, social distancing and digital learning, I wanted to spend my summer doing everything I hadn’t been able to do the year before. In May, when I got my second dose of Pfizer, things were looking up, and it seemed like I would be able to experience a close-to-normal summer after all.
In the first week of June, I took my first family vacation in over a year with my mom, younger brother and aunt to a small beach town called Port St. Joe in Florida. There, we stayed in a community of rented beach houses with other vacationers. We were only 10 minutes away from the closest beach, and there were cute restaurants and shops just a short walk or drive away. During our six-day stay, we spent full days at the beach swimming and finding seashells, relaxing at the house reading and swimming in the community pool.
My next adventure began just a few days later when I boarded a plane to San Francisco, where I’d be spending the next six weeks. I could hardly wait to land and see my dad, stepmom, and my other little brother, all of whom I had not seen since just before the pandemic. While in San Francisco, I interned at my stepmom’s business, Planet FWD, that focuses on tackling climate change by changing the food industry. When I wasn’t working on blog posts for the company or learning about environmental sustainability, I was playing with my little brother, going to his swim and soccer lessons, and practicing my driving with my dad in the hectic city streets. We even took two family trips: one to Sonoma, California and the other to Hawaii’s Big Island.
Finally, in my waning weeks of summer vacation, I returned home to my mom and brother and spent time with my friends, who had all been working their first jobs while I was away. Despite the challenges of being locked inside for months on end, it was worth it to know that I could have a safe and fun summer with the people I loved.