When we first told family and friends about our intentions to take our family on a 1yr backpacking trip across South East Asia, we were surprised by the negativity we received. Some people even went so far as to say that we ‘were going to get the children killed’, especially by going to some of the developing countries on our itinerary.
In our day and age, on one hand the world is a ‘smaller place’ due to ease and accessibility of travel. Yet on the other, the threat of terrorism and general fear of the unknown while traveling, particularly with a family, keep most people from chasing their dreams. Other excuses such as waiting until the children get older or for more financial security also crop up.
But this past weekend, a day after returning home from our wonderful family holiday in Bali, we got some life-changing news: my only sister was killed in a freak accident. It happened in Canada, a ‘safe’ country, while going for a leisurely drive in the country with her family.
At 36 years of age, she has been taken from this world much too soon.
But it gives me some peace to know she led a fulfilling life, full of zest and a sense of adventure --a life with no regrets, especially after the long awaited birth of her 2 boys. She had a great education that led to a successful career, through which she met her future husband. They both loved to travel and even took a year off to visit places of their dreams such as Africa, South America, Europe, Egypt, India, SE Asia, China, and Australia. Even after their first child was born, she and her husband made the 20ish hour journey to visit us in Australia, with child in tow. And after the recent birth of their second child, they travelled by air to San Diego for a holiday. They were even on a short-getaway at the time of her death. She didn’t do things by half-measures, and always did her best by all the people she knew and loved. Above all, she loved her husband and children the most.
|With Auntie in Melbourne, December 2010 just before we left on our trip.|
All the cliché’s in life are true: ‘Life is too short’; ‘Only the good die young’; ‘Live life to the fullest’; ‘You only live once’; ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself’.
Try to not put off chasing your dreams, especially if it is to travel the world. But most importantly make time for the people and the things that you love. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you-- bad things can happen to you anywhere, anytime. As the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) put it, her accident was ‘an act of God’. I know He will take care of her now; may she rest in peace.