Wednesday 30 January 2013

Overseas experience

And off went the Baby today, on her OE, all that excitement and challenge and novelty and discovery ahead of her. She's 21, a year younger than when I set off with my pack on my back and not enough money in my pocket - she's much better equipped, with a bike in a box, an inheritance in the bank and two friends to share the experience with, and she's only going to Melbourne to begin with, thank goodness. She's just an instant text, email or phone call away, unlike in 1977 when letters took about 3 weeks to send and get a reply to, phoning was prohibitively expensive, and no-one at home had much idea of where I was or what I was doing at any stage. Independent travel was, thrillingly and scarily, exactly that then, but as the one left behind this time I'm glad things have changed.

She's not going to be travelling as I did, first around Australia and then with a friend to Indonesia on the well-trodden overland trail through South-East Asia towards Europe (though for me on that first attempt the money ran out at Singapore and I flew straight to London, sending a telegram ahead of me); but she will have plenty of challenges nonetheless, grown-up ones of finding somewhere to live and a proper job. She's already lived in Germany, and been on family holidays to Sydney and the Gold Coast and California and England and Europe, she's resourceful and mostly sensible, and she'll do fine. She'll have a great time in Melbourne, which has quietly become a much cooler city than Sydney and has all sorts of fun and culture to enjoy. I'm missing her heaps already, but's going to be a wonderful new stage of her life.

I hope, and trust.

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