What I learned so far in life (even though I’m only 23) is that traveling is one of the greatest things you can do and on of the experiences where you learn most of. Not only do you get to experience other cultures, behaviors and daily life, you also learn a lot by taking care of yourself in a different setting than you’re used to.
Fortunately, my parents were really supportive of me going abroad. I have to say though, that most of the time I was there for my study so they knew there were people looking out for me and that I was staying in a safe place. But, although we were living in one place we traveled a lot during these few months, and I also traveled through Cambodia by myself.
Sounds good, but your parents don’t feel the same way about you going on an adventure far away? I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to convince them!
First of all, remember that your parents are not trying to annoy you or playing the bad cop here on purpose. They’re probably just worried about you and freaking out over the idea of you going to the other side of the world. Which is kind of understandable, right? Now, lets analyse your situation. If you just turned 16, don’t have any savings on your account and your English isn’t good enough, you might want to ask yourself if this really is the best time for you to go away. Also, your parents do have some good reasons for you not to go in this situation. BUT, these are all things you can work on! By taking an extra job to save money and work your ass off in English class you show your parents that you are really dedicated to this, and you are taking it serious. This shows your parents that you can take care of situations and that you are in fact (although they may not like it) becoming an adult.
Also, ask yourself if you are really ready to go and travel, especially if you go by yourself. Do you really think you can take care of yourself in all kinds of situations? Do you really think you’ll like it to be all alone in a country you don’t know? If you are a bit scared of being by yourself or are not 100% confident about you being able to travel alone, then don’t! Just wait a year, or maybe two. It would be a pity if you quit your job, spend a lot of money on flights and then can’t enjoy the situation. I’m saying this, because I know that two years ago I couldn’t have enjoyed my time abroad as much as I did now, just because I had a little more life experience and more time to prepare (:
Ok, so you do have the money, time and you are definitely sure you want do to it, but your parents still don’t allow you to go? Here’s what you do:
1. Involve your parents
Involve them in your plans, the places you want to visit and the things you want to see. By doing this they feel a part of your trip and won’t feel so scary anymore for them, if they know where you’re going. Also, by involving them in your planning they can see that you are taking it very serious and they know all important things are arranged. Don’t forget to ask your mom&dad for advice whilst planning, parents love that 😉
2. Talk with them
And by talking, I really mean talking and not yelling to them that they’re stupid for not letting you go. This’ll probably get you nowhere further than your bedroom. Sit down together with your parents and discuss their concerns. Maybe they’re scared that you miss flights since you’re not so good with time and schedules, or maybe they’re scared that you get yourself in nasty situations. Or maybe they’re just afraid of now knowing where you are and who you’re with. By getting all issues out in the open you can make plans and deals with your parents. You can make a schedule all together to make it easier for you to keep track of timing, you can make a plans for ‘what if’ situations e.g. what if you get robbed? And you can make deals about how to stay in touch, which brings us to the next point.
Prepare well for this talk, show them your plans and make a budget sheet containing everything you think you will spend AND how you are going to earn this money. Read about the countries you want to go to give your parents back ground information and to show them that the country isn’t as dangerous as they think it is.
3. Keep in contact
Make agreements about keeping in contact. When I was in Cambodia I had the deal with my parents to send them a text every other day. This didn’t had to be very extensive ones, but a ‘Hi, I’m ok’, will do the trick. Also, agree on the fact that you’ll always let your parents know in which city you are and in which hostel you’re staying. Nowadays almost everywhere wifi can be found and also a local sim card for your phone is probably really cheap. Keeping in contact really won’t be a problem! And it’s not to bad either, since it’s nice to share your experiences with your parents (:
Preparing probably is the keyword here. Make sure you have arranged the necessary visa and travel insurances. Book your hotel for the first days in advance and exchange some money into the right currency before leaving. The fact that you leave well prepared will make it a lot easier for your parents to let you go.
Let them read the intro of this blog. No really, it is a fact that the experience you gain from traveling and from seeing other parts of the world you’ll learn so much which you cannot learn in any other way. All this gained experience can only help you further in life and will make you a stronger person. Especially if you are going to travel by yourself you’re forced to take care of everything by yourself and you’ll learn a lot. What parents don’t want their child to grow, learn and get to know themselves better? 🙂
I really do hope that these tips will help you to convince your parents. If not, I think there’s no other option than to wait until you’re old enough to not need permission of your parents. In the mean time though, you can save a lot of money, prepare the best you can and plan the most amazing trip ever!
Lots of love,