“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Today is a hard day for me and a truly exciting one for my youngest son, Daniel. Today a group of teachers and students from Grey Highlands Secondary School in Flesherton, Ontario are leaving on a 9 day tour of England and Scotland. They will be visiting all of the sites in London, touring Windsor Castle, and visiting Stonehenge and Bath. They will also be touring Oxford University, visiting Stratford to see where Shakespeare was born and the cottage where his wife, Anne Hathaway, grew up. They will continue on to Yorkshire where they will visit the city of York and York Minster cathedral. Then the adventure will move on to Scotland where they will see Housesteads, site of one of the best-preserved forts along Hadrian’s Wall. The last couple of days will be spent exploring Edinburgh, the birthplace of my great great grandfather McLaren. Wow, what an experience this will be!!
Coming from Canada, a country that is so huge most Canadians don’t see half of it in their lifetime, it constantly amazes us that in the UK and Europe you can visit many countries in a matter of days and see so many different cultures. I highly doubt Daniel slept much last night because this is going to be a very new experience for him. He has never even been on a plane before, and he has never been off of this continent. Visiting different areas in our own Province of Ontario and a couple of drives down to the Southern USA are his only travel experiences.
We sent our older son, Bryan, on two of these school trips during his high school years, and they were certainly life changing experiences. The cost is quite high and many might think that the money would have been better put to use in an education fund, but I disagree. This, to me, is the best form of education you can buy. I’m sure that Daniel will come home a different person with his eyes open far wider than they were before, and it will become one of his most cherished memories. I was able to join my son, Bryan, on his trip in 2010, and I will never forget a moment of that experience. So, safe travels to my baby. I can’t wait to hear your stories and see your pictures when you get home.