What the horrific deaths of two young Aussie brothers overseas must remind us of

As their mother said this week in a sign of unimaginable strength, it's vital to 'live bigger, shine brighter' in their memory, writes Adam Lucius.

Jake and Callum Robinson (left) and Debra and Martin Robinson (right).
Debra and Martin Robinson reminded Aussies to 'love harder' in the memory of their slain sons Callum and Jake. Source: AAP

Safe travels. It's a throwaway line we use to wave friends and relatives through customs on their way overseas to parts unknown.

But the thing is, there is no guaranteeing safe travels.

The world can be a dangerous place no matter where you visit.

The horrific murders of Australian brothers Callum and Jake Robinson and their American friend Carter Rhoad in Mexico have been a tragic reminder of this.

They were travelling in a dodgy area but on a path thousands journey through each year without incident.

The risk, they felt, was worth the reward.

Their parents are now enduring an unimaginable nightmare following the most heinous of crimes.

Still, in the deepest of grief, mother Debra Robinson somehow found the right words to express her feelings.

"(They were) young men enjoying their passion of surfing together," she said.

"Please, live bigger, shine brighter and love harder in their memory."

Callum and Jake Robinson take a photo with a dog.
The brothers were on a surfing trip, doing what they loved, when they were tragically killed. Source: AAP

You worry about your kids when they're young but at least you have control of their whereabouts and activities.

That all disappears when they start boarding planes without you.

Three weeks ago, I hugged my 21-year-old son goodbye at the airport as he headed off overseas.

We don't know how long he will be away or where exactly his travels will take him.

Oscar with his bags at the airport (left) Adam and wife Melita on an overseas holiday (right).
Adam recently said goodbye to his son Oscar who is off travelling and reflected on his own trips overseas. Source: Supplied

It hurts not having him here, but it would hurt even more if he got to my age and hadn’t taken the leap.

I told him not to waste a moment of his time away and grab ever opportunity that comes his way.

Home will always be here for when he's ready to return.

In other words, live bigger, shine brighter and love harder.

What a tremendous, moving and selfless message to send at a time of such pain and sorrow.

It's a mantra Australians, more than just about any other nationality, embrace.

Travelling is part of our DNA. So is adventure.

I still remember a ganja-smoking taxi driver pulling up just in time for me to ward off the advances of a pimp working his patch outside a seedy bar in Port of Spain many years ago.

My girlfriend (now wife) and I had travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to watch some cricket and explore parts of the Caribbean not heavily featured on travel brochures.

The cab had been booked to a restaurant recommended to us by a local bar rat I'd plied with White Oak rum during his oral dissertation on Brian Lara's place in batting's world order.

"Hey man, if you want to take your lady somewhere really nice, try this place," he told me, planting a restaurant's business card in my hand at the end of the session.

There were no mobile phones or access to Trip Advisor reviews back then. Nor were their warnings of the long drive to reach this eatery deep in the Trinidadian rainforest.

And the driver, who had his calypso music turned up to 11, was not exactly the reassuring type as we drove through the darkness along a rock-strewn dirt road.

Adam Lucius and his wife Melita sitting at a table at a restaurant.
Adam and his wife Melita have enjoyed a lot of memorable evenings while travelling. Source: Supplied

The small firearm in his open glovebox did little to lift comfort levels.

For the next 45 minutes I don’t mind admitting I was s******g myself, not knowing where or how this was going to end while trying to stay calm, on the outside at least.

Then, suddenly, the rainforest opened up to a magnificent old restaurant with the most stunning mountain views I'd ever seen.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable nights of our lives.

The Robinson brothers were chasing their own adventures when they ran into evil.

It is right we mourn their deaths and put our collective arms around their family and friends.

The boys embodied living life to the full, grabbing it with both hands and shaking it for all it’s worth.

In the midst of this tragedy, that's something truly worth holding on to.

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