Subject: Left Behind?
The most most notable thing I left behind on my first trip abroad was my youthful immaturity. I spontaneously took off for a solo trip to England at age 21 back in the mid 70's--a time when it was more unusual for women to travel alone. I'll never forget how frightening it was to land in a strange place, all alone, knowing absolutely no one. After a panic-filled first couple of days, I found the courage to traipse around London and even go to restaurants and pubs on my own (which got a lone gal more than a few curious glances, in those days).

Then I got on buses, heading north. If I'd allowed my fears to keep me locked up in that London B&B, I'd never have argued politics with Dutch students in York, wandered into a wild, jump-on-the-tabletops fiddle competition in Glasgow, or played my guitar for dancing Pakistani children at the Edinburgh YMCA. I grew up a hell of a lot in those three adventurous weeks, and took home a lot more than I left behind. Didi