Dear Jaime,

I am an MFA student at Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in creative nonfiction. I took your amazing workshop on freelancing this fall and it has inspired an idea about family travel I would love to pitch.

Catching up with my college age daughter is not easy; we are both so busy. As she lives on campus the natural separation of our daily lives has begun to occur. Sounds sad but it’s not; every mom should want this for her kid. But in the attempt to have meaningful experiences and exchanges with her I realize I need to get to know her in a new way that puts us on common ground. This is hard to do when our daily lives together are no longer daily.

So in search of an experience grounded in both of our interests but particularly relevant to her emerging adulthood, I have come to an idea that both celebrates her and expands our relationship.

My daughter has never been abroad. That is what study abroad is for you might say. I say first time travel can be terrifying and not always fun. What if there was a way to incorporate the fun aspects of a family trip with the immersive aspects of study abroad without the classroom? What if my daughter and I lived to tell about it in an essay when we were done?

There are many companies that specialize in immersive language tours and family tours, cultural museum tours, castle tours; there’s a lot to choose from. They can localize in one place or they can spread throughout a region. Why use a tour company, doesn’t that seem unadventurous? With the stressful details of travel arrangements mostly out of our hands, we will have less to fight about and more to experience together. With a second semester of German under my daughters’ belt, I propose a summertime language tour that would cover Austria and Switzerland. To start: then we can see where it takes us. Of course the core of this idea is to travel with my daughter in a meaningful way and see what we learn from our journey together.

I believe this essay would have global relevance; as this redefinition of an important relationship is of interest to mothers and college bound daughters everywhere.

Thank you and very best regards,