What I consider my third year of higher education, from September, 1975, to June, 1976, was spent travelling around the world. It was a deeply influential experience that neatly separated my first two years at the University of Toronto, in which I was making the transition out of my high-school self, from my last two years as an undergraduate, when I began to grow emotionally and intellectually, developing the skills and inclination to be a lifelong learner.
My travels were partly financed from money I made delivering imported Italian delicacies to the corner grocery stores and pizzerias of Sydney, Australia – a stop on the first leg of my travels. I was a beneficiary of one of the earliest versions of the now-familiar working-holiday program for student travellers. The program was based on the assumption that international experience could be, as we said then, “broadening.” The idea was to extend your intellectual horizons, becoming aware of the depth, complexity and sheer richness of the world.