Tuesday, July 5, 2016

London to Lucerne: Pre-Departure Part 1

This blog was written by Aimee Haywood, a Girl Scout volunteer who will be traveling with her daughter Lily on GSCCC's London to Lucerne trip this summer. Aimee and Lily are excitedly packing and preparing for their European adventure that starts on July 11.
Lily and Aimee on a GSCCC trip to New York City

When I was 16 years old, I had the opportunity to travel to France with my French teacher. I was with a group from my school and another local school. That experience happened two decades ago, but it still feels like it happened yesterday. When Eileen Livick, the GSCCC travel pathway volunteer, shared with me that my daughter would be old enough for international travel during the 2016 London to Lucerne trip, it felt very far off for many reasons. First, my daughter was just nine years old, and 12 seemed so far off. Second, I had just become a single mother, working part time, and getting ready to be a full time college student. But, I knew what this could do for my daughter, so I signed us both up because travelling with a group was a great way to see and experience a lot, plus make new friends.

So here we are three years later about to head off for an adventure, but this has been a journey in of itself. Lily worked hard with product sales, I worked a lemonade stand at the amphitheater, and we have been blessed by friends and family who know the benefits of traveling and gave gifts to help with the expense, and I’m a semester away from receiving my bachelor’s degree.

My daughter and I have also spent time learning about our destinations, from the World Centers that she has presented about for World Thinking Day to the culture of the places we are visiting (“women in Paris do not wear shorts!”). My daughter even chose to take a high school level French class in the seventh grade to be able to know some of the language. I have been using Pinterest to find great traveling tips and purchased a few things that hopefully will make life on the road easier (packing cubes are the things I am most excited to try out!). We’ve also made a trip out to A Place for Girls to make sure our uniforms are in pristine order for the pinning ceremonies at Pax Lodge and Our Chalet.

As we prepare for departure, I have a sense of calm. Now I am about to leave the country with my 12 year old daughter and leave my son for 11 days; then leave my daughter to travel on to Italy while I escort girls home from Switzerland. Staying calm is kind of a big deal, but I know Eileen has everything under control. She’s done it before, and will again in the future. I am really excited for the adventure that lies ahead.

The desire to travel the world has already infected my daughter because Lily and I were able to travel to New York with Eileen and EF Tours which set in our minds how our European trip will be. We know we will be busy, but we will get to see so much and meet great people.