The Western Walkabout

When Walkabouts Go Awry!

We in the West have borrowed the idea of the Australian Aborigine ‘Walkabout.’ It has become for us a sort of ‘rite of passage’ when we send our young people out on their own to wander the relatively safe terrains of Europe or North America or elsewhere either for a summer or a year abroad.

The expectation is that our kids will grow up a bit, mature somewhat, by encountering the exigencies of daily relatively safe situations and achieving successes. Building up a series of successful coping experiences in scoring a meal, having a roof over their heads, talking their way out of minor hassles, and so on, builds, hopefully, ‘character,’ confidence, and self-esteem.

Sadly, such as in the case of Amanda Knox recently, this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, the world is becoming a less safer place, and while it is more rare than not that a young traveler will encounter a seriously negative situation, the time is at hand to pay more attention to the kinds of unwanted negative situations that our youths may encounter.

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Putting the Passion of Psychology Back into Travel