Living with strict parents can be challenging — especially when you, like the majority of people, are in love with travelling. While we know their rules exist out of care for us, sometimes travelling can get extra hard because of them. Here are some struggles only travellers with strict parents can understand.
1. Asking for permission, regardless of your age
Eighteen being the legal age is a lie, at least in your family. As far as they’re concerned, you’re a minor until you have your own family — and, even that is far from happening, because you’re not even allowed to date yet! But hey, at least you stand a chance (albeit small) to travel now, so that’s an improvement.
2. Scheduling your trips months early
“We’ll think about it” — this line already lets you know that you have to wait patiently until you can bring it up again after a while. Spontaneous trips are impossible because convincing your parents to allow you to go is a looooong and tedious process.
3. Rehearsing how you’ll ask for permission
Before asking for permission from your parents, you iron everything out so you can answer all their questions confidently. “What will you do there?” “Who will you be with?” “How about work?” “Do you have enough savings for this?” “Will you be drinking? No drinking! No drugs! And absolutely no talking to strangers!” Yes, mom.
4. Knowing sudden changes in plans are out of the question
If asking for permission for a trip is hard enough, what more is asking for permission again? You can’t reschedule your trip, nor can you mention your best friend suddenly couldn’t go. Changes in plans only open that terrifying door of opportunity for them to say no to something they already said yes to.
5. Making pa-good shot so they’ll be in a good mood
Cleaning the dishes, sweeping the floor, and not going out for a long time are all part of the pre-paalam ritual for travellers with strict parents. Having your parents in a good mood is essential in asking for permission, so you do everything it takes to get them in that perfect mood.
6. Needing your travel buddies’ resumes
“Sinong kasama mo? Kilala ba namin yan?” And it doesn’t stop there. Strict parents also want the contact details of who you’re going with so they can contact them if they can’t reach you. Some even go as far as adding your friends on Facebook. You know, so they can surveil every photo you’ve hidden from them.
7. Having to pack everything
Sunblock, insect repellent, an umbrella, a first-aid kit, a blanket — you name it. Your baggage can get really heavy, but the folks won’t let you leave the house unless you bring everything they demand you to bring. Because of this, you’ve been tagged as the resident parent of your barkada as you’re the one they run to in case of emergencies.
8. And having limited freedom in choosing clothes
Been working hard on that bikini bod to wear that cute swimsuit? Forget it. Once your parents find out you’re planning on exposing skin within ten inches of your nether regions, you’ll have to bid goodbye to your travel goals.
9. Being extra careful about yourself
You can try out extreme activities, just as long as you don’t bring home evidence. As in, you should avoid getting scrapes or scratches just as much as you should avoid getting caught in camera while bungee jumping. God forbid they see you hurt! No matter how minor that injury is, if it’s visible to their eyes, chances are you’ll have a harder time asking for permission for your next trip.
10. Always needing the Internet connection to update the folks
For your parents, the concept of taking a social media detox is as foreign as life on Mars. When they message you, you have to answer ASAP, unless you want them to send a search army for you.
11. Taking selfies everywhere
Speaking of updating the parents 24/7, taking selfies is also a must! Your parents are smart, and they know how easy it is for you to lie about your whereabouts. Thanks to technology, they now demand photos of you and your friends for you to prove that you are where you say you are.
12. Screening photos before uploading them
You think airport security is tough? Try strict parents interrogating you about who you’re with in a tagged photo. To avoid this notorious question — “Anak, sino yang kasama mo?” — travellers with strict parents have learned to upload only photos that need no explanation at all.
13. Preparing a PG13 report for them
On your way home, you smile at how exhilarating your trip was… until you remember how to explain to your parents how you ended up hitchhiking your way back to your hotel. Or how you actually visited the nude beach. Or how you agreed to have a drink with a stranger. You think of what else is there you can tell your parents, and you realise all you can share is how good the food was. Now, you have to pluck out every interesting detail from your story and list down what details remain that they can stand to hear.
Although we suffer from these struggles, we love our strict parents. We know that these rules were created out of love, so we’re not complaining — at least not so much. Besides, we’ve learned to be extremely grateful because of them. Imagine getting giddy on your toes just because they’ve said yes to a trip! So, thank you parents, and may you let us travel more soon.