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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Gap Year in Full Swing

Earlier this year I wrote about a decision my eldest daughter made, that is, to take a year off before heading to college. At this point in time I can sense some bittersweet and anxious feelings as she sees her friends and fellow classmates of 2009 heading off to college. Already two of her good friends have packed up and moved into their dorms. They are not far away, but they are gone and starting their freshman year. Another good friend does not start college until the end of September, so they will hang out a few more times before she heads off to UC Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, my daughter is not languishing. She is in Europe right now, bonding with Dad while he is there for business. It's the best of both, she is independently exploring Europe on her own during the day, while hooking back up with Dad in the evenings. She has the safety of knowing someone is nearby but she is able to become more independent while on her own in a new area, new environment. They will be heading to Belgium and France during this European jaunt, and there she will be on her own without the benefit of people who speak English, or the ability to read road and metro signs.

When she returns home, she has a number of volunteer jobs which utilize her chosen field in art and illustration. Most are non-paying, volunteer jobs, but they give her great experience and expose her to the real world. She has bosses she reports up to and they give her a variety of tasks to complete. She gets to see how her talents (or lack thereof) can be used in a work environment. She also has more adults than just me telling her what to do everyday.

She will also be nannying, helping a younger girl with homework and getting her to and from her various activities after school. She'll get a view into the life of a mom without the whole "trappings" of being one.

Later, I hope she will get to take a couple more trips, including one to China with our church, and another to Washington, D.C., where she can help a niece who just made a life decision to quit her job as a consultant with a top firm and open her own restaurant. So lots of exploring this year is in store, and it's only the beginning. Tune in next time for "As the "Gap Year Continues".


  1. Sounds like a fabulous time your daughter is having! College will be there. Meanwhile, she's enjoying life.

  2. I bet Danielle had a ball exploring things on her own while in Belgium and France. I am sure she has gained a lot of confidence and maturity from this trip!! Let me know when she comes to WDC, Doug and I would love to see her!


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