A few days ago my parents told me that I became a woman now, but why? Thanks to my three-months experience in Ireland, which let me grow up and opened my horizons.
Travelling abroad is considered one of the most exciting and formative experiences a person can do in his entire life…The main part of this generation can’t wait to leave their hometown to travel around the world in search of adventures and stories that let their minds grow. But what about the parents? Do they always feel relaxed when they discover their “children” are gonna spend some time abroad, far from their town and their families?
I am sure that most of them don’t.
I know this because I’ve seen my parents reaction when they discovered I was gonna spend a few months in Ireland during last summer: they were so happy and excited (not as much as me of course ☺ ) but, at the same time, I’ve noticed a few worries in their eyes.
Parents’ work is a difficult one: they have to let their children free to take the best options life can offer them (as going abroad, for example), but they would also like to protect them from all the dangers the world can offer.
So, when I told them I have been selected by the school to work in Ireland for three months, they celebrated with me but, in the following days, I easily saw some sadness in them; I love them too but it’s an amazing experience to have some experiences completely alone, in order to grow up and become an adult.
But I am writing too much about my impressions on my parents’ reaction…Why shouldn’t I ask directly to them?
So let me introduce my parents: their names are Angela and Eros, they’re Italian (as me of course) and I am proud of them because they’re very open-minded and let me quite free to make experiences on my own.
“Hello mum, hello dad! I am gonna ask you some questions about your feelings on my staying in Ireland last summer…” Let’s start!
First of all, what was the first thing that runs through your minds when I told you I have been selected by the school?
MUM: I felt really happy because it has been a great satisfaction to know that my daughter has been selected by the school and that she could have the occasion to work abroad by her own…I’ve never felt so proud!
DAD: I agree with your mum…Proud has been the first thing I felt when you started to scream “I’ve been taken, I’ve been taken!!!” running all around the house. I knew it would have been a new situation for our family but I am proud of you.
Have you had some fears or worries about my experience abroad?
M: Actually not, not real worried about how you would survive abroad because I trust you but, in a little part of my brain, the typical fear of every parent with their child abroad came up in my mind: the afraid of what other people can make to you. I know I shouldn’t think those kinds of things but it’s inevitable…Every day on the newspaper we read about what happens in the world and even if there are dangers everywhere, knowing that our daughter is closer to us, in our town, make us feel better.
D: I have to admit that my worries weren’t about what your mum has just said because I am conscious of the fact that danger is everywhere and young people shouldn’t be worried about it about their experiences abroad. I didn’t have worries at all honestly and I have been confident in your new life abroad.
Have you ever been abroad for experiences like mine when you were young students?
M: No, unlikely I’ve never had such this possibility but I think it could have been great. Travelling, knowing people, making new friends is something that has always been a passion of mine and I would have liked to have had an occasion like that.
D: Yes, I had a similar occasion. When I was as old as you (around 20 years old) I’ve been to England for a while: I stayed with a host family in London and I had a really good time there. I was working in the army in that period and I could pay everything by my own and I think this experience in London has been really formative and useful for me, not just for my English level, but also because of all the people I met, all the things I’ve seen and all the adventures I’ve had. Now I keep the good memories of this beautiful experience abroad.
I’d like to know your impressions about me when I came back home after three months alone in Ireland: was I different? Did I change a lot?
M: Yes, I think you really changed but in a good manner of course! I’ve always considered you an independent girl but, since you came back, this trait of you became even stronger…I am glad for what this experience made on you because you became stronger in your mind and in your actions: you are a woman now, even if (for me) you’ll always be my little child.
D: I think this experience abroad changed you in different ways: now you’re more responsible, you’ve learned how to live alone so you know how to handle even difficult situations, you became more open with people and I am happy with it because you used to be a little shy…All this made you a woman, as your mum said, and we’re really proud of it.