Your Family Might Not Understand

May 6, 2013 | By | 6 Replies More

Over the past few years when I thought about this round-the-world trip, I told my family what I planned to do so it wouldn’t be such a shock when I leave. After all, it might be over a year till the next time I see them.

I’m beyond old enough to take care of myself, but they still worry about my safety. It’s a valid concern.

What would happen if get hurt? Die? Get kidnapped for ransom? Be hospitalized? Run out of money? How would they recover my body? What if someone spikes my drink and I wake up in a bathtub of ice with my kidneys missing? These are actual questions my family asked me. Typical fears. The fears that the media tends to scare everybody with by reporting all the bad things that are happening around the world.

Guess what? The same bad things that happen all over happen in the United States too. I think it’s a false sense of security. I don’t want to list the events of mass shootings and terrorism in America, but we are not immune. When it’s our time to go, it’s our time to go.

Your family might not understand what you want to do because they haven’t done it themselves.

My aunt gets it. She’s been abroad several times so she can understand why I want to fulfill this dream.

My aunt and I in Chicago

My aunt and I in Chicago

One of my sisters likes to play Devil’s advocate. She’s the one to the left of my grandma in the pic below. This sister questions me about everything. What I would do for work when I get back? What happens if I run out of money? Where will I live? Overall she was supportive, but just wanted to make sure I had my head on straight.

My sisters, grandmother, and I the night before I started the journey.

My sisters, grandmother, and I

On the other hand, my dad asked me what I was running away from. He even thought I joined a cult or was brainwashed at Burning Man. I laughed. I asked him if he too had similar dreams of traveling around the world. He had no desire. Eventually, the old man finally came to acceptance that I was going no matter what.

My dad and I at Chicago O'Hare airport.

My dad and I at Chicago O’Hare airport

My mom is the one who worries too much. She challenged me and asked similar questions as my sister and dad did. I could tell deep inside that she didn’t want me to go.

A few years ago, I took my her to Spain to show her how I traveled independently with the hopes to put her mind at ease. During my initial planning phase, I filled her in on how I would deal with all the risks I might possibly encounter. Apparently, neither of these helped. Last week, I received a Facebook message and call from her telling me that she has been emotional drain since I’ve been gone. She cried everyday since I left and worries about my safety. It’s understandable. I’m not quite sure how to deal with this, but I don’t want to log into Facebook to update my status everyday.

My mom and I in Barcelona

My mom and me in Barcelona

Although my decision to travel long-term hurts my mom, she’s been more than supportive to help me realize this dream.

My parents came to America from the Philippines in search for a better life and opportunity. They value hard work, education, having a good job, career advancement, and making money. It’s things associated with security. I think security is an illusion. It doesn’t exist. It would be difficult for them to understand this unconventional lifestyle. As a first generation born Filipino-American, I’m creating my version of the “American Dream” to be free and have more time doing things I love doing.

Parents are always going to be parents regardless of how old we get. They want to look out for what they think is in our best interest and make sure that we don’t get hurt. It’s normal.

I share this story because you may experience similar objections in your quest for round-the-world adventure.

  • What would your family think about long-term travel?
  • If you are already on a round-the-world trip, what were your family’s initial thoughts?

Category: Planning

Comments (6)

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  1. Amy says:

    Your poor mum, I hope she is coming to terms with your trip now. Over time, I’m sure all your family will realise just how beneficial this trip is. I know that my mum was upset about me leaving to travel as she feared I wouldn’t come back to the UK, she has come around to the idea now that we’re on the road, it helps that my parents are coming out to visit us in Thailand in August. One of my brothers had similar questions about money and if I’d be able to get a job later on – I think over time he will realise that this trip is the best thing I could have done.
    Amy recently posted…A Week in SydneyMy Profile

    • Mig says:

      The feeling your mom has is what my mom was experiencing. She too has similar fears. I’m not sure if I will go back to the U.S. after this trip. LOL It’s too early to tell. I gave my mom my cell number in Guatemala so that she can call anytime. It makes her feel better that she can reach me. I asked her to come visit in South America. I think its normal that our siblings question us because they care. Travel is the best investment that we can make in ourselves which no one can take away from us.
      Mig recently posted…Street entrepreneurs in ColombiaMy Profile

  2. Jess says:

    I’m lucky enough that my grandmother is the first person to encourage me when I think about going places. Sometimes I have trouble convincing her that yes, I really do like coming home now and then! But she really wishes she’d travelled more when she was younger, so she wants to make sure I take advantage of any chances I get.
    Jess recently posted…DC Cup-piesMy Profile

  3. This is an issue many long-term travellers face; IMO, just do it anyways!
    Samuel Jeffery recently posted…Thailand Slideshow Travel Video Series Part 72My Profile

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