Skip Navigation

Are all parents nuts, or just mine?

Travel Forums General Talk Are all parents nuts, or just mine?

Page

Last Post

1. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Here I am, 30 years old, and I had been dreading telling my parents that I am going traveling again. I got around to it the other night and they reacted much as I anticipated; with an almost disappointed sigh of resignation. I really can't figure this out. Maybe it's too much FOX News, who knows.

The distressing thing is that I'll probably keep them in the dark on certain aspects of my trip until I get over there, which is potentially dangerous. For instance, I told them that I am going to Malaysian Borneo which was enough of a mind-blower for them that I discreetly withheld that I am then heading to Myanmar, knowing this may send them over the edge.

On the upside, they seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that I am 30 years old and that it is my life; but it's frustrating none-the-less. After all, these people moved me to a remote island in the South Pacific for a year of my childhood and they wonder why it is I have this desire to continue to see the world.

My mom actually uttered the words, "I saw on TV that six people have died of the bird flu over there in the past year". Huh, that few? I wonder how many people died of domestic dog attacks in the past year. Nail gun accidents? Couch moving incidents?

Maybe I'm just venting but anybody else in the same boat?

2. Posted by HereICome (Full Member 67 posts) 10y

I think most parents are the same and cant help worrying about their babies! The most caring thing we can do for them is protect them from the truth!! Tell them your plans on a Needs-to-know basis and nothing more!
Im 41, single, no kids, have been to many corners of the world and just returned from 8 weeks travelling alone in South America. My family (tho pretending to be excited for me, they are bad actors!) were so worried the whole time I was gone, even tho I sent regular emails. I refused to ring as it was unnecessary and the idea is to be AWAY from home! When I got mugged I didnt tell anyone back home- they couldnt help me and would only be more worried.
Anyway, when I returned they were outwardly very excited about it all but the give-away was when one family member asked in a weak moment
"So, now you've been and had your big experience of the world... do you think youre ready to settle down and find a nice guy and have a family?"
It frustrates me that people think that if u dont follow the Average Joe (or Joeline) domestic path in life, then theres something wrong with you. And if u travel to exotic places, then maybe youre running away from something.
I just dont have the same dreams as them! Is that so hard to understand?

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

We always want our parents to be as excited about something as we are - and it never happens. Beerman's mother is about as enthusiastic as a doorknob about our trip to Ireland. His sister and brother-in-law will be in Croatia about the same time too. I know they have gotten the same deadpan response. (Though, she does view Ireland a little safer than Croatia.)

I think parents become settled in the comfort of their own existence after awhile and tend to forget that they too had a touch of wanderlust once. I was lucky enough to have parents who liked to travel regularly, even if it was just around the US. My dad was in the Navy and saw much of the world so he understood my enthusiaism of wanting to see more than my own back yard.

You have my sympathies, John. We're getting the same reactions.

You might find this thread interesting too:

"It's all about the anticipation" (some fatherly wisdom?)

4. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Thanks Isa,

Yeah, I figured this had been covered before. I guess my issue is not the worrying, I'd probably have bigger concerns if they didn't worry about me (what with exploding shampoo bottles and all).

But as HereICome mentions, can ignorance truly be bliss when it comes to parental concerns? My thought is that if my brother and others know where I am (more or less daily), then do I really need to concern my parents with the "scary" details until after I get home hopefully safe and sound? Honestly, I think they may prefer it that way.

Maybe DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were right: "Parents Just Don't Understand".

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting john7buck

Thanks Isa,

Yeah, I figured this had been covered before. I guess my issue is not the worrying, I'd probably have bigger concerns if they didn't worry about me (what with exploding shampoo bottles and all).

But as HereICome mentions, can ignorance truly be bliss when it comes to parental concerns? My thought is that if my brother and others know where I am (more or less daily), then do I really need to concern my parents with the "scary" details until after I get home hopefully safe and sound? Honestly, I think they may prefer it that way.

Maybe DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were right: "Parents Just Don't Understand".

You're welcome, John - I know there are more thread addressing the same subject but Ev's popped into my mind.

I know with Kris' mom - it's not so much the "worrying" as it is "Oh, aren't you happy at home?" thing. She's been to Italy, on safari in Africa and seen several other places. They lived in Mexico for awhile. But, she's very happy in her little corner of Chicago and everyone else should be also. She really worried about our trip to Panama, but this one she is just treating with complete disinterest.

Ignorance is bliss?? Absolutely!!! They don't have to deal with what they don't know. It makes it easier in the long term. Never tell them any scary details unless it's necessary. We sent e-mails to friends/family every couple of days while in Panama. We did two versions - Mom and everyone else. Took a bit more time (oohhh - 5 minutes), but she appreciated the updates on our location. She wouldn't have appreciated the "strange things" that we encountered. Your brother will ultimately decide what they need to know if things get too "out-of-your-control" (which I doubt will happen). I do agree with HereICome - if anything happens, no one at home can really help you outside of wiring you money. You're not 18 and it's not your first trip "out of Dodge".

All I can say - know they love you and wish the best for you. Just don't expect them to jump up and down with joy. But, also realize comments like "six people have died of the bird flu..." means your mother is actually letting you know she's paying attention to where you plan to visit. Parents aren't always going at saying things outright and beat around the bush. The fact that she brought it up at all says something.

I'm going with the lyrics of CSN&Y's "Teach Your Children". ;)

6. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Good thread. My parents react the same way. I think they're finally getting used to my crazy adventures though. I think it was the "take a drive up to the Arctic circle" trip that finally did it. You can't (or maybe you can) image the look on my mom's face when I told her I was considering of moving to England.

It's always about the cooking..."how will you cook?!?" ...I haven't starved to death yet mom....

[ Edit: Edited at Aug 10, 2006 2:40 PM by Q_ ]

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting Q_

It's always about the cooking..."how will you cook?!?" ...I haven't starved to death yet mom....

That's very funny, Q! Sorry - but cooking is like the last thing I would think of when it comes to traveling. But, the artic circle doesn't have too many 5* restaurants... The invitation to visit Isa Manor for cooking lessons is still open... ;)

8. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 10y

My parents sometimes give me grief about my travelling as well. So I have to make sure I have a friend living in the country I'm travelling to (I have online friends from all over the world, so it's okay). I don't tell them a lot of the details or what I plan to do.

I think the only aspect about my travelling they're happy with is that they think (and hope) I might actually meet someone nice on my travels - they're quite worried I'll be left on the shelf. The fact that I can take care of myself just fine has mysteriously escaped their notice.

[ Edit: Edited at Aug 11, 2006 8:18 AM by summer910 ]

9. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 10y

My mother thinks l would be better spending my money on my house and be grown up!

She doesnt understand the furtherest she has been is from Ireland to the UK! But still she has mellowed a bit and now goes on the web and finds out bits and pieces about where lm going!!

Although in light of the latest security concerns l dont know what she will have to say! I remember telling her l was going to a gay night club one evening and she nearly had a heart attack and warned me not to sit on the toliet seats!!

Im definately with the ignorance is bliss brigade - l will ensure that she knows the travel itinerary but l didnt tell her about the ping pong girls in Thailand for example!!!!

10. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Isadora

That's very funny, Q! Sorry - but cooking is like the last thing I would think of when it comes to traveling.

You don't know my parents. I do have to say I eat better when I'm at home then living on my own. They haven't said too much about my going to central europe this time though. Perhaps they're cured ?!?!

Quoting Purdy

ensure that she knows the travel itinerary but l didnt tell her about the ping pong girls in Thailand for example!!!!

And my mom doesn't know about the vodka shots in Germany, nor the bear at Dawson city, nor the midnight picnic in Spain either...and the less she knows the better.......I'm still alive mom !!