Gracia & Josh's Big Adventure - Part 1

07:30 Karen 10 Comments

Well, today's the day, having gotten up at 2am and dropped the kids off at St Pancras International to catch the 5:25am train to Paris, I am back home and feeling more than a little lost. Gracia text-ed me within five minutes of David and I leaving the station to say that she was missing us already and when I switched on my laptop there was an email from her to say she will miss us loads and can't wait to see us again!

A very quick, snatched photo as I wasn't supposed to take one and got told off! Look at her backpack - it weighs almost as much as she does and contains essentials such as hair straighteners!

I am so glad that she is going to have the opportunities that we have always wanted for her. In fact - in 2009, I made a layout saying that I wanted her to travel, go to music festivals and do all the things we never had a chance to do!

So for the next 5+ weeks they are going to
Benicassim (Spain) for a 4 day music festival
Greece for a week-long beach holiday with Josh's family.
xxx HOME xxx

Only another 38 days and they will be home (not that I'm counting or anything)!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. That we have brought up a daughter who is confident enough to go backpacking around Europe at just 18.

2. That both kids are sensible and will look after each other and stay safe at all times.

3. That we can let her go and not let her know how much it hurts to do so.

Stay safe my baby.



Amy said...

It's only now as a parent that I realise how strong my parents were to send four of us off into the big wide world when we were all eighteen ... she sounds like a wonderful young woman who is able to have these great experiences due to parents who have raised her well. Karen we are all here with you for the next 38 days and counting!

scrappyjacky said...

What a wonderful experience for her to have....I hope she enjoys every moment of it.....and that you find lots of interesting things to do while she's keep you busy!!!

Sue said...

awww i want to go! How wonderful. I am sure they will have a great time and you'll have loads more gorgeous photographs to scrap xx

I know that the fact that Josh and Gracia are going to have a fabulous time doesn't take away the fact that it's so hard to let her go. Thanks to texting and emails you'll be able to keep in touch though, and she'll have some great stories to tell you when her travels are through. Keep your chin up, Karen, and keep busy! Five weeks will fly by! xo

debs14 said...

My son did a similar amount of time interrailing around Europe last year with no firm itinerary and no accommodation booked after the first 3 days! Plus the idea of texting home did not cross his mind, I had to track him via Facebook comments! Gracie will have a wonderful time and she has her Josh to look after her. Being a girl, she will know that mum is home worrying about her and she will keep in touch if she can. With texting and internet cafes you know that she can contact you easily too. We spend 18 years teaching them to be independant and adventurous, but it doesn't stop us worrying when they fly the nest does it?

Scattychick said...

It is amazing how these milestones scare us and make us proud at the same time. My eldest went on his first week away with school recently and it was scary lol.
Gracia is a gorgeous young lady Karen and I am sure she will have a great time and I am glad she is missing you too x

Alison said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip....mothers of teenagers(and almost-22year-olds) know only too well the mixed feelings of pride and terror! Will be thinking about you!
Alison xx

Lizzie said...

Goodness... My DS is 13 and starts Upper School next term. I'm nervous enough about that (more than him - typically!).
What a lot we have to "worry about" for our children, while they blissfully sail off into their next project/ phase of life.
I think that Grazia sounds very sensible, well grounded and carefully brought up! I'm sure Josh will take care of her - and her of him (clean socks etc!). I hope they have a fabulous time - I still remember my post-college trip round Scandinavia, with a 3-week rail pass and a tent. We had a wonderful three weeks (couldn't have stayed any longer, as we would've run out of money!). I think I grew up a lot on that trip - somehow being away from your home country and having to organise and care for yourself, really makes you focus and think. I was 19 and my BF was 23, so he was a "man of the world"! Even so, I learned a lot more independance - which was useful when I came home and moved into my own flat, started a full-time job etc!

I know you will miss Grazia - it's obvious she is so very special to you; but I hope you find some projects to keep you busy, get support from David and also your friends, and also have the chance to "speak to" Grazia often, so you know she is fine.
It'll soon be Day 38 and you will be off to pick them up from the airport, pace the arrivals hall, wonder how long it can possibly take to get off the plane, collect luggage and get through customs...
Then Day 39 will dawn, with a massive pile of laundry, a starving daughter (and maybe her BF), loads of photos to look through and talk about... an adventure to share!

Denise said...

Awww-love that photo of her and her backpack..thank goodness for emails and texts and internet cafes.She will have a ball- and I know she will be in touch every possible minute she can.I was so excited as an only child when my mum and dad let me go away but I always knew they were there every step of the way - just like you and her Dad are - it will fly by..x xx

Rhona said...

Karen, you have every right to be proud of her, you've raised a beautiful, confident young woman who is happy to go on an adventure. She will miss you both but will also have a fantastic time. I've no doubt it will be more difficult for you at home but those 38 days will fly by. What a fantastic opportunity for Gracia and Josh! xxx