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Adventures in Solo Travel

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Kids today are so lucky.  They have fewer chores (because they’re so busy) and they get to go everywhere (because they’re parents feel guilty leaving them at home). Parents today are much more adventurous in travelling with their children. I realize I’m part of this culture, indulging my children in all sorts of travel adventures. In return, I hope my kids will look back upon our family travels and continue to be inspired by the world and long to see more of it … preferably on their own … soon.

So my daughter recently experienced the pinnacle of childhood adventures:  the solo voyage. As in sans parents. When family and summer scheduling conflicts prevented us from attending a much loved beach week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my daughter somehow managed to finagle an invite from her uncle to go to the beach with his family – complete with puppy dog eyes, curled lip and promises of ‘I won’t be any trouble at all …’, I have no doubt . Naturally he, being entirely defenceless to the puppy dog eyes and curled lip look, agreed.

us customsThe first significant hitch she encountered was US Customs.  I guess runaways are extremely clever these days, including those with an official consent to travel form notarized by a lawyer, signed by both parents AND carrying a return airline ticket. Evidently US customs officials are impervious to the puppy dog look and curled lip routine but good on her for trying. She fared much better with Canadian Border Services upon her return and the usual, “Are you bringing back any weapons, alcohol or tobacco?’ was replaced with “I bet you had a lot of fun! Welcome back.”

This solo adventure of hers took another unfortunate turn when Hurricane Arthur decided to take its own unfortunate turn towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina where she was staying with my brother. If anyone could turn a hurricane on its heels it would be my daughter, but alas, the Governor did not think know of her powers (primarily reserved for use at our family dinner table), and Dare County issued an evacuation order for Hatteras Island. While I am certain she had visions of a SWAT team lowering their ladders from helicopters evacuating stranded tourists such as herself, she soon found out what it really entailed: a day’s driving stuck in the worst traffic jam imaginable.

And now she is off to sleep over camp for two weeks (something she has done now for seven summers).  While there will certainly be someone there to feed her and do her laundry, I know she will return from camp grateful for a flushing toilet.

bluesfestMy sons are also on their own solo adventures this week. My 18-year old is at the national Canadian Big League Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario (ten days of residence living at Lakehead University will be good training for his body to get used to dorm beds) and my 16-year old is experiencing Ottawa’s largest outdoor musical festival, Bluesfest 2014 (requiring him to master one of the biggest travel obstacles for today’s youth:  public transportation). Their adventures, however, will probably not be titled Adventures in Solo Travel but rather Travel in with Solo-Cup Adventures. Sigh.

So this house is just a little too quiet for me right now and I think it’s time to embark on some solo (or solo cup) travel adventures on my own. But I am a seasoned traveller, right? None of this Customs nonsense, lousy beds, public transportation woes or guilt can get in my way, right?

Stay tuned!

airplane

 

About Astra

I am a zamboni fumes-inhaling hockey mom of three. I poke fun at myself, motherhood and my support group, Sarcasm and Chardonnay while writing my tell-all hockey mom-oir. Read more at www.thedustbunnychronicles.com, follow me on Twitter @mydustbunnies and join my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheDustbunnyChronicles.

4 responses

  1. Your kids sound resourceful, which means you’ve raised them well. Too bad the North Carolina governor didn’t know about your daughter’s powers against hurricanes. Another crisis could’ve been diverted! Oh well. There’s always next year. ;)

  2. I remember those days of fledgling travel. My daughter spent three weeks in France the summer between her sophomore and junior years in high school. We knew the family so no worries there but she had a plane change in Chicago and I had all kind of nightmare visions about that. She took the whole thing in stride and it set her off on a lifetime of adventures. Try to enjoy the quiet and tidy moments. They will return soon enough. This is practice for the bigger moves to follow. Cheers!

  3. Such timing…dang you Arthur…but it did bring some nice breeze to Georgia. Your kids sound like they’re having a wonderful time…get started on your solo adventure (and I mean that in both respects). ;)

  4. I so remember my son’s first solo flight down to FL to visit his Grandma. I was a nervous wreck! But he’s now a seasoned traveler and is heading over to Europe in September. I do think instilling in our children a hankering for travel and adventure is a gift. When your nest is empty you should come for a visit down here in DC, but no during hurricane season – :-)

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