Parent Perspective: Mari, Pre-Departure

July 26, 2017

This post comes to us from Mari Kukral, a parent of a current Florence study abroad student. Mari is chronicling her and her daughters shared experience with study abroad on her blog We will be sharing posts and highlights from her blog over the next few weeks.

Mari’s daughter about to head off on her solo international adventure!

Because I believe…..

Travel Teaches – navigation, adaptation, acceptance and patience

Travel Expands -resources, thought processes and imagination

Travel changes – people, opinions, tastes and relationships.

So come along with me and my family, friends and acquaintances as I share what we learn along the way.

Traveling is the key to learning about yourself and the world.  This is one of my “mother mantras” – telling my children, their friends and anyone that will listen that visiting places you have never been is one of the best ways to touch history, expand learning and find your path.  I have experienced many places in the world, I have  happy places and significant landmarks where I felt overwhelmed with a range of emotion.  I want that for my family – that feeling of being very, very small and taking in all of the wonders around them on a trip of a lifetime.

I am about to get that wish…

My sweet girl is headed out on her very first trip without anyone by her side.  While it terrifies my mother heart – it also brings me a tremendous wave of excitement and anticipation.  I want to hear about all the things she sees, learns and experiences on her 33-day adventure.

She is headed to Florence Italy via a summer abroad program with her university.  She will have 4 roommates in a new apartment, but she knows no one.  She is worried about money – It was her dream to travel abroad and her Dad and I are letting her own that.  We paid tuition – but she is responsible for feeding and keeping herself.  Her savings have been draining and it is stressful.  She realized that she was not sure how to get a taxi from her apartment to the airport on her last day there……You get the picture.  She is processing all of this.  She is tremendously excited, but learning at every moment – this is teaching her.  We are her safety net – but not rescuers.  She will change on this trip – but she will have the time of her life.

My blog will track my experience watching her from a distance over the coming days.  Oh boy…this is going to be interesting.


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