Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Countdown Begins
In 24 hours I will be driving my daughter, my "precious jewel" to the airport as she is about to begin her first overseas adventure with a group of other young women. As I mentioned a few blogs back, she is heading to Scotland for a tour with an artsy bunch from her arts camp (Camp Centauri). Their first stop will land them in Edinburgh, where they will immerse themselves in all things creative at the world renown Fringe Festival. The next leg of her journey will take her to Inverness to a writer's retreat, where they will soak in the Scottish countryside and spend their days honing their writing skills. In the evenings, some well-known Scottish writers will arrive to listen to their readings and critique their work. Hey - wait a minute - I should be going on this trip, shouldn't I? I did try to sign on as a chaperone to no avail - aahh well, it's her adventure, not mine, as it should be. I had my own adventures when I was her age, although not nearly as glamorous. My first trip across the pond was a school trip when I was 16 to England. It was my first taste of life off the continent and I was smitten. I hope she feels the same way when she gets back. I am not worried about her - not the way my own parents were when I slung a pack on my back and headed to Europe at 19 to discover the world. I had no itinerary, no real plan - just a sense of adventure and my life savings in traveller's cheques, a copy of Europe on $5 a Day, and waaay too much stuff in my back-pack. After about day 3 - I sent half the stuff I had taken back home and then I could really move with that thing on my back. I could haul it up into the back of a pick-up with ease and with our thumbs as our preferred mode of transportation, we were off. We did buy a rail pass for part of the journey, but for the most part, we relied on the kindness of strangers (and sleepy transport drivers looking for someone to keep them awake). Those were the days. Now, I am glad she is scheduled and she of course will not be venturing onto highways and biways in hopes of a ride. Doubt anyone does that any more. I was lucky - I survived. No - my little girl will have the latest in luggage, a backpack with wheels, no Canadian flag stitched on the outside (not the thing anymore) and she will remain safe and scheduled. The cost of her trip is three times more than I spent in more than three months in 1977. Imagine that. My biggest wish for her is that she comes back a changed person, more worldly, more educated, travel bug firmly installed in her psyche and full of tales of her new world experience. Just like I did. She is ready. And oddly, so am I. You go girl.