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Son (18) off to Australia. Anyone experience child going 'that far' away from home?

(19 Posts)
Tiredemma Sun 16-Dec-18 16:38:37

Wasn't sure whether to put this in Teenagers section but seemed so odd as its such a 'mature' decision to make.

My 18 year old son has been offered an opportunity to go out to Sydney to play rugby and work. As it becomes ever more real I now have this deep knot in my stomach. He is keen to go and I completely support him but its the other side of the world!

Has anyone else experienced similar?

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SpeckledyHen Sun 16-Dec-18 16:47:56

My son went travelling to New Zealand Australia and Bali when he was 18 . He had 2 nights in a hostel booked in advance and then it was into the unknown for another 5 months travelling alone .... He loved it so much that he is there again now at 22 without a return ticket . ( After finishing uni )

He also had 2 trips to Thailand, Vietnam , Cambodia for 3 months in total on his own and loved every minute of it .

Of course as his parents we worried but it was the making of him .

We went to Oz for a holiday part way through his first trip and met up with him which was great , but won’t be doing it this time .

Will your son be going alone ?

Tiredemma Sun 16-Dec-18 17:05:23


thanks for responding.

He will be going alone but will be sharing a house with other rugby playing lads and training with them.

Was your son homesick at all and how 'self sufficient' was he before going?

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SpeckledyHen Sun 16-Dec-18 17:48:55

My son was homesick a couple of times but it was related more to the ‘ hardship’ of hostel life - he admitted to wanting to have a few home comforts occasionally !
He didn’t admit to missing us but said the first evening alone after we returned home was difficult, as was walking through to customs at Heathrow when he left ( but he soon got over it as soon as he sat on the plane as he loves flying and the adventure began)

He was ‘ self sufficient ‘ in that he could cook well , use a washing machine and iron smile although no ironing needed ! He could drive and hired a car along with 2 people he met and drove from Sydney to north of Cairns , doing most of the driving .

Your son’s trip sounds great - with others in the same position - independent but not alone as such .How long will he be going for and do you think you might be able to visit him ?

Tiredemma Sun 16-Dec-18 18:59:27

Thanks for this its really helpful. He will be going from end of Feb until end of August (end of rugby season) but could potentially stay another 6 months if he wishes to do so.

I don't think we can get out to see him realistically as it would cost a bomb. If he stays longer then we may reconsider but we recently booked to go to Orlando in easter 2020 so all funds are going towards that. I would love to get out to him but its not somewhere that you can just pop to for a few days is it?! would certainly look into it though.

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SpeckledyHen Sun 16-Dec-18 19:46:18

It sounds a wonderful opportunity for him - he must be a good player .

My son loves Oz and the outdoor lifestyle and would like to settle there .It was always my dream to go and him being there was the catalyst. I loved every second of the 2 weeks we were there and wish that I had been sooner in my life . Cancel Orlando and go smile

Do you know where in Sydney he will be based ?

Tiredemma Sun 16-Dec-18 20:35:53

He is a good player. He is currently with a premiership academy.

The area is Balmain?

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SpeckledyHen Sun 16-Dec-18 21:01:28

Balmain is a lovely area away from the obvious tourist areas but just a ferry ride across to Circular Quay . Feeling very envious !
All the best to him for his trip .

pallisers Sun 16-Dec-18 21:06:24

DS went at this age for 6 months as part of his university course. On the one hand, it was probably more strictly regulated as the US university organised it. On the other hand, he was living in an apartment with a bunch of lads he had never met before, had to clean and cook for himself, manage his money etc. He travelled a fair bit with people, had a great time. I have no doubt he got into trouble with drinking but not so bad we were ever called. We missed him a lot but it was a great experience for him. he came home happily enough though. We didn't get out to see him.

YahBasic Sun 16-Dec-18 21:17:42

I did six years abroad in various stages and have ended up marrying an Australian, so chances are we will end up out there eventually.

It’s great that he has a ready made network set up and sounds like the club should be able to help.

If you do have the opportunity to go out, do consider it. It’s the one thing I wish my parents had done, as it was the opportunity to show the life I’d built for myself.

At a push, if he really isn’t enjoying it, would he have enough money for a flight back/to change his flights without consequences?

YahBasic Sun 16-Dec-18 21:19:09

Oh and another thing would be to make sure he has solid travel insurance - this could be something that the club could help with, or look for a backpacker’s style insurance.

Tiredemma Tue 18-Dec-18 12:39:51

Thank you all for the advice - its been really helpful. We feel much more assured and less anxious about him going now.

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Llareggub Tue 18-Dec-18 12:44:43

My pre-teens are rugby nuts and I've just told them about your son. There's nothing more motivating than the prospect of playing rugby in Australia to get them out on a windy, wet, cold Sunday morning!

Good luck to your son, my sons are very jealous.

Tiredemma Tue 18-Dec-18 21:38:35

Thank you llare. He is starting to realise how lucky he is to have this opportunity from the responses he is getting from others. He was unsure at first but can now see that it's possibly once in a lifetime stuff.

Tell your boys to keep at it! He has played rugby since he was 5 and DP was his coach up until he stopped playing club rugby ( because of academy commitments) very recently. It's also been a huge chunk of DPs life and I think he will miss DS more than anything. They have been inseparable because of rugby

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AnythingNotEverything Thu 03-Jan-19 01:57:56

This is so reassuring. My 18 year old has packed in everything here to travel, going alone but staying with family friends, at least for some of the time.

I recognise the knot in your stomach. I'm wide awake at almost 2am desperate to write him a list, but I can't can I? It's not my trip, I can't do it for him. I know it'll be the making of him but I can't help but worry too.

Good luck to your son. Travelling/staying with the club sounds like a great experience.

Tiredemma Mon 14-Jan-19 23:29:48

All confirmed! Booked his flight tonight. Feb 26th. All feels very very real now

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hmwhatsmynameagain Sun 10-Feb-19 21:33:39

My son departed today for a 'gap year' in Australia, he is 19, has been working in the ok for a year with no real focus but saving hard and told me just before Christmas he was off, all booked and paid for

Gina2012 Thu 07-Mar-19 20:18:13

How are you @Tiredemma

Tiredemma Thu 07-Mar-19 20:52:49

He's having the time of his life!!

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