Travelling the world a rite of passage

My youngest son is headed off on his big adventure. He’s completed his degree at university but, not ready to begin work, has chosen to travel.
In many ways, he is following the route his older brother took. However, there is a marked difference.
While his older brother managed to travel through high school opportunities, Adam did not take part in those activities. As such, his farthest travel has taken him only across Canada.
This adventure takes him to Australia. Travelling alone, he was to arrive in Sydney as I wrote this column.
I know I’m not alone in watching our children stretch their wings and then fly off to the far corners of the world. I am excited at the things he will learn and see.
I am excited that he will meet and travel with people from around the world, staying in hostels and working his way around Australia.
I am a little bit envious that he will be in a warmer climate year-round even though he is beginning his walkabout in the Australian fall.
It also provides a great reason for Marnie and me to travel farther.
As a parent, I must admit that since Adam announced his intention to travel six weeks ago, I began dreading the day that he would board his first flight taking himself halfway around the world.
On Sunday, I began watching the progress of his flights—first to Chicago, then Los Angeles, then early Monday morning picking up his flight as it was midway across the Pacific.
As the planes headed farther west, the separation seemed so much wider.
I know in this age of computers that we can easily be in touch. He has Skype, which will allow him to call home very easily and inexpensively.
He also has created a blog site and I know it should keep us up to date on where he is in Australia. Yet all those pieces seem so small to staying in contact.
As the youngest in the family, perhaps I have worried more. When he chose to go to university, it had to be far from home. That was the criteria. And now, I look at the time difference and he is 15 hours ahead. He seems so far away.
Perhaps I am whining.
As I write this, I wonder back to my great-grandparents who chose to leave Scotland more than a century ago to begin a new life in Canada. Travel then was by steamship, train, and finally by ox cart.
Just to reach Saskatchewan was a big undertaking.
Upon arrival in Canada, letters were sent back home, telling them they had arrived. Travelling across Canada, a letter probably was sent in Saskatoon, and then regularly from the homestead in Biggar.
Hearing replies probably took months.
Yet those members found the excitement to go out and explore the world. It was their adventure. It was their adventure to a better life.
It must have been earth-shattering to their parents that they were going so far away.
Now travel almost has become a rite of package to learn about the world before committing to a job. It also is a wonderful education.

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