My wife and I put our 17-year-old daughter on a plane Monday for a month-long trip to Germany. I don't think that it has sunk in yet.

Our oldest daughter will be a senior at West Valley high School in the fall. She has taken German as a foreign language for the past two years, and on Monday traveled via Icelandair with 18 other students in the West Valley German Club for a month in Germany.  I think that it's a great opportunity and hope she has a great time, but as a dad how much of good time is a concern.

I have to say that my daughter is a very level headed young lady. Since she was a little girl, I've tried to impress her with the lesson that "when you are doing something you shouldn't be, that's when bad stuff happens," I believe that that lesson took root with her. She is also very detail oriented which is very necessary for travel on this level.

What do I worry most about?


Some smooth talking, young European Lothario that could break her heart.

Her mother and I hope that we have taught her the right lessons about the opposite sex. She does have a boyfriend here at home, a pretty good kid. But being gone for a month a half a world away with no parents around has me nervous.

Breathe, Dad, breathe.

On another note, she has been told by her group escort, longtime West Valley German instructor Rick Beck, not to act like a "crazy American tourist." I'm sure that won't happen with my daughter.

I did send along a 12th Man flag with her, just on the off chance that she can get a photo of it at a well known German landmark or two.

Nothing crazy about that.