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Sending My Son Off to Hamburg, Germany #tmom

Sending My Son Off to Hamburg, Germany #tmom

Earlier this year, my son Nathaniel visited Hamburg Germany as part of an exchange program between his school and their sister school there. I know that THOUSANDS of parents send their children off without them daily, but I was a bit sad about my oldest heartbeat leaving me AND the country for an extended amount of time. However, I’m SO glad that he had the experience to leave the country without us. He’s already traveled without us all over the US, but this here was a learning point for both of us. We made sure to go through a checklist of things that he needed before leaving, and we made SURE that he packed lightly so that it wasn’t a pain to travel in general. I mean, have you ever traveled overseas and seen the amount of luggage that some people bring with them?! I managed to spend a little over two weeks in Malawi and only packed a backpack. I was determined! 

Traveling to Hamburg Germany

I will say that I spoke with my quiet teen more while he was gone than I normally do when he’s residing under my roof. He checked in daily via Facebook Messenger (the video app is awesome!) and sent photos of his ventures around the city. His host brother and his family were the epitome of hospitality, and we can’t wait to host them this fall! 

I was told that he liked his trip to Berlin the most, but that Hamburg was full of things to do, and a great city with reliable transportation and many places to eat and shop. You know, the things important to teenagers. He did visit quite a few museums, and official buildings, including churches. Being a church kid himself, he was intrigued by the fact that most German people, as told to him, don’t really attend services regularly, but more for special occasions. One of the churches that he photographed was St. Michael’s in Hamburg, and the edifice was absolutely gorgeous. I noticed that red brick and copper were very popular throughout the country, and it created a uniform look. 

St. Michael's Church in Hamburg Germany

He did visit Berlin as well, and visited one of many Holocaust Memorial Sites, and I was pleased to hear that no one took any inappropriate photos like the ones being posted on Instagram these days. I think that Nathaniel’s understanding of mass genocide in general provided a sobering reality when he stepped onto the site where so much tragedy took place. 

Visiting Germany (Berlin)

I will have more to share about his solo trip in the coming days, but wanted to start of with the highlights, or the ones that really resonated with me. 

Have you ever sent your child overseas without you for an exchange program? How did you fare? Let me know in the comments! 

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Get Camp Ready with Mabel's Labels | Houseful Of Nicholes

Tuesday 30th of May 2017

[…] had the use of some Mabel’s Labels travel labels on his trip to Germany a couple of months ago. He didn’t feel like a big baby with the labels that we used either. […]


Monday 10th of April 2017

yay this is awesome gone head young man explore life. I wish I had an opportunity like this.

Elizabeth O.

Sunday 9th of April 2017

I have sent my daughter to Japan for her exchange program and it was tough doing so. We all get used to it eventually. I think it's nice that your son had a great time exploring while he's there!


Sunday 9th of April 2017

The exchange student program is such a great learning experience. I wish my parents allowed me to participate but they wanted all their children home at the end of the day. I am happy for your son, and I know he will treasure the experience for the rest of his life. Kudos to you too, you are a great mom supporting your son's overall development.

katrina gehman

Sunday 9th of April 2017

i'm sure it was awesome. germany is an amazing country. one of my best friends was born there and has family that still lives there. i love seeing the photos from when she visits.

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