January 09, 2007

Airline Ticket

It came today, delivered by a woman driving a FedEx truck. My daughter ran to the door eagerly to sign for the envelope; she'd been watching for the truck all day. Film Guy, who lives only a few miles away and who is going abroad through the same program, had just sent a text message to say his ticket had arrived, so we were looking out the window when the truck came.

My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter has been looking forward to this semester since she began college. She has her passport and a converter for her laptop and a suitcase for the clothes she will bring. She's lived her whole life in Train Track Village, insulated by a close family and loving friends, she's spent two years of college in nearby Snowstorm City – and now she is ready to see more of the world. She leaves on Monday.

I know just how she feels. Twenty-five years ago during my junior year in college, I too spent a semester in the British City with Cathedrals and Theatres and the Houses of Parliament. I still look back at those four months as an amazing and wonderful time in my life, weeks of discovery and growth. I can close my eyes and remember exactly the smell of the fish and chips place around the corner, I can hear the muttered Arabic greetings I would get in the lobby of the building I lived in, I can feel the rattle of the trains we rode every day. As Hemingway noted, when you fall in love with a city at an impressionable age, you carry that city inside you for the rest of your life.

32 comments:

Ianqui said...

Did Hemingway say that? That totally happened to me with Barcelona.

jo(e) said...

Ianqui: Well, Hemingway was talking about Paris. "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish her the best of luck! I spent a semester in that British City too and I still carry the memories with me.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Oh, I hope she has the most wonderful experience.

ppb said...

I'm sure she's in for the trip of a lifetime. I'm sure Mama's in for a vicarious trip of a lifetime, too! Yay for internet!

kathy a said...

she will have a fabulous time! my daughter is really looking forward to going somewhere abroad, sometime. many good wishes to your daughter!

hmm. i remember hemingway saying that now, but also that he carried a lot of baggage as the years went on. paris is not the first place one envisions hemingway. he was a fabulous reporter, though, and i think that is what took him to paris.

Anonymous said...

I also spent a semester during college in The City with Tubular Transportation, and every year I still grow wistful on the anniversary of the day I boarded the flight to start my adventure. It was twelve years ago last Friday. She's going to have a wonderful time.

Norah

Anonymous said...

Tell her to have a wonderful time, I did the same semester abroad in the City with the Fabulous Parks, and would go back in a heartbeat if I could.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous opportunity for her. So much to see and experience! I hope she enjoys it to the fullest.

jar said...

She will have a wonderful time. We sent our oldest to Berlin two summers ago for 3 weeks and he cannot wait to go back.

Anonymous said...

LD#1 spent a semester in the same city and loved it. I hope your daughter has a wonderful wonderful time!

Repressed Librarian said...

One of my only regrets from college is that I did not spend a semester studying abroad, especially in London (or at Harlaxton, with whom my school had a relationship).

But I have a young friend blogger who, like your daughter, will be leaving for a semester in London in a few days.

luolin said...

Shortly after I started my current job, I was talking with some of my colleagues about my time in Old Asian Colony, just after college. One of my colleagues said, "oh, you feel about Old Colony the way I feel about my study abroad year in Other Country Hemingway Wrote About."

The funny thing is that I didn't like it at all when I first got there, but later I did, and it changed my life.

Kathryn said...

Oh goodness - I do hope it lives up to expectations! Feel oddly responsible, and a bit anxious....
Please do tell her to get in contact if she's stuck with anything at all: contact details are on the end of my emails...sometimes a friendly stranger only 2 hours away can be more use than a mum across the ocean. Looking forward to March so much, though, Jo(e).

Anonymous said...

Good for her! I spent my junior year in Irish City, and it changed my life.

Anonymous said...

OD will go to Paris from September to May of her junior year. What lives they lead! Good for her!

Anonymous said...

Yay for her! My dd is eagerly waiting to hear whether she has been accepted to her programs for next year in England and Prague. One of her brothers spent 11th grade in France and the other, the past three summers in France and Spain. Such amazing experiences they have!

YourFireAnt said...

DaughterLeaving comes through loud and clear in this post, despite how low-key you've written it, Jo(e). Nicely done with the Hemingway quote.

FA

jo(e) said...

Kathryn: I put your name and info on an index card for her, just like the emergency index cards I used to write up for my kids and put in their backpacks when they were in kindergarten. It does make me feel better to know someone in the country she'll be living in!

FA: Yeah, I am going to miss her. I am excited for her and thrilled she is going, but it will be really different to have her gone for four months. My husband and I will be visiting her in March though, and I am looking forward to that.

Chip said...

How exciting! I'm glad I got to meet MBSWF before she left. I'm sure you'll miss her but at least now there's the internet to keep in touch.

swissmiss said...

How exciting for BSWDaughter!

I have that feeling for, of all cities, Grenoble, France.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are planning a visit, jo(e). I had been wondering about that. Having that to look forward to will be so comforting when you are missing BSWD.

listmaker said...

She is going to have an amazing time. CD is still totally enthralled with London and her time spent there will forever be a treasured memory.

Mona Buonanotte said...

jo(e), I also love That City. I vacationed there years ago, and our hotel was directly across from Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. The breakfasts that came to our door every morning...ah...milky tea and hard rolls...and the squeal of the black cab brakes...and the cool moist air on your skin...and the dark cool beer in the pubs.

Now I'm all nostalgic.

Your Daughter will have an amazing time!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm green with envy. How I wish I had taken advantage of past opportunities to travel abroad.

I hope she has a blast!

timna said...

I went on a study abroad semester and stayed 20 years. maybe that's not the right response?! it is a formative experience.

Jenevieve said...

yay!

Just remember that if she visits Edinburgh, she has some friendly guides and/or a couch on which to crash!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I never traveled, because we married so young. I do look forward to traveling with Josh once the kids are grown. I think I'll enjoy it much more with him than I would have on my own. He's so funny, he's dying to go to Italy; he is conviced it will be the most romantic thing we ever do.

The is quite the motherhood milestone for you! The first time one of your baby birds will be unable to fly back into the nest for a substantial amount of time. Are you handling it okay?

jo(e) said...

Kyla: Yeah, you are right. This will be a big parenting milestone for me. The only time so far that I've gone more than a week without seeing my daughter was the time I went on a two-week white water rafting trip. Even while she's been at college, we've had lunch every week -- and talked on her cell phone pretty often. What helps is that London is a familiar city to me -- I don't feel like I'm sending her off to someplace unknown. I think this is all more difficult for my husband, who has never been abroad and feels kind of nervous about her going.

Right now I am just feeling really excited for her. I know how lucky she is to be able to have this kind of experience. And she is the kind of person who will really take advantage of all the opportunities abroad.

Anonymous said...

That Hemingway was a brilliant man. I hope that Smart Wonderful Daughter has a fantastic time. It is a wonderful city and may she get to see other parts of Europe while she is there too.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how wonderful! I'm sure she'll love it. There's nothing like living abroad to broaden the horizon and the outlook on life.

Dr.K said...

Hemingway could be a jerk, but he sure was right about Paris. He was right, it stays with you, and even after twenty years I can close my eyes and smell the perfume that always came wafting arount a corner from somewhere I never could figure out. The women in the 80s were wearing black lace hose--Oh. my. goodness! I loved the saucisson (which, I know, is pure meat--but so tasty!) London will bring Daughter the same kind of experiences. I came back from Paris a different person and a better person. Bon chance et bon voyage!