Thursday, May 6, 2010
My daughter asked me about travel abroad, the other day, as her school is developing a European trip for girls in the 11th grade. She is a deliberative, thoughtful and logical person that evaluates opportunities somewhat dispassionately, but she seemed genuinely interested when she thought about the opportunity. When she asked about it, I did NOT immediately rush to her closed bedroom door. In fact, she somewhat asked me about it, in her low key, shall I say "deadpan" manner, and I think she will wind up enrolling in this trip. My experiences with teen-age trips abroad were some of the best times I have had, and it propelled me and my wife, to some extent, to explore lots of other places in the world. Now, I can't help but offer a few tips to her from my own experience. One. When you are running through the streets of Paris, boys will usually join in the chase. Two. No matter what seems to be the norm, do not drink alcohol, get lost, and puke, until you are used to it. Three. Stay together. Four. Jump in fountains. Five. Beware swarthy Italians singing songs. Six. Force yourselves to really look at the works of art. Seven. This is civilization. You may never see it again. Eight. Look out for each other. Nine. Take lots of pictures...but not of works of art. Ten. Pay attention to the sounds and the light. Eleven. Practice your French. Twelve. Preserve your memories.