I said goodbye to a teenager and picked up a woman.. I know the previous statement makes not much let me explain.

Yaya left home a week after she turned 18. Until the moment she left home, she was still a little girl who was still under my protection and relied on me to help her make decisions for her. And then she had to do everything by herself.

She booked her own flights, read reviews and booked accommodations, figured out the must see places. She had to choose where to go and what to eat.

I arrived a day ahead of her in US and went to pick her up the next day. Then I saw her walking out, carrying a rather small backpack and thought ‘My goodness, she is so tiny’ She had bought her backpack from Aldi’s for 30$ and it held enough clothes etc that had to last her 6 weeks trip.

She gave me a hug and told me “I missed you mom” and the next question was “Where are we staying” and I told her the hotel address. I watched her looking it up on google maps and said to me “Let’s go”

I was expecting myself to get lost in the maze of American road networks and never thought there be a day where my child will be the navigator and I could actually get somewhere without getting lost. As many of you know by now, I have no sense of direction and I tend to get loss regularly.

When we got to the Hotel, I noticed her checking the currency exchange rate on her phone and then she told me, “Mom, I forgot to fill up water in my water bottle and had to buy a bottle of water in Reykjavik and because I didn’t have any Icelandic Krona with me and had to pay in Euro, the cashier charged me extra 25cents. I never thought there would be a day my child will worry about 25 cents.

She visited all the places she wanted to visit. Most of the people she met at the backpacker’s hostel were surprised that her mother allowed her to travel alone at the age of 18. ( most of them were in 2nd or 3rd year uni students who were taking a gap year) She only spent half of the money she budgeted for the trip. Except for a pendant for me, a marble pen for her brother and a small tin of handmade chocolate for her sister, she didn’t buy anything else.

I am glad she did this trip. Now I can rest easy knowing that she is capable of making sensible decisions and can find her way using google map..( both of which her mother is incapable of doing)



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