“So what are you going to do with your life?” – Does this sound familiar?
I’m sure you love your parents, but you probably have to admit that sometimes they can be a little over-protective and pushy – especially when you want to do something they consider “dangerous” – like traveling on your own.
Telling your parents that you’re quitting your job to travel, or even just sharing your travel plans with them (without quitting university or work) is not always easy. If you’re lucky, your parents will be supportive and proud of you. However I know from experience that it’s not always that easy – your family might try to convince you to go to university first or to stick with your current job because of the great career opportunities.
So here are four tips to get your parents off your back (at least a little) and get them on board.
1. Keep in contact
Contacting your friends and family on a regular basis is absolutely essential. Luckily today, we have a variety of useful social platforms, including Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook/Messenger or Skype – and even if you don’t have Wifi, you can always send them a good old SMS.
If you know that you won’t have Wifi or connection for a couple of days, tell your family the approximate time span for which you won’t be available, so that they won’t worry.
A good way to keep in touch on a regular basis is to schedule phone dates, meaning that you promise you will call them i.e. once a week at 7pm. This will reassure your parents and give you your much-needed space.
2. Tell them about your research
Fill them in – tell them about your plans, your travel route and travel itinerary, and show them that it is safe where you go. You can achieve the latter by i.e. showing them data on how many tourists visit this particular country per year, and how many crimes actually happen in comparison. If you already found a travel buddy online, you could schedule a Skype call so that your parents know that you’re in safe hands.
If your parents are still worried, show them that your travels are very safe and that nothing will happen to you. You could show them that you have travel insurance in case you get sick or you loose your baggage, etc., and that all aspects are covered. If you are traveling alone, share your route with them so that they always know where you are to hush their fears a little.
4. Traveling can help your career
Especially if your parents constantly ask what you’re actually planning to do in life, and when you will finally start to go to university, this tip can be very helpful. Explain to them how traveling can help your career (e.g. by learning new languages, getting work experience abroad, etc.) and that many firms these days are looking for people with foreign experiences – and that ultimately, traveling is what will get you a job.