My 13-year-old daughter has the opportunity next summer to spread her travel wings on an educational tour through Europe. The itinerary and sights she will see are all very exciting, and I think her head will be full with a continent’s worth of history when she comes home. I also think she will be much more independent after three weeks without her parents.
While it’s difficult to imagine letting her cross the Pond on her own (with a big, teacher-led group, of course), I’m trying to tell myself that this is no different than letting her go to summer camp. It’s just a summer camp on an international tour.
Every time I think about how young she may be for such a trek, I remember that I made my first big trip sans parents when I was only a couple of years older. I embarked on a similar tour when I was 15 years old, traveling through Germany (East and West, at the time), Austria, Switzerland and even little Lichtenstein. I polished my German-speaking skills, toured