AllisonApril 21, 2015 at 7:02 pmPost count: 0
Hi there, I just want to say first that I love your blog! I’m currently a 20 year old American student studying in Queensland, Australia for the semester. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug and am currently doing research to travel around Thailand for three weeks once my exams are over. I should have enough money and I have time before I return to university in America, however I am running into a problem with convincing my mom. She’s a bit protective and worries about me being away. I think a main concern for me going is that I’ll only be spending 2 weeks at home before I return to school (which is 6 hours away from my home). I’m used to being away from home for months at a time, but she’s beginning to make me feel guilty for wanting to spend three weeks traveling somewhere I might never be able to go rather than spend it bored at home.
I know this is super situation-specific, but I was wondering if you ever ran into any issues convincing your family members to let you travel and be away from home how you’ve dealt with it. Also if you have any tips in general for convincing friends and family that traveling (in Thailand specifically) is safe.
Thanks so much!
Kiersten RichKeymasterApril 22, 2015 at 2:45 pmPost count: 157
This is such a great question and one that I’ve decided to write extensively about (stay tuned for more in an upcoming blog post). It’s definitely a hot topic and can become a serious conversation with family and loved ones.
I’ve ran into similar situations with my family and my own mom- they love us after all and they miss us, to be fair.
You will be perfectly fine traveling Thailand using common sense and researching your destinations, so my best advice is to share this with your mom. I think they worry when they aren’t clued in on “the plan” so filling her in with updates as you’re researching, or providing her more information on where you are thinking of going will help to ease her mind.
Getting her excited about the trip is also important. It may sound extreme, but if your family is particularly protective or concerned, put together a slideshow with information, incredible photos and a layout of the trip you have in mind. The more information your mom has, the more likely it will change her tune from worried to excited for you.
You’ll still get 2 weeks back at home and that way you’ll be able to share your trip with her upon your return! If you’re open to it, you may even consider inviting her to join you the last week of your travels so you can experience it together. That way she can see how resourceful and independent you are and just how comfortable you’ve grown with Thai culture. 🙂
Hope that helps!
Sarah Magill (Curious Sarah)May 18, 2015 at 3:20 pmPost count: 0
I ran into the same problem with my family. I went to Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines and Mauritius by myself and when I told my family about it they freaked. My step mom even said, “don’t call us for ransom money!”
I think the best thing to do is show them you’ve done your research and that it’s come from official and/or trustworthy sources.
-Tell them you have read blogs and destination guides from people who have been there.
-You can also go to step.state.gov to register your trip with the U.S. State Department. That way, in case of a natural disaster or social uprising, the US government knows where you are and can even come get you if things go really bad.
-You can also check the travel warnings posted by the State Dept.
-Look into any vaccines you may need before entering the country.
-Make checking in and updating your family of your plans a priority. Whether that’s buying a phone card and calling home, or stopping into an internet cafe and sending an email, checking in with friends and family is a good safety measure and it helps your family breathe easier.
In the end, its your life and your decision so you don’t really need their approval, although it does make things easier. My family respected me more after I went on my trip because I took a stand, went after what I wanted and I did more than my fair share of research beforehand.
I hope this helps. Good luck and stay strong!
AllisonJune 1, 2015 at 8:41 amPost count: 0
Thank you Kiersten and Sarah for your input! Unfortunately, my mom was still very uncomfortable with the idea (based off some very outdated and untrue American stereotypes of Thailand). On the bright side, we came to a compromise that instead of 3 weeks backpacking Thailand this summer, I can save the allotted money for a 3 week trip to Bordeaux and Paris through the marketing program at my university this winter! I get to travel to a new country and my mom will have marginally less gray hairs, so it’s a win-win (:
I really appreciate your recent post about this as well! It’s such a touchy subject, especially when you have parents that are protective and have old-fashioned ideas of traveling. I’m hoping that after more safe international travel experiences and a few more years into my twenties, she’ll realize that I’m mature and capable enough for solo travel.
Thanks again! I look forward to more of your posts!
AnnaOctober 5, 2015 at 11:52 pmPost count: 0
Kiersten, I just found your blog and its amazing. And the answer to this question helped me a lot, those are really good ideas. Great job. Greetings, solo female travelers! 😉
Alanna FopianoMarch 16, 2016 at 7:32 pmPost count: 0
I love your articles and read them frequently. I thought you would be the best person to ask this question:
I am 23 years old and about to graduate college. I have finally took it upon myself to save up and go to Ireland, as a happy to me for graduating. I have always wanted to go and explore the island. I originally planned the 2-week trip for myself, but when my family heard of my plans they did NOT agree. Even though I have researched everything (from the little expenses of the whole trip to even how to blend in and not look like a tourist), my family still is hesitant. They think that I need a traveling companion to go with me. The problem is, my dad is a pilot and I have been very blessed to have traveled to numerous places since I was 6 months old. I have even studied abroad in Costa Rica for almost two months, and I have volunteered in Honduras. I feel like I have grown up in the airports of the world. Now that I am able to fund my own trip to a country that is relatively safe and speaks English, I thought it would be okay. Now my mother, grandmother, and sister want to come and are completely changing my initial itinerary for the trip.
Bottom line: I am getting frustrated and annoyed by the whole experience. But I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings! How do I convince my family that I am capable of planning a safe and practical trip to Ireland by myself without hurting their feelings? I just want them to have faith in me that I can do this myself.
Thank you for reading my question and have fun! –Alanna