Who's The Daddy: Sailing away to new and exciting adventures

That’s the trouble with raising strong and independent daughters, when they grow up they go off and do strong and independent things.
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A few weeks after her 19th birthday, daughter #1 and a buddy backpacked their way around South America for three months. Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. And me and the boss collectively **** our pants every single day she was away.

Now daughter #2 is off on her travels after she graduates from university in a few months after she landed a six-month contract with a cruise ship company to work on one (or more) of their gargantuan boats, each with a population greater than the little town in South Cumbria where I grew up.And she’s pretty thrilled about the whole thing. One of the boss’ friends got a similar job when she was daughter#2’s age and liked it so much she did it for two years.

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Now daughter #2 is nothing if not a realist. She knows full well that cruise ship staff aren’t holed up in the Presidential Suite for the duration of their stay with 24-hour concierge service. If anything, she’ll be the one on call from her tiny shared cabin six feet from the engine.

When you're young it's good to take on new adventures. Photo: AdobeWhen you're young it's good to take on new adventures. Photo: Adobe
When you're young it's good to take on new adventures. Photo: Adobe

But hey, when she sails she’ll be 22 with a degree in her back pocket and at that age you’re made out of Kevlar and titanium. Injuries and ailments that would land middle-aged people in A&E are brushed off in your early 20s like a bothersome wasp at a picnic.

It has been a badge of honour that me and the boss have worn with pride that from their mid-teens our daughters have gone out and got jobs and earned their own money. In no particular order they’ve worked in a pub, a pharmacy, a supermarket during the Covid toilet paper wars, a council helpline, a restaurant, a school and a clothes shop. And one time daughter #1 even got a part-time job for a few weeks while she was waiting for the job she really wanted to start.

I’d say you learn a lot more stuff that’s going to help you in the real world doing part-time jobs than you ever do at school. Put it this way, it hones your BS detector to perfection as you deal with a steady stream of absolute nimrods and, if the money’s not right and the job’s more trouble than it’s worth - leave and get another one. It’s not school or prison, you can quit whenever you want.

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And unlike yours truly at their age who saw a paycheque as something to burn through in bars, nightclubs and football stadiums up and down the country, they look after their money a little more carefully.

They invest in ISAs, but when I wasn’t much older than they are now, to me, Isa was a meddlesome but loveable character in the Scottish sitcom Still Game, not a product designed to legally shield your long-term investments from tax.

Plus, both daughters were out the front door aged 19 and 16, only returning home for a few months four years ago when the world shut down for Covid.

Recently I asked daughter#1 if she’d like to come home and have the run of the place the next time me and the boss go on holiday, and she said: “Dad, I’ve got my own flat in Manchester, I have the run of that anytime I like.” Touché!

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