Thank you so much to Jennifer Coburn for her guest post below and for being kind enough to share her book, We’ll Always Have Paris, with me. I truly loved this heartwarming yet humorous memoir about her and her daughters travels and how it taught her to live like there’s no tomorrow.
Jennifer has always been terrified of dying young. So she decides to save up and drop everything to travel with her daughter, Katie, on a whirlwind European adventure before it’s too late. Even though her husband can’t join them, even though she’s nervous about the journey, and even though she’s perfectly healthy, Jennifer is determined to jam her daughter’s mental photo album with memories—just in case.
From the cafés of Paris to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Jennifer and Katie take on Europe one city at a time, united by their desire to see the world and spend precious time together. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped vanquish her fear of dying…for the sake of living.
We are doing a giveaway for a free copy! To enter leave a comment below or like the Facebook post. We will announce the winner on Friday.
You can pre-order your copy here. All proceeds before April 8th will go to the American Cancer Society in honor of Jennifer’s father, Shelly.
You can also watch the book trailer here
Guest Post: Five Reasons To Ditch Dad
When I tell people I left my husband at home when I took my daughter to Europe, they assumed my marriage was on the skids. One mother even confided, “I ditch mine whenever I can too.”
The truth is I would’ve loved if William could have joined Katie and me on our overseas adventure. But when he said he couldn’t come along I had two choices: stay home or go without him. I had very little experience traveling, so the idea of being the only adult – the sole person responsible for absolutely every aspect of the trip – was more than a bit daunting.
I decided to go anyway and I’m so glad I did. Katie and I definitely had our misadventures, but really it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. And there were some very real benefits to traveling without dad as listed below:
Trying new roles – When one person is missing from the equation, the family dynamic changes. If William had come with us to Europe, I would have gladly handed him the map and let him assume his natural role as family navigator. Without him, I had to figure out where the heck we were going, and how to read the Godforsaken map. Know what? I can navigate. (I just don’t like it.)
Creating Mommy memories – William and Katie have very similar interests. They watch Dr. Who, Merlin, Sherlock, and Big Bang Theory together. (And now that raunchy cartoon Archer!) They run together; they take rock-climbing class together. They have discussions about science that I can’t even understand, much less participate in. I’ve got to admit, I kind of like getting rid of the competition for a few weeks so Katie and I could discover our shared interests and create our memories.
Meeting new people – People reach out to a woman traveling alone with children in a way they don’t when they see dad’s along. Sure, there are those European Casanovas who think American women are easy and make their move. And yes, there are a handful of miscreants who see a woman sans a man as an easy target for a purse snatching. But mainly people want to help a mother and children make their way through Europe enjoyably. Katie and I got more free meals and invitations than we ever do when William is with us.
Saving money – Let’s face it, dads take up a lot of space and eat a lot of food. When Katie and I travel with William, our costs don’t increase by half, they double!
Letting absence make your heart grow fonder – Katie and I have now taken four long trips to Europe together, and each time we miss William terribly. We get over it pretty quickly because, hey, we’re missing him from Paris. But we do feel his absence, which reminds us of all the things we love about him. Coming home to him is that much sweeter.
So go ahead and take that trip without him – you’ll be glad you did!