Whilst i know that this doesn't help most people, if you don't live with them (and sometimes even if you do) the easiest way is just don't tell them!!!
Send them a postcard a few days later from wherever you end up. It worked for me several times, although admittedly we aren't a close family - when i moved to Sweden i didn't tell them until 3months after i got here...
Having said that, my father/aunt/grandparents and even motehr in her youth were always travelling around on there own from quite young (even just in their home country) as well, so it's not as if i'm the only person in our family to have ever gone away.
Can work against you though - now because i travel so much with work/plans which change sometimes hourly, nobody ever knows where i am or am going (including me) at any given moment. So anytime anything happens anywhere in Europe/West Asia (bomb, earthquake, fire, train smash, civil war, hostage etc) i get a number of calls/txts/emails from family/friends/collegues wondering if i was there and am ok....
I think I may be nearly the only one except for Leop who's parents encourage me to travel. Maybe because I am such a Pain in the (EDIT) I traveled with my family at such a young age, and as I grew up I was always encouraged to get out and explore a bit.
Like Gelli, I live so far away(about 3,000 miles) from my mom and sisters that they don't usually know where I am, so I get phone calls a lot when stuff happens. I used to do a lot of work for the US Military as a contractor, so those calls have picked up a lot in the past few years, until I switched jobs and got everyone a little more calm about things again.
Yeah, I'm pretty lucky too in the fact that my parents are supportive of my travels. I haven't done anything really big like going backpacking for a year or something but what I have done they have no problems with. They think it's great that we (my sister and I) travel and understand the life experiences we learn from the trips.
As my parents said when I was talking to them about my coming trip to Spain "we're not worried about you we're worried about the people you will meet." So as long as I assure them I will be (overly) precautious at all times they are content. But my mom still cried when my plane ticket came... She always cries when we leave but my dad said she gets over it pretty quick and then "things just turn back to normal again..."
Hey guys. Just wanted to say thanks so much for all the replies from everyone. I know it will all work out eventually, it's just good to know I'm not the only one that has to deal with disapproval from family. My parents think I have no idea what I'm doing with my future and that I don't have a "plan", which is true, except for traveling. I am definitely traveling and they just have to get over it. I'm not from a traveling family really so it's hard for them to grasp that way. They just want me to secure and educated and the good job, etc. I'll get it someday, but I just want to have some fun and see the world for now. Anyways thanks again for all the positive feedback. It's reassuring
just go for it !
i had the same stress when decided to take a post-uni gap year and go travelling - in the end just went ahead and survived to tell the tales
also, chose the career path i wanted, have worked in my job for 6 years since - got bored - have now taken a career break and going travelling round the world - for all the same reasons as yourself
once again - parents thought i was nuts - had my life planned out for me - just ignored them and am now on my first leg in China of a 9 month RTW trip !
live your own life for yourself - not for your parents
your parents have had their own time - this is your time - make the most of it