Rite of passage comes with a high risk for those seeking foreign adventures

Melbourne psychologist Sabina Read says part of parents supporting, nurturing and raising an independent child is learning to let go.

''Just having a child travel overseas is quite significant,'' she says. ''It would be extremely unusual for a parent not to feel some sadness, anxiety, concern and a sense of loss of control in that process.'' But, she cautions, living in an anticipatory anxiety mode of what might go wrong is not helpful for parent or child. ''Part of this process is to accept that we can't always protect our children, as much as it's our instinct to do so.''

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