Traveling alone as an 8 year old

Back in April, Bridgette had a week off for her Spring Break. Normally, I try to block off time on my work calendar for Bridgette’s school breaks, but this year was an exception as I took on a huge event down in Los Cabos and had to fly down there nearly every week.

I contemplated for awhile between sending her to camp or to her grandparent’s for the week in Santa Clara. Then one day, a daring thought cross my mind. What if I sent her to Hong Kong for the week to visit Brianne? I slipped the idea past my sis and she immediately (and enthusiastically) gave her nod of approval to host Bridgette for the week.

After some quick research on the internet to confirm that she’s old enough to fly internationally by herself, I checked airfares to make sure the rates were reasonable and within a week’s time, Alan and I made the courageous decision to send Bridgette on her first solo flight across the Pacific Ocean. We involved Bridgette heavily in the decision making process, as we wanted her to feel comfortable with it as well. Being the worldly traveler that she was already, she had no hesitation about the trip at all.

The night that we took her to the airport, there were such mix emotions. On one hand, I was truly excited for Bridgette to embark on this adventure by herself but on the other, I was nervous for the “unknown”. Who would she sit next to on the plane? Would she sleep well? Would the flight attendants really take care of her? The whole “unaccompanied minor” process with Singapore airlines felt so easy, too easy, that it made me nervous.

Alan was very comforting. He reminded me that Bridgette was a bright girl, and if something didn’t feel right, she’d know how to react. We had done enough role playing at home for her to know how to handle different situations. I prayed over and over again for God to protect her and felt comforted to remember that her safety was in God’s hands, not mine.

At the departure gate when we said our good-byes, Bridgette did not appear nervous at all. She was her excited, chirpy self and couldn’t wait to begin her journey to visit her BFF. As Alan and I watched her disappear into the security area, tears began rolling down my eyes. I had held them in as long as I could, but when it hit me that she was really on her way, it just felt so surreal and bittersweet. What a milestone she had reached!

And off she goes….
Here's the pic my sis sent of Brianne eagerly waiting to pick up Bridgette at Hong Kong's airport!
Here’s the pic my sis sent of Brianne eagerly waiting to pick up Bridgette at Hong Kong’s airport!
And this was the first picture my sis sent me the moment Bridgette arrived to Hong Kong :)
And this was the first picture my sis sent me the moment Bridgette arrived to Hong Kong 🙂

Bridgette had a blast in Hong Kong that week. While Brianne was in school, she hung out with my sister, and the aunt/niece duo even went to Disneyland together!


A big giant thank you to the Chuangs for hosting Bridgette for the week!! Love you guys!!!


One week later, Alan and I were back at SFO and this time, I was all smiles waiting to pick my little girl up and to welcome her home…


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