Last year my eldest daughter went to Europe for a month for the second time. She goes alone, stays in hostels, makes friends and and does a lot of hiking. I worry about her out there by herself.
I joke that she is more street smart at her age than I am at mine. I would be the person who goes into a restaurant and tells everyone that I’m a tourist and I’m lost. I’ve watched enough true crime shows to know that it doesn’t end well for someone that gullible and naive.
The first time she planned to go to Europe the movie ‘Taken’ had just premiered. ‘Taken’ stars Liam Neeson. His daughter goes to Europe with a friend. They end up being kidnapped and forced into the sex trade. Liam Neeson’s character goes after the kidnappers.
I begged her not to go and she didn’t, not because I begged her, it wasn’t a good time to go. She did eventually go. She had a great time. She posted lots of photos of herself in pubs eating and drinking with strangers. She had fun.
When she told me she was going again and alone, I started worrying, again. I told her I was going to buy her a Swiss army knife for protection.
“Mom, I don’t know how to use one and if I’m attacked they could take it and use it against me,” she replied.
“Oh, I didn’t think about that.”
“Mom, I will be careful and I will be okay.”
It didn’t stop me from worrying, but I needed to trust her ability to take care of herself. She’s gutsy, practical, and a good judge of character.
She posted more photos. Her with another young woman. They travelled together for a week or so. A couple of guys from England that she stayed in touch with from her first trip. This time she got to meet their girlfriends.
My little girl grew up and became a strong, self-confident world traveller. Carefree. Living life her way. If you meet her she’s the one without a Swiss army knife.