The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Could you do this?

Son #1 is in Quito, Ecuador for a 5-week study abroad program. He is with a group of 18 students, none of whom he had ever met before attending the meetings preparing for the program. He is living with an Ecuadorian host family. He travels via bus to get to the university where he attends classes. He was inoculated for yellow fever and is taking anti-malaria medication. Quito is at 10,000 feet but he has not had any difficulty with the elevation. His Spanish is very good and getting better. The program includes a trip to Machu Picchu (Peru) and other excursions.

How great is it that he never even thought twice about whether or not he should do this. Pushing the envelope and challenging himself is part of who he is. He has learned how to adapt and make it work in almost any situation. He loves to travel and given the opportunity, he would probably go just about anywhere in the world.

When I was in college, I wanted to go abroad for a semester. Well, not really abroad, I only wanted to go to Montreal to McGill University. My father said no. I'm not sure why. I think he thought it was frivolous, or a distraction from real schoolwork. He was not into "broadening your horizons" and didn't think the experience would have any added value, so why bother? To this day I feel like I missed out, and I don't want my kids to miss out. I'm so happy he has put himself out there. Could you do it?

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