Descriptive Essay on a Memorable Journey

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Saigon was in ruins. My mother, father, and brother had gathered what little we had managed to salvage of our belongings in some old felt bags and pillowcases. My parents had managed to sell some of my grandmother’s jewelry in exchange for funding our journey. First to Thailand, then a boat to Australia.

The journey officially began with the first step of leaving my once beloved home. As we run, my head turns from side to side, glimpsing my surroundings. I have never seen so much damage to my hometown. Mountains of ruined motorcycles clutter the destroyed street. Buildings lean and have fallen onto one another. In what was once a popular shop, ghostlike mannequins remained. What were once vibrant traditional silk dresses, are now hung, torn, and stained off their wraithlike forms. I realized that I was not going to miss this place. All that I remember, all that made it home was now gone - buried in rubble and ash. With my head held high, my short legs caught up to the pace of my family. I didn’t turn back.

We finally reach the outskirts of what looks like another town, its entry point is guarded by a pair of rough-looking men in identical olive uniforms and indifferent expressions. They were also clearly openly armed. I gripped the back of my mother’s worn shirt tightly as my heart sped and my steps slowed. But our parents continued to approach the gate, and my brother and I had no choice but to follow. My feet, dusty and red, trod across the border of Vietnam and Thailand, following in the footsteps of my parents.

A few months pass and living in solidarity becomes the norm. The unsanitary and claustrophobic conditions of the refugee camp seem to feel the safest. A combination of petrol fumes and wet porridge with the additional human excrement had made the stench unbearable that a breath of fresh air was a lottery ticket. The beige canvas tents held up with ropes and sticks felt like more of a home than Saigon ever did. However, ultimate reality struck and the final step had begun. We were about to leave for Australia.

Walking past faulty tents and the so-called cafeteria where the Vietnamese would mourn the horrible conditions over flavorless porridge in the scorching sun had taken my mind off the memorable journey I was about to endure. But the time had finally arrived. We would finally set off for Australia in the early hours of the morning.

Slowly swaying side to side, the boat began to rock more violently as more of us raced onto the deck. I slowly walked onto the wood-planked jetty to where the blue fishing boat was anchored. Heart racing, mind filled with anxious thoughts, unaware of the events to come.

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About four days out, the most violent storm had hit. High insurmountable walls of water rose obscuring the misty clouds dimming the moonlight as the combined force of the wind and the waves crashed into the fishing boat and tossed it around as though it were nothing like I’d seen before. It had pitched and tossed like a frantic child thrashing about, in the numbing waters of the unpredictable and treacherous sea. Waves continued to crash relentlessly into the boat, torrents of water flooding over us and across the deck. People scrambled, slipping and sliding to reach and cling to any solid surface. Cold malevolent wind blew past my small, shivering body and it howled as it began raining freezing bullets. Another flood swept over the boat, sweeping people off and tossing them into the bottomless sea.

Desperately in search of their mother, who was forced away during the last surge. It became too difficult to see her. Everything was dark, cold, and chaotic. I frantically fling myself toward the railing and look over the side. She’s in the water. She’s drowning.

For a moment, my heart stops, I can’t move, can’t breathe. She’s gasping for breath and struggling to get closer to the side of the boat. My father appears beside me, he’s trying to tell me something however his voice is snatched by the wind and drowned by the waves. With all my might, I scream “BA! BA!” and try and turn him towards the side of the boat. Mum however is still struggling, still gasping and gasping for something to hold. Father dives into the water and helps her cling to him, finally helping her get a hold of the net on the side of the boat. With much more hope, she keeps a hold as she struggles back aboard.

She doesn't pause to collapse onto the deck. She immediately turns around, expecting Father to be right behind her, to help him back aboard. He's not there.

I was alive. My brother is alive. My mother is alive. But my father is gone. I stood at the far end of the deck, alone. In that moment of loss, the world I had only known had collapsed - where light dimmed to shadows. The weather was beginning to clear, the sun was beginning to emerge, and the sea was calm again. People were emerging from below, trying to salvage whatever they could. I continued to watch, unmoving.

The expansion of deep blue water stretched towards the horizon where the sun began to slowly climb up. The dark, shadowy outline of land was visible in the distance. The land became clearer and clearer as the unsteady fishing boat began to move closer. A glimmer of hope had struck Mother and it became evident that

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Descriptive Essay on a Memorable Journey. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-on-a-memorable-journey/
“Descriptive Essay on a Memorable Journey.” Edubirdie, 30 Jan. 2024, edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-on-a-memorable-journey/
Descriptive Essay on a Memorable Journey. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-on-a-memorable-journey/> [Accessed 18 Apr. 2024].
Descriptive Essay on a Memorable Journey [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Apr 18]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/descriptive-essay-on-a-memorable-journey/
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