I desperately want to go travelling, but my parents won’t let me. Help!

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I desperately want to go travelling, but my parents won’t let me. Help!

Avatar for ClaireHallam
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I’ve just finished university, which my parents paid for, and I went travelling round Cambodia, Thailand and Laos over the summer. Now I want to explore more of the world but my parents say I have to get a job.

I understand they’ve invested a lot in my education but I don’t want to get a job yet. I’m not asking them to pay for the travels, I’ll get a temp job obviously, but they say that if I do go travelling I owe them all the money they’ve paid to university because I’ll be ‘throwing it all down the drain’.

I really don’t know what to do. I’m looking and applying for jobs and not getting anywhere. My hearts not in it and I just find myself looking over travel websites obsessed with the idea of getting up and going again.

What would you do?

hmmm

     
Avatar for GregM
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Ouch sounds like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place :(

Obviously understand where your parents are coming from but you will need to reassure them that it has not gone to waste and you can get a job after travelling a year or so as you will never be able to take the education away from you.

     
Avatar for ambermarie
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Hmm, that’s a tough one. Sounds like your parents are being a bit childish here - are they expecting to control the rest of your life simply because they paid for your education? I think you need to sit down and have what will probably be a slightly uncomfortable conversation about that, because you’re an adult now and realistically they can’t stop you doing what you want.

Did they pay for your uni education with the expectation that you’d owe them the money back? If not, they can’t suddenly throw this at you just because you want to take a different path to the one they were hoping for.

I’d recommend coming up with a plan of exactly what you’d like to do whilst travelling. (Obviously you can change this later, but it’s good to show them that you’ve done some research!). What was your degree? Would you be happy working overseas rather than travelling the whole time, and is it possible for you to get a job abroad that in some way relates to your degree? Or, even if it doesn’t directly relate, can you think of something you could do that would gain you some new skills and appease your parents at the same time - for example, volunteering with a charity, learning a language or doing an internship?

I think your parents are probably worried that you’ll jet off around the world sightseeing and partying, so if you want to get them on your side you need to show that there’s more to travelling than that. Make a list of all the transferable skills you could get out of it, explain that you’d rather have some life experience before settling for a 9-5, and also employers like people who’ve done a bit more and show cultural understanding / sensitivity.

At the end of the day, it’s your life and your parents don’t have the final say over what you do, but of course it’s better if you can think of a way to make them come round to the idea of you travelling. I suppose if the worst comes to the worst, you could offer to pay them back for your uni education in (very small) installments once you actually start working full time, and see what they say?! I’d imagine they were just making an empty threat to scare you out of travelling, so hopefully it won’t come to this. Good luck!

     
Avatar for Lunny
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Screw em.

Go.

     
Avatar for Vicky
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I have to agree with everything the guys above me have said. You absolutely cannot be slave to your parents wishes just because they paid for university. That’s blackmail!

I like Amber Marie’s suggestion to plan out what you’re going to do. A well thought out gap year can add great depth to your education and you can learn and discover things about yourself you never knew.

You really need to get them to sit down and talk to you properly about this – you can’t let them decide such a huge thing for you. It will only make you resent them in the long run. Sort it out, now!

     
Avatar for Lucy789
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Travelling makes you grow as a person. No, I don’t believe in people ‘finding’ themselves in some mind blowing epipheny, however you encounter so many different people and cultures and beliefs, that you learn such a lot in a short space of time.
My suggestion would be to make a list, mentally or on paper, of why you want to go travelling, what kinds of things you want to do, and how these things will benefit you. Getting a job after Uni can be extremely hard, as I’m sure you will see in the months to come from all your friends from Uni. Having been travelling and being able to transfer your new skills to your CV and the workplace will make you more likely to stand out amongst all the other graduate job applicants out there.
What degree did you do? And what are you hoping to do careerwise? Also how long do you want to travel for? A few months will do no harm to your job seeking prospects, whereas a year or more may effect things slightly, that in no way has to be a bad thing!

     
Avatar for Lunny
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That double murder in Thailand is going to make it a lot harder for newbie travellers to convince parents. Especially females going alone.

     
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Lunny - 19 September 2014 02:56 PM

That double murder in Thailand is going to make it a lot harder for newbie travellers to convince parents. Especially females going alone.

I agree it will worry parents and I bet it will worry some travellers, but that’s ridiculous. The reason it’s big news is because it is so unusual and unexpected. Did you see the locals having Buddhist prayers for the couple? That’s the attitude for most Thai’s, showing respect and kindness to all humanity (and any living thing).

The biggest risk when travelling by far is the risk of road accidents. Many countries especially in Asia have poor records for road injuries and deaths due to poor driving and old, poorly maintained vehicles and in some cases crap roads. But there are lots of injuries and deaths on our roads in the west, so don’t let it stop you. Just do what you can to minimise the risk, but don’t worry too much about it.

     
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I agree it’s ridiculous Martin, but that’s how most people think. Now I’m a parent myself I can understand it a bit more but of course, based on the statistics it is silly to worry too much.

We did have a Gapyear.com member die a few years ago in Australia though… remember that? That scared a few people for a while too.

     
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Yeah it will scare people. But that’s a good example of media interest - Ian’s death only briefly made the news because he’s British. The story that a bunch of backpackers get pissed on Fraser Island and trash their 4x4 wasn’t newsworthy at all because it happens all the time. Funnily enough, one of the times I was shit scared was when I was driving a 4x4 on Fraser Island because I knew it was all too easy to go too close to the sea and lose our deposit or turn it over in the soft sand.

As people have said, do your planning and prove your serious is the best way to eleviate parents and your fears. And remember the media like to focus on unusual sensationalist crap, not on the millions of who are just being normal-ish.

     
Avatar for ClaireHallam
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Guys, thank you so much for all your advice on this one. I’ve read all of them as they’ve come through and showed my parents each and every one actually, well apart from the ones about the Thailand murders. So awful.

I’m pleased to say you’ve all helped me in getting them to agree to let me go. In January I’m going to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines for three months and then I’m back to get a job.

I absolutely cannot wait!

I need lots of help and advice. I’m a bit nervous but of course I can’t let them know that. Must not show any weakness!

     
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I really hope the murders in Thailand won’t put anyone off travelling. It is such a horrible thing to happen, but of course the reason it’s such big news is because it’s so shocking and out of the ordinary. The majority of people who go away are absolutely fine. There are always risks, but the chance of something like that happening is incredibly slim and it’s really just down to bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. No one could have predicated it, or done anything to prevent it. The guy who was killed was actually the brother of someone I was friends with in sixth form, which is awful - I can’t imagine how his family must be feeling right now. :(

Anyway, on a more positive note, I’m so glad your parents came round to the idea of you travelling! I’m sure you’re going to have a great time, and of course ask lots of questions here before you set off. I’ve visited the three countries you’re going to so hopefully I’ll be able to help if you need any advice. grin

     
Avatar for ClaireHallam
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Thanks AmberMarie. If I have three weeks in Indonesia what would you recommend doing? I can’t even break it down as there just seems like too much. Everyone keeps telling me that Bali is too over commercialised and to avoid it but I kind of want to go to see what all the fuss is about. What would you recommend?

Also, thanks so much for all the advice on the other post as well! Sounds like you really know your stuff in Indonesia! raspberry

(http://www.gapyear.com/boards/viewthread/63015)

     
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Well, I didn’t see a whole lot of Indonesia although I was there for two months, because I was mostly based in one place where I was volunteering at an English school. However, I would recommend Bali - if this is going to be your first stop, it’s a nice way to break yourself in as it’s very traveller-friendly and easy to get around. I only had a few days there but could have stayed longer.  I was mostly in Ubud, which I thought was a nice place even though it’s quite busy and touristy. If I went back I’d like to do some more sightseeing around the island, as there were lots of trips offered at every restaurant / bar / travel agent I walked past that I just didn’t have the time to do, but some of them sounded great (volcano hikes etc.).

I’d also recommend the Gili Islands, which I think you’re visiting already - if the weather is nice, you’ll have a great time there! Lots of people also visit Lombok, which if I went back I’d put down as another must-see place. A friend of mine also went on a trip to see komodo dragons in the wild (I have a feeling this was on Komodo Island, which would make sense but don’t quote me on that!) - again, something I’d love to do in the future.

When I was flying to Indonesia, I read an article about hiking Mount Bromo in Java. I also met people who’d done this. I love hiking and I think if you’re into that sort of thing there are so many opportunities in Indonesia. There are loads of volcanoes (some active!) and some amazing landscapes as a result.

Jogjakarta / Yogyakarta in Java seems to be one of the main destinations for travellers, as from there you can visit loads of temples and architecturally interesting sites. It’s considered to be the cultural capital of Indonesia, but again, it’s not somewhere that I managed to get to when I was there!

Most of the time I was in Indonesia, I was on the island of Sumatra in a town called Bukit Lawang. I was volunteering at the Bukit Lawang Trust. It’s a bit of a mission to get there - you need to fly to Medan, the main city in Sumatra, then go on a three hour rickety bus ride to BL - but it’s an interesting place to visit for a few days as you can do jungle trekking and see orang utans in the wild ... it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll see them, partly I think because the Indonesian guides always bring along fruit so although they are technically living in the wild, they make regular appearances to get a free snack! It is amazing to see them just swinging around in the trees - definitely beats going to a zoo.

I also visited Lake Toba in Sumatra, which is Indonesia’s largest volcanic lake. Most people stay on the island of Samosir, which is a good place to relax for a while - you can rent scooters and drive around the island. You’ll drive past lots of Batak-style wooden houses (one of the tribes living in that area). If you make it over to Sumatra this is definitely a must-see place.

You can have a look at my Bukit Lawang / Lake Toba photos here if you want some inspiration! Hopefully this helps. Enjoy yourself. smile