How travel changed one child’s life

Last night in Rome, while waiting for the new Harry Potter to start, we started chatting with two women sitting next to us in the theatre, a mother and her grown daughter.

I never got their names. But the daughter, who couldn’t have been more than 24 or 25 years old, had been living in Italy for the past four years, and her mother (a teacher) was visiting from New York. It didn’t take long for our conversation to turn to the importance of international travel in the lives of children.

Here’s what I found interesting. More than a decade ago when her daughter was 11, the mother had taken the girl on a holiday to Italy. The experience affected the daughter so profoundly, that she resolved to live in Italy when she grew up.

As soon as she and her mom returned home, the girl began studying Italian. Years later she selected her college, Vassar, based on the strength of its Italian program, and then spent her junior year abroad. In Bologna, I think.

The grown daughter struck me as mature, confident and focused. She’s been living in Rome for the past four years and has a young daughter of her own. (The baby already has her Italian passport. Her U.S. passport is being processed now.)

She’s happy.

She’s living her dream.

A dream she had because she traveled abroad as a child.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa July 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Love it! Thank you for sharing and for taking us with you on your journey of a life time! How lucky is Scout to have such adventurous parents. Love to each of you!


2 Renee July 31, 2011 at 4:46 am

Hi, Melissa, and thanks! It’s definitely an incredible educational experience for her. I’m so grateful we could swing it.


3 Akila September 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Wow!  Love that story!  I hope that you tell this story to any person who badmouths traveling with kids.


4 Renee September 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

She was such an impressive young lady. And it was interesting to hear the tale from her perspective as well as her mom’s. Seriously, how can a young person make the best choices for themselves if they haven’t traveled much?


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