For the past year I have been scrimping and saving because this spring I planned on taking my daughter on our very first mother-daughter vacation. Thanks to the stars lining up, a school travel club and my hard working husband, this March my daughter and I were bound to the land of Pharaohs, mummies and sand.

It's always been a dream of mine, an item on my bucket list if you will, to go to Egypt and suck up that nation's history while wiping the sand out of my eyes. The ability to share that experience with my teenaged daughter seemed like frosting on a freshly baked cupcake.

And then Egypt had other ideas. Ideas revolving freedom and new government and riots. And our long held plans were suddenly in limbo and I found myself, along with the world, captivated with the turn of events in a far away nation, watching history unfold as the people of Egypt try to make real change for themselves and their people.

Suddenly going to see the Sphinx isn't so important. Explaining to my daughter the political history of Egypt and trying to educate her as to why the people of that country were rioting in the streets held more value than paying a few bucks to ride around on a camel in a desert. I want her to understand how lucky we are, as Canadians, to have the freedoms, both personal and political that we do.

Without setting foot on Egyptian soil, Egypt has enabled me to teach my children about lessons I often take for granted. And as I watch the Egyptian peoples struggle to find their own path, I find myself appreciative of my lot in life and reminded of how lucky my children are. It is hard to feel disappointed about not having my own personal frivolous dream of seeing Egypt with my daughter come true when I'm witnessing the very real and important struggle the Egyptian people are embroiled in while trying to make their nation's dreams come true.

Perspective, I have it, and I'm not above using current events to teach it to my children either. That is one luxury afforded to me by nature of where I was lucky enough to be born.

So Egypt, sadly, is out. But the trip is still on. For the last week I had no idea where I would land, only knowing the tour company we gave our money to would be setting up an alternative for us. My only hope? Wherever we landed would be warm because I am sick of the snow.

Yesterday I received our final destination plans. And unless Mother Nature has a schizophrenic moment of confusion, cold temperatures aren't in my future forecast.

I'll be hauling my daughter off to Portugal and then to Spain.

Lisbon, you look lovely.



My dream of being able to show my daughter, and hopefully one day soon, my son, a slice of life so very different than the one we lead, is still very much alive.

I've learned that life doesn't always work out the way you plan for it. But I've also learned that sometimes, when you look away, it turns out even better than you hoped.

I hope the people of Egypt find that true for themselves very soon as well.