“Travels to A Different Time” : 1972 Travel: The Warmup: A 16 Year Old In Europe Alone!

1972 adventures are coming up and it is the beginning of June and I have mononucleosis and I know the transmitter. The niece of the headmaster of my high school. Bad luck. I have to lay low. No sport. No parties. Strangely I am sort of a celebrity at school. A man of the world so as to speak. This will delay travel plans until I get medical clearance. I can swim and rest up in the sun so I am not in an Iron Lung!

Now in a big development Mom and I have agreed she will come with me for a couple of weeks wherever we go and then I will be on my own. As she has said I have in “training” experience for this for the last couple of summers. I have navigated a wild and woolly Europe and have turned from a boy into a man with street smarts. She says my father would be proud how I have turned into a man. That’s what he wanted on his dying bed and he was one tough guy fighting the The Battle of Britain. I will be 16 on my own in Europe. I am ready for it. I am looking forward to it. Again I think how many 16-year-olds are doing this. We have run into many hippies in Europe but they are all in their 20’s. I have listened to their stories and coping mechanisms and tips. I was living with and like them. Hat’s off to Mom for having the faith and confidence in me. She absolutely wants lots of letters from me. We have our sights on Spain. I know my mother had a favourite aunt, Marjorie who was a bon vivant so unlike my Temperance grandmother. She actually died in Spain while living there. I suppose I have one or two hurdles to pass before I go. I am having a terrible time with Algebra at school. I have my own logic about solving problems but it is wrong but my teacher Mr. Spencer understands my insights and appreciates it but it is strangely logical and consistent but wrong. I am so frustrated and am at the edge and I will fight like hell not to fail as I will not fail on my solo adventure in Europe. I must pass Algebra to prove to myself. I will not fail in Europe. Mr. Spencer said he would work with me so with my best friend Michael R we spend two hours a day after school for a month with Mr. Spencer working on Algebra. I look longingly at the field wishing I could be practicing pitching hardball with Michael R as I have a unique sidearm and submarine delivery. But we focus. And the provincial matriculation exam for Algebra takes place and it is a breeze. I am a student on the verge of failure but the provincial matriculation results are released and I AM IN THE TOP 1%! A person without hope obtaining this result. A life lesson. If someone cares about you anything is possible. I receive some award for this feat. I am feeling invincible. Bring it on Europe! I am sure my father will be watching over me with a grin on his face.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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