I am 26 and decided to go and do 3 months in Europe then 3 months in Asia before coming home and getting a 'proper' career. The problem is, to save for this I am having to live with my mum and stepdad. They aren't very keen on travelling and think it is a waste of money and that I should be married and planning for children by now, or at least taking out a mortgage. They are not demanding that I do it but are making me feel like a burden for moving back home (I moved out when I was 18) even though they intially said it was great, but not they say when I get back from my Europe trip I should thingk about settling. I feel very grateful that I can live there for low rent to do this but they think I am dodging responsibilities i.e. mortgages, cars, babies, loans etc. Actually I want to meet interesting people and learn about the world around me first hand, and I know I have to save up hard to afford this. I am not in it for the alcohol and partying etc.
I know what career I want to do when i get back but I want to get this out of my system while I am still young. (Well I think I am young anyway!) Can anybody give me advice how to talk to them about this? I am so glad I can come here and write to people who I feel understand this need because the people I see on a day to day basis at the moment do not and it is soul destroying.
First of all, congrats on your big plans! You must be so excited.
Second, you've got a bit of a dilemma. Moving back home to save up means you're going to be hearing a lot of you-should-do-this-you-should-do-thats, from what I understand. There's probably no way around it. So long as you're under your parents' roof, they're going to say whatever they want to say to you, no matter how much you'd like them to change their minds. I suppose you can just say "yes, the day I get back I promise have a career and get married and deliver 3 kids" just to keep them quiet. Or maybe just tell them you're grateful for being able to stay there and you respectfully disagree with their stance. Doesn't really matter--they're probably not going to change the way they think.
Saving up for your trip will be the pay off for putting up with their comments. Whoever said "You can't go home again" was completely right--you can go back to your parents' house, but you'll never really feel at home there again. Just keep your eye on your goal and try to explain to them as best you can.
for me it's an easy decision.
I'm twenty six, have the college degree, have some experience in my career of choice, and in two weeks I am going to leave for australia/NZ for a year or few. but these are the prime years of my life. NOW is the time to take risks. If I don't, my life will head straight into the world of mediocrity. By making this jump who knows what will happen? worst case scenario I come back or I end up living the same exact life in a different part of the world. in this case the unknown represents the opportunity for something new...possibly better or more fun. I'd be stupid not to take it. Like I said before I know where my life is heading if I don't take any risks. and it doesn't look like a life worth living for a long time. I would get really bored. sure I could play it safe and save up for a house or a car that I don't need or want, but that is a boring way to live...at least for me.I mean why would I even bother working if I'm not going to do anything good with my money...especially in the prime of my life. idunno. don't get me wrong I still save for retirement and keep money in a savings account but I still want to enjoy my time alive.
that's just my situation. maybe your parents are right...about your situation. listen to what they have to say and make your own decision. Cause in the end it doesn't matter if your parents have confidence in you or not.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 19, 2008, at 6:14 PM by Cool Paul ]
I'm in the same boat. I'm 26 and just got my approval letter to work in the UK. My parents are old fashioned and they don't want me to go to the UK because it's so far away and I'm a girl. They don't mind it if I'm going there if my company sends me, but they don't want me to quit my high paying job to go to the UK.
The good thing was that I've been working on my parents for years... slowly breaking down their fears but I don't think you'll have the time to do that.
This is the time to go. Because you might not be able to find a partner that wants to travel... then if you settle down with a mortgage and a few kids, you won't have time or the money to travel.
If you start to establish your career now then it'll be too late to travel because you'll probably need a few years to establish it, then by that time you'd probably want to settle down... then it's way too late.
Go! Just go! Grit your teeth and put up with it. You only intend to travel for half a year... not a few years, so you're not going to miss out on much.
Maybe you don't need to save so much if you're willing to work... and Asian countries are pretty cheap so you'll be able to stretch your money.
It sounds like it could be difficult if not impossible to get them to understand why you want to travel, so maybe focus on what they do understand. If you explain that you aren't shirking responsibility, but doing something now as opposed to later in order to embrace the responsibility more fully. It's only six months, a half a year. This isn't a long period of time in the scheme of things. You might meet contacts for work, or even a potential mate on your travels, so it won't be a complete "waste of time" in their eyes. Try finding ways of making the travels sound like a good idea even to them and the priorities they feel you should have.
I'm of the opinion that if you listen to your parents the you will regret it for the rest of your life. Your 26, not 16, and you can only do what you want to do with your life. You don't have to listen to any one else.
Besides, you're not old and there's no hurry. I'm 29 and still on the road. Have been for the good part of a decade and I have not regretted a single day of it. I can start my career, have a family, all that stuff someday. But when I do I'll have a world of experiences to look back on, a better understanding of the life and myself, and even more importantly, a great sense of accomplishment in the fact that I've lived my life exactly how I wanted to.
So just do it, go live your life.
As far as your parents go, I think angenaline has given good advice. Try to find an angle that they will understand. I was really lucky, my parents have done nothing but support every trip I've ever gone on.
Take it from someone who is 30 and and regrets not taking a big trip like this when I was in my 20's..... DO IT!
I have a wife, a mortgage, a car payment, 2 dogs, a cat, and a baby on the way... not doing a longterm trip around the world is one of my biggest regrets of my 30 short years.
I am trying to work towards being able to work remote so I can travel the world, living in various cities for an extended period of time (ie. renting apartments rather than staying in hostels), but that is going to take time. But I hope to make it a reality.
Do it while you can. While you should never say you won't get the opportunity again, it will be more difficult when you have more responsibilities holding you back (wife, mortgage, etc.).
I'm also 26 and about to set off on a trip for about 4-5 months (maybe longer?) and I can't wait. My parents definitely don't like the idea at all but they are old fashioned and have barely been outside of the tiny little town I grew up in. They know I'm smart, independent and that there is nothing they could do to stop me. Even though they might not understand, you can tell them that you need to do this for yourself... when you do come back and settle down, you can look back at what you have done and be happy and proud of yourself for doing it - better than being settled down, and regretting not going when you had the chance. Good luck and I hope you have the best time of your life!!!
Thanks guys thanks for your replies! I think what makes it worse is that I just got back from Australia having being there for 2 years on a WHV but never had enough cash to go anywhere (I had lots of debt before I left for Aus). So I was, in their eyes, on holiday, for 2 years although in reality I had 5 weeks off in those 2 years. I learned alot about my self in that time but they don't seem to think that counts for anything. I happen to think that was the most important aspect of my time there but that's where we differ. As a consequence I still don't feel like I have been anywhere. I want to apply to work for STA Travel when I get back and have explained to them that I need to go away again to be able to do it so they feel a bit happier about it.
They say they support my travelling but keep hammering me about mortages etc, I basically can't do anything right! Then I get told I am treating home like a hotel which is rubbish. I pay rent, tidy up after myself and am working non-stop to afford this (7 days a week!) I can see them trying to make me feel guilty when I do go away - my sister has 2 children and is 2 years younger than me and I think they want me to be more like that. I'm just not ready for that!
The most important thing is not to let your folks get you down! It can be dispiriting being told this and that, but so long as you're focused on your goal to travel, your folks will have to learn to understand that this is what you feel you must do. Keep on planning for your trip even as you try to talk them round to the idea that you're not wasting your time away - you're gonna be expanding your horizons and your folks should be glad for that - maybe tell them that you're doing this so that you'll have something to teach your future kids . Don't let them guilt-trip you into doing something you're unhappy with, you'll only end up being more miserable - I'm speaking from experience.