Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Precious cargo

A parcel arrived today post-marked Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The return address was Top Banana Guesthouse on the corner of Street 51 down by the riverside, and it was sent by my daughter Indi, aged 18, travelling solo around South East Asia since early November.

Inside were presents, collected treasures, market finds and some books and magazines that were weighing her down. A note addressed to “My team members,” made us smile. As did the thoughtful gifts, because knowing Indi, much deliberation and sincere intent accompanied their purchase.

What was also enclosed in the bubble wrap and newspaper but clearly not labelled on the customs document was much less tangible.

How did my little girl get so worldly and wise as to spend this long away from home and not only navigate her way through four different countries and cultures with aplomb but thrive on the experience?

This is the letter I wrote to her when she left on her adventure:

“You are young and brave (often impulsive) and that scares me sometimes but I’m also immensely proud of you and I have a lot of faith in your judgement. I know we romanticised travel for you with all our stories and silly journals but backpacking is hard work at times so expect some down days among the amazing memories you are creating for yourself.

I suppose I brought this on myself naming you after Indiana Jones and Sir Edmund Hillary but I haven't been apart from you for more than a week or two since March 1996 so I've kind of got used to having you around.

May the universe be kind to you and show you many wonderful things.”

I also gave her a list of "don'ts" because Mum.

When she walked through the departure gates at Kingsford Smith airport her dad remarked that it was a watershed moment. I guess he was right. She was always going to leave one day and so will Jaya.

I just hope they go knowing how loved they are and that they can always come home.


  1. It's a remarkable achievement, to grow a girl to that level of confidence and ability. You're a remarkable woman. xx

    1. You know Megan she kind of grew herself dealing with mental health and family issues. I like to think she knew I had and will always have her back.

  2. oh wow. I love this. So hard to let them go, but you have done it beautifully.