Europe Backpacking with my daughters in Europe

Published on March 6th, 2013


Random Photo Memory: The Way We Were…

Clearly reachin’ waaaaay back in the “Memory” department here today.  Flashback 30+ years ago, picture me… A single mom of two young lasses (then aged 8 and 11) – going to college full time, working part time when…

One drizzly afternoon on the University of Oregon campus, as I was rushing home to rustle up dinner for my daughters, suddenly I spy a soggy flyer on a telephone pole extolling the notion of studying in France. That was all it took. Though in retrospect it seems extraordinarily bold, in truth – I knew from that moment that I would simply pack the three of us up, and head to Europe.

Indeed, though I’d then had little experience with exploring the world outside the state of Oregon, as a mother, I knew that the best education I could hope to give my daughters was to expand their horizons, and show them that they could go/do/be anything their hearts desired. And here was an opportunity to do just that.

We were of course on a very shoestring budget, and I didn’t know a single word of French.  But the program didn’t require such (they exported U.S. teachers to teach the classes at a French university), and best of all… I could study in France while still receiving the precious (and desperately needed) financial aid stipend that I received from the University of Oregon.

Long story short? Off we skipped – the three of us, for more than 6 months in Europe. First a term in Avignon, France (where the girls went to French schools and lapped up the language like it was chocolate milk!), a bit of travel in Switzerland and Greece, and then settling down again in our own wee apartment in Perugia Italy (where I again went to school at the University of Foreigners – primarily so as to continue to qualify for that precious financial aid.)

Oh so many adventures! Far too numerous to mention here. But suffice it was the very BEST thing I ever did for my daughters. And though I’ve only a handful of photos (taken with a borrowed f.i.l.m camera), nonetheless I have crisp, full-color memories seared into my brain – of that wondrous time with my daughters.


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

2 Responses to Random Photo Memory: The Way We Were…

  1. How brave you were! And what a terrific experience for your daughters. I’ve taken five trips to Europe with my mom and wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!

    • TravelnLass says:

      Goodness but you’re a busy lass tonight cosmoH – thanks for all the nice comments. And yes, those days traveling ’round Europe w/ my girls were among the most precious of my life.

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