|Kayaking at dawn in Sibu, Malaysia (photo Martin Spreckley)|
1) It's not a school trip. It's an expedition.
2) It lasts five days, requires a passport, and is to a place you never even heard of until recently.
3) There are no visits to museums, art galleries, or churches.
4) You fasten mosquito bracelets on his ankles before sending him off.
5) Your son needs to bring a head torch for night time kayaking.
6) He uses it.
7) The stuff he packs is what you assume Bear Gryllis needs when filming "Man vs. Wild:" energy bars, water shoes, long sleeve rash vest, mosquito repellent, short finger cycling gloves, water proof slicker, and high factor sunscreen.
8) He corrects you more than once: "It's not stuff. It's called gear."
9) That gear costs more than all the school trips you ever took put together.
10) His buddy brings along birthday cookies and homemade sandfly repellent. 120 bites later, they realize they both forgot to use it.
11) He doesn't like your suggestion of writing a detailed description about the trip. "While it's still fresh."
12) He sums up the trip with one word: "Awesome."