What My Teenage Daughter Will Learn from Her Trip to France

When my teenage daughter asked if she could participate in her high school French department's trip to France, I didn't want to say "We can't afford it." I heard and believed those words so often growing up, and I am still struggling to overcome the negative impact on my life. But I didn't know how I could afford it.

I believed there was a better answer. I've read a lot of Law of Attraction literature in the last few years and have applied the principles with varying degrees of success to my life, but it was difficult to find the words to answer my daughter's request until her father called to discuss the trip with me. He said he couldn't afford it.

"I believe Camille can earn this trip," I heard myself say. And I did believe it. I could even help with the $200 nonrefundable deposit that was due in a few days, but I did not want to start spending money I didn't really have to spare if she wasn't going to show some effort. "So far all she has done is badger me about it every day," I told her dad. He put Camille back on the phone, and I started explaining it to her and brainstorming ideas for her to earn the money. She has talked about finding a part-time job for months but really hasn't applied for many.

"I'm really motivated, now," she told me. Within an hour she had posted on her myspace her intent to raise the money and received several pledges of support from friends. The next day she collected three job applications, started a blog about her efforts, and scheduled a small painting job for a woman from her church. She also has a lead to speak with a local children's author about illustrating some of her books.

Camille is a very talented artist and part of her attraction to France is based on her interest in art. She can't wait to see the Mona Lisa in person. I'm thrilled that this trip will not only cultivate her interest in art, but in the process of fund raising, she will potentially gain some real life experience in the field.

At first I felt a little self-conscious encouraging her to "beg for money." But, she will earn it. Even the donations will be a direct result of her earnest efforts and positive expression of her abilities and dreams. The school encourages fundraising efforts, and she will have to do more than just "ask" for money.

I think the blogging experience will be beneficial in addition to the various work experience she will gain. Most importantly, I am happy to see her pursue her passion, to set goals and act on them, and to believe she will attract the resources needed to fulfill this dream.

Copyright Dineane Whitaker 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url: http://hubpages.com/_ndwcopyright/hub/What-My-Teenage-Daughter-Will-Learn-on-Her-Trip-to-France

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Comments 6 comments

Karla McD profile image

Karla McD 8 years ago

Yes...Camille must see the Mona Lisa! Has she ever done any muralling? I think she earn a chunk from just one job.

Good luck to Camille!


dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks, Karla, and yes, actually Camille has worked on a mural for someone in her church. I'm sure she'd love some more of that kind of work!

Madison Parker profile image

Madison Parker 7 years ago from California


I went to France in High School for the summer of my Junior Year. It was amazing and I fell in love with Europe, France and since then, Paris. It was an experience I will never forget.

I'm not sure if your daughter has gone yet, but she will find Parisians and Europeans to be very different from us; they focus on what is important and on living life in a full, very complete way. The arts are SO important, something that Americans always seem to put last on the list.

I try to spend a month in Paris every year because it is so amazing and so different from our own culture. Also, it reminds me of what is really important. I can't seem to get enough!

As an artist, your daughter will go crazy in Paris! The Louvre is fabulous, but so many other museums are enough to keep one busy and totally absorbed in art for weeks and weeks!

Bon Voyage!


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for your comments, Madison - I'm very excited for my daughter, for the reasons you mention - the cultural differences she will experience, the exposure to the art she loves so much - and even the perspective that maybe she, too, CAN spend a month in Paris every year if she wants to. She hasn't gone yet - the trip is summer '09 - but she's earned more than half of the money and that lesson alone is so invaluable, especially in today's restrictive economy. I want her to know she can have her dreams, even if her mom still gets discouraged too often.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I think it's a great idea.

I went to Russia on a school exchange when I was 14, for a fortnight, and then had the Russian girl with whom I had stayed come for a fortnight to stay with us. (Teachers went too, not unsupervised). It sparked off an interest and love for Russian films, books and culture that took me back there and continues to this day.

cfangerow profile image

cfangerow 7 years ago from United Kingdom

I think it is very important that more American young people broaden their horizons by going abroad. Americans do tend to be far more insulated than most of the rest of the world!

I recently spent three months in the south west of France and it was a great experience. Maybe I started a bit late (I was 50 before I ever made it out of North America) but I am making up for lost time by living abroad for the last five years.

If your daughter wants to spend more time abroad, i suggest that she look into house sitting. Check out my hub page on House Sitting for more info.

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