How did parents handle your travel plans?

Travel Forums General Talk How did parents handle your travel plans?

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1. Posted by steph_444 (Budding Member 16 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hey there everyone. Not sure if this has been asked before but I am going nuts. Actually my parents are going nuts on me. I have been talking about traveling (pretty much everywhere and anywhere) since September and it's driven my parents crazy. I was in my first year university and hated it, not knowing what I was doing or why. Every time I bring up traveling to my mother in particular she just gets frustrated with me. She has at least 3 or 4 life plans for me to follow and I have pieces of a puzzle! She dismisses my dreams to travel, careers that I might be interested in, living away from home, everything it seems. I think she just sees it as me talking. I'm always coming up with ideas. I try to explain things to her but she just doesn't want to listen. I just feel like she can't accept what I want to do and will only be happy if I do what she wants me to do regardless if I'll like it or not, which I wouldn't. I want to meet people from all over the world, learn from them, teach them, see different places, live in different cultures, language, everything that goes along with traveling. It's just so hard to communicate those feelings to people who don't share them.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom, past experiences, anything to ease my mind??? Sorry for going on and on...

2. Posted by tingo (Full Member 94 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hey, I have the same kind of parents. They always tell me you should do this and that. When I said I was going to travel for a while after finishing my career at university, they said I was crazy and I should find a good job instead. I didn't want to listen, so I went travelling and had the best time of my life. After returning, my parents were also happy that I had such an experience. So my advice: do what you think is good yourself, not what your parents tell you to do, or you will certainly regret it later!

3. Posted by peeps (Full Member 114 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

my mothers actually being quite supportive about me heading away but then she unconsiously says something that makes me feel guilty about leaving for a year.
i know its just because shes going to miss me.

4. Posted by travelover (Respected Member 494 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

You know what I think the problem is? Parents seem to think that a year or two off of school will ruin their children's life completely. (This obviously depends on where you are from) If you know what you want in life, careerwise, and have a specific goal in mind, say heart surgeon, then go straight through school... but only if you can take it. No one should risk burnout for fear of taking a year off.

Oftentimes, I find people aren't prepared enough to make a definite decision pertaining to their studies, and in my opinion, it would just be better if they took the time off rather than pay expensive tuition for an uncertain program of study. Parents just don't see the benefits of travelling because all they can see is that you are either running away from your responsibilities or you are delaying a secure future for yourself. Travelling broadens your horizons, and your parents will see that once you come back, you have come back with more worldly knowledge.

I think it's important to emphasize the pros and the cons of going to school in your particular state. Pro: get education. Con: Waste money on something I don't really care about. Travelling can help you discover what you really want to do because it often helps you uncover parts of yourself you didn't know existed. I went straight through school, and although I had my specific goal in mind (electrical engineering), I do regret not taking my summers off to travel. There is no better time to travel than NOW.

Good luck with your parents! I'm sure you'll be able to bring them around to travel and before you know it, you'll be packing your bags!


5. Posted by Rach-a (Respected Member 368 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone. Steph I totally understand your frustrations and travelover you are right in saying parents often think that you are running away from responsibilities when wanting to travel long-term. I have been wanting to do a RTW trip for absolutely ages - actually since 18 and now I am 25 and I'm finally going with the support I've long awaited for from my parents. My dad was fairly laid back about it - he always is but never had a positive thing to say until fairly recently. My mum, as you say was similar to yours in the way she acted and used to get really angry. Peeps - you are right in saying it is partly because they are going to miss you. It is the most awkward way of showing it but parents shouting and screaming at you is their way of showing that they will miss you, but at the same time the fear that they can't control you. You are doing something that they feel they cannot stop you doing and the fact that you will be miles away from home, out of their grasp and taking responsibility for yourself actually scares the crap out of most parents and each parent will react differently to this. They don't feel in control and would feel responsible if you were stuck out in the middle of nowhere without their help. You could probably deal with the situation however that is beyond the belief of most parents as they still think of their children as just that - children. The thought of a child actually growing up and taking responsibility for themselves is also scary for parents. Anyway to cut to the chase :) I never actually 'talked' to my parents esp. my mum for ages about it because it usually ended up in a shouting match Eventually I spoke to both my parents explaining my frustrations also, and told my mum I was about to put a deposit down for a long term trip, also told her I was going regardless, and she'd have to accept all the things I mentioned above such as me taking responsibility for myself etc. etc. I'd say for you to keep talking and mostly reassuring your mum that you will be ok. that you are no longer a small child and can fend for yourself. Although my mum and dad are fine at the moment, I know a few little words will be said every now and again and it is frustrating but however I just keep reminding them I'll be ok. Or even joke that they sound old that usually shuts 'em up ;)

6. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 626 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hey Steph,

I understand how you feel. I have over-protective parents, too. I am finally moving out of their house (I'm 20) permanently (I have moved out temporarily to travel and work in other places, but always ended up back at home). I finally got to talking to my mom about moving out, and she starts to doubt me, thinking I won't be able to afford it, thinking that I won't be responcible enough, etc. etc. even though I have travelled to Europe and lived in a country where I don't speak much of the language for 6 months, and lived and worked at a mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies for a couple months. And I came back in one peice both times. I don't know much about your life experiences, but I know that with parents it seems that sometimes no matter what you do or say, they still cling to the thought that their baby is out there in the big bad world and they can't hold her hand. And in fact it isn't your fault at all because they simply are having a hard time letting go- part of which is letting you make your own choices like what you want to pursue as a career, where you want to go to school, whether you want to go right into it (or back into it) or to just take some time off to move out of the nest, travel, work, or whatever you want to do. And, in fact, often travelling gives you the time to think about what you really want in life before you just dive right in and make choises you'll regret.

Maybe it would be a good idea to try renting an appartment with a roomate for a while and living on your own to show your parents that you are responcible and can take care of yourself and make responcible choices. That is what I am trying to do right now. I have tried talking to my parents, and it has never worked. Sometimes you got to realise that talk is cheap and actions speak a lot louder. Instead of arguing with your mother and creating tension, I think that moving out will silently prove to her the things that she won't believe when you just say them. It is a more gentle way of saying the same thing. The space will give your relationship some time to mend. Distance always softens these tensions and helps communication. You can talk about things like you would talk to your friends, instead of just getting into arguments that don't get you anywhere but frustrated. For one thing, the little things that drive you crazy when you live with someone won't be there causing frustrations, and they won't get in the way of communication. Also, you will be spending less time with each other and will want to make the best of the time that you do have. And she won't think you are running away from her expectations and dashing her hopes for you by going off and travelling because in time, I am sure she will eventually trust you that you can make the right decisions, because you have been doing that all along. It may not be a magic pill, but if talking to her isn't working, then I think that doing might work better.

Good luck :)

(the other) Steph

7. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Heya :)

My Dad sounds exactly like your parents, Steph (the first one ;)) I live with my mom, so he can't rule with an iron fist or anything, but I had to get a line of credit to pay for a portion of my trip last year, and I needed his bestfriend as a co-signor. Everytime my Dad saw me or talked to me, he told me he thought it was stupid (his words) to travel in the middle of university and I was incurring a debt at too young of an age (I'm 23), etc, etc, etc. He wanted me to finish school and then travel, but my plan was to get the backpacking out of my system and then start a career after I graduate (funny how it didn't get out of my system but rather turned me into a travel-hungry beast! lol). Anyways, I tried telling him that because I paid for school on my own without getting a student loans or racking up any debts that way, owning a little money to the bank wouldn't be such a bad thing. Most of my friends have student loans that are 2, 3, or even 4 times as much as what I owe.

My mother was nothing but supportive through all this, although she did throw me some guilt curve balls to get me to stay (just like Peeps said, because she was going to miss me ).

Anyways, I went last year, I came back in one piece, and had one of the best experiences of my life. My dad no longer talks about my debt and chooses to rather ignore it and let me handle it. I agree 100% with what Steph #2 said, actions do speak louder than words and now that I have proven that I can handle myself away from home and with money, he doesn't both me (about those things anyways, lol).

I know that I went even though my father objected because I didn't have anything he could take away from me. There was nothing to tie me down. I work, I pay for my own schooling and I live with my mom. I know that if I had lived with my dad, it might have been different. I might have still gone but it definitely would have been harder to actually get up and go.

I send you hugs and I know it will be tough, but they will understadn if yuo show them how much you care about travelling and paving the way for your own life.

Katie ;)

PS: My Dad wanted me to be a dentist and I just graduated from Journalism. I realised that my Dad was pushing me in that direction because it was something he wanted to do and never got a chance to do (whether it was for the love of the profession or for the money). I know that for me, I have to do something I love in order to be happy, even if it doesn't pay a lot. I don't care about money. Plus the thought of looking into people's mouths 24/7 just grosses me out.


8. Posted by WebWire (Budding Member 6 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

You're reasons seem good enough to actually realize your own plans for a while! Go out, have fun, broaden your perspectives and then go back and study for a while!

After all you're an adult, maybe mommy just have to settle with that you make up your own decisions...

Good luck!

9. Posted by leopsaecar (First Time Poster 1 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

well i'm the one who has a dream to travel all over the world ,i have my plan to backpack to europe myself but i'm thai and not much student in thailand has a job ,we ask our parents for money so it's hard to ask to go somewhere that use a lot of money . but i'm lucky my dad and mom are understand me .they are supportive and they pay me more money each month so i have my pocket money now. but not enough also now i'm learning medicine so i don't have a free time to go anywhere becos i have only 2 days off during each block and a month for the summer holiday but i have to do something such as more class or mor work .so i ask my parents can i go?? my mom said ok she said go everywhere that i want to .for my dad he just want me to have someone to go with.i love them!!

10. Posted by skillybilly78 (Full Member 29 posts) 19y Star this if you like it!

Hi Steph,
My parents were like yours and mortified when I told them I was going travelling, I'm 26 and giving up my house, car and job to go! Everytime I visited my parents house I suffered hours of lectures telling me to grow up and settle down! But once I persuaded them that I was really serious and it was something I really wanted to do, they suddenly turned really supportive and I now have more support than I could ever want! I think when your parents realise that they're not going to change your mind and travelling is what you really want to do they'll change their attitude and support you! Good luck