Monday, February 20, 2012

What Would You Do? Africa or Bust . . .

My daughter has the opportunity to spend two and a half weeks in Gabarone, Botswana this summer. I know, awesome, right?

Well, except for the fact that it's halfway around the world. And she's my little girl (who, you know, is an adult, but still, she'll always be my baby girl).

Now, when I was younger I traveled to Greece alone and thought nothing of it. I had a great time exploring Athens and the islands. But there were a few incidences that made me nervous and when I think back on them now I see how naive I was and how those situations could have turned ugly fast. And that was quite a few years back. So I'm a little nervous about her going to Africa.

Of course when she shows me the map and all the amazing things she could do and see, I think to myself it would be a once in a lifetime experience that she would always remember. And it's not like she hasn't traveled before. She's been to Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, but she was with a tour group then. This time, she would be traveling alone (or maybe with her brother if he can get the money).

So, if you were me, and your daughter wanted to go to Africa and went around singing Africa by Toto,(so much so I sort of hate that song now) (oh, and she's saved every penny she's earned in the last few months so she can go) what would you do?


Melanie Goldmund said...

Well, you could tell her to sing "Scatterlings of Africa" by Johnny Clegg instead ... and learn all the dance moves, too.

I'd be more inclined to only let her go if her brother or somebody else could go with her.

Debra Erfert said...

Tell me, Julie. Has she been able to save this money because she lives at home and you and her father have otherwise paid for her living? If so, then you have made it possible for her to save all her pennies.

Yes, on one hand, it does sound exciting to travel around the world. On the other hand it sounds foolish to be a young, white, single woman to be going alone to a nation where she would stand out so startling. Have you ever seen the movie "Taken"? Let's just say I wouldn't let my daughter travel to a foreign country without being in a huge group that included an equal sum of beefy, trustworthy men. Am I overprotective? Could be, but in this day and age of daily abductions and heartbreaking disappearances, I'd rather error on the side of common sense than not.

Never, never, never travel alone! Especially in a foreign (3rd world) country. Good grief! What recourse would you have if you didn't hear from her? Who could you call? And who would call you if she got in trouble and couldn't use her phone?

Okay, I had my say . . . I'll be quiet now.

J.L. Campbell said...

Tough decision. If it's a group setting, maybe. If not, I'd try and outline the dangers and hope she'd listen to me if I didn't want her to go.

Charlie Moore said...

Julie, I would ask myself one thing. Do I trust Heavenly Father to protect my/His daughter? I don't say that in a sarcastic manner. His will does supersede all other wills. The nervousness over a child's decision is natural, especially one like this. Prayer might help to comfort you and your daughter.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to trust she has researched this and feels she will be safe. It's a scary thing and I would do everything in my power to see that her brother can go with her, however you said she is an adult so all you can do is caution her and then trust her to make a well thought out decision.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, she also sings, "This Time for Africa," by Shakira. haha. I do hope her brother can go with her.

Debra, she doesn't live at home and supports herself. She has a job and carries a full university load. She is very responsible. I totally get her having the travel bug since I had it myself at her age. And I have thought about everything you said. It's so hard as a mom to see both sides of the issue. *sigh*

J.L. I vacillate on having her go or not, but maybe you're right a pro/con list is in order.

Charlie, that is a great idea. Thank you.

Bridget, you're right. She's an adult and she deserves my trust. She's a good girl.

Thank you all so much for your opinions and comments. They are very appreciated.

brendajean said...

I would send my daughter in a minute if she had a travel buddy.(Come on brother, clear up your schedule!!) It is a great once in a lifetime opportunity. There is so much to do before she settles into motherhood for the REST of her life! With her travel experience I would feel safer sending her and knowing she is a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders. Be prayerful. Have faith in both her and Him. She'll be fine. I would go in a heartbeat!

Brittany said...

Motivate her brother to go with her so she's not alone. And then have them both read all of the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels before they do. They're all about Gaborone and it sounds wonderful. Wait, maybe I should save my pennies and go with her...

Jon Spell said...

Or maybe you should listen to this version:

You know, to rekindle your love for this awesome song. =)

I second Charlie's comment. I've had a friend go to Africa (and Australia) and come back safe, with no incidents. Yet I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd been one of those mauled-by-lions-because-she-wanted-a-good picture. You know the type. I'm sure you've taught your daughter correct principles. =)