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What was your first 'unsupervised' journey?





watersoul
I posted this in my Frihost freespace blog but thought it would be interesting to find out the stories of other folk here on the forums...

http://watersoul.frihost.net/stuff/?p=62
Quote:
200 miles for a Halloween party
My 15 year old son has been on holiday with his mothers family on The Isle of Wight for this half term school holidays. The original plan was that they would all be coming back 3 days from now, but there is apparently “the party of the year” tonight at one of his friends houses back here in the South West, so he is making his first major unsupervised journey to get back in time for it.

Had a text from his mother earlier to say he’s on the ferry back to the mainland, so if he gets it all right its then a taxi from the ferryport to Portsmouth then a train trip with just one change/connection along the way.

He’s played rugby since he was aged 6 and to be fair he’s bigger than me now so I’m not worried too much about his personal safety. He’s also an intelligent lad excelling with his schoolwork so I’m confident he will follow his instructions well enough to get back here to me. If not, the worst that could really happen is he ends up on the wrong train and I end up paying out more for him to fix it!

Nice little adventure for him though, one of those milestones in growing up I guess. His mother is far more concerned about it all than I am but that’s probably a dad thing – it will be a good help for her to accept that he’s not such a ‘little boy’ any more – I just hope that this party actually turns out to be worth the effort and a particular girl he has his eyes on appreciates his efforts! Wink

…I’m going to be generous and allow a late evening for him, with a taxi waiting outside the party house at midnight to get him back to my place. Bit jealous though, he can lay in bed tomorrow, but I’m working so I may have some sleepy eyes in the morning…ah, the joys of being a parent!


So, what was your first exciting lone trip? How far was it, how old were you, and how did it go?
...mine was a couple of hundred miles as a homeless 16 year old 'runaway', but that is most definitely a story of it's own for another time!
deanhills
I've always loved to travel. This one I can't personally remember, but my mother tells me mine was at the age of four. My father was a Principal of a school not far from home, and I walked for quite a while before she caught up with me. I kept doing that - periodically, like packing up my go cart with a few things, and then saying goodbye, and she was quite good to let me do it. Fortunately I was living in a small town at the time, so it worked out OK.

My first really BIG unsupervised journey was one my dad put me on. When I was 12 years old I was sent on my own from South Africa to our family in Amsterdam Holland. My dad was quite big on us having to expand our narrow perspective of life having grown up in a very small town. My little sister went with me. My dad was great in getting one sibling to look after the other. Any way, I remember when we arrived at Schiphol Airport and the whole of the family in Holland had arrived to welcome their family from "Africa", and they all advanced as one on us shouting welcomes in Dutch at the same time, my aunt sobbing and crying. My little sister became anxious and started crying, and if it had not been for looking after her, I'd probably have made a dash for it. I then found the Dutch much more extrovert, as well as forthright and direct than what we were used to. Sometimes a bit irritating when approaches were over familiar, but it was an interesting cultural experience.

In "Africa" in the small town I lived at the time, we were used to large properties with having to bike distances to look up friends. And all of a sudden we were in a built up area in Amsterdam (Arntzeniusweg in Watergraafmeer) where we had many "instant" friends who came to check out the "Africans". Quite surprised that they turned out to look non-African. Another peculiarity that stuck in my mind were the onions and vegetables that were stored in the bath room. So when one was doing ablutions it was with an onion and vegetable smell. Another novel experience was having french fries with mayonnaise in news paper cones, and "warm" ice cream when it was quite cold in April.
watersoul
Wow Dean, I'm pretty jealous of your adventure aged 12, really interesting, thanks for sharing it.
The furthest I went at that age was a 40 mile (round trip) cycle ride along the coast with my twin sis, and we thought we were real adventurers! Laughing
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
The furthest I went at that age was a 40 mile (round trip) cycle ride along the coast with my twin sis, and we thought we were real adventurers! Laughing
I remember a trip like that with my best friend. I often got into scrapes like that because of my incessant need to travel. My best friend and I decided to travel a very long distance on our bikes, when we were around 10 or so. We obviously didn't have a grasp of the distance at all, nor were that accomplished in biking, or knew the equipment we needed to have with us for long-distance biking, and all I could remember was we got a mild dose of sun stroke. Every one was looking for us. And then someone, can't remember who, found us parked under a tree. Was fun however. And fortunately our parents were quite OK in dealing with this. My dad was quite good with putting me on public transportation for visiting the BIG city, Johannesburg. I had an aunt there. And she was a god mother as well. Once I had that sorted out, I went on solo trips to Johannesburg on a regular basis. About four hours in the bus from where we lived. I also joined every camping trip that was available as well as longer-distance tours in South Africa.
markharris
I have not yet any Sad
Afaceinthematrix
As a child, I would sometimes fly from California to Oklahoma during the summers to stay with my grandparents. However, this isn't much of a journey on my own because my parents would drop me off at the airport and my grandparents would pick me up from the airport (and the reverse on the way home) and so all I'd have to do is find the gate on my own and possibly change an airplane. I probably didn't make any real journeys on my own until I was 18. I would also take off on my bike quite a bit when I was a child so that I could go fishing or hiking or whatever. I suppose that my first MAJOR trip was when I was 21 and I went to Africa and Europe.... Now, a couple years later, I've been to Asia and am living in Africa...
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
My dad was quite good with putting me on public transportation for visiting the BIG city, Johannesburg.
Sorry I missed your reply Dean, but that is a pretty impressive tale of childhood!
Nice one for sharing it here, my cycle trips around Swansea Bay at a similar age seem like a walk in the park when compared! Laughing

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
As a child, I would sometimes fly from California to Oklahoma during the summers to stay with my grandparents. However, this isn't much of a journey on my own because my parents would drop me off at the airport and my grandparents would pick me up from the airport (and the reverse on the way home) and so all I'd have to do is find the gate on my own and possibly change an airplane.
I bet that was proper exciting as a tiny lil faceinthematrix though, I would have loved that experience! Definitely counts as unsupervised in my book because although the plane/airport staff had you covered whenever each 'responsible person' handover happened, you were on your own dealing with them, and the uncertain gate hunt!
jackbreat
I have not remember.
mikeperhem1
I have forget that,don't remember it now.
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