At least once (multiply it by a gazillion) in our lifetimes, our parents told us things like “do your homework first, go straight home after school, stop spending so much on unnecessary things.” Sure they were supposed to be gentle reminders while we were growing up, but these are unwritten laws which we were expected to follow and live by, No. Matter. What.
Whatever their orders are both in and out of the house, parents know they are responsible with preparing their children for independent survival. But in travelling, these rules go out of the window, intentionally or not. Do you feel guilty yet? There are some scenarios that will give parents a reason to rather shake their heads, but still would be good basis to be proud of their children’s achievements.
Curfew is a virtue
To travel is an opportunity to get a full experience of what life is like in an unfamiliar territory. While it is a habit to prepare an itinerary beforehand to manage expectations, the 24 hours in a day are usually not enough to fully explore one destination, at least to most travel junkies. Some activities may come up spontaneously during trips. A party simply doesn’t start and end before dinner time. Either the night is still young to be in your pajamas yet, or daybreak is already visible to even retreat to bed.
We are often put in a situation where we sacrifice the time to rest. We enjoy the idea of adventure and the company of our travel buddies. Whatever happened to our parents’ rules like “be at home by 9pm” and “you should sleep at least 8 hours a day”? They are likely to feel less excited when they find out about their children’s late-night merry making. However, the important thing is that the ability to display independence and take care of oneself even when breaking curfews.
Don’t talk to strangers
It goes without saying that parents are only trying to protect their children from harm. When we were younger, our social network was limited to our relatives and to a few people they know and trust. But it’s a completely different story when you go on an adventure with your closest friends, or, your mom’s perhaps worst nightmare, travelling alone.
Travelling is a social exercise and it opens an opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. A simple smile to a person you don’t know is already a form of communication, a way to introduce oneself. We understand that there will always be situations where there is a need to initiate conversations with fellow tourists. You will have to approach a local from time to time to ask for directions. And it’s also a chance to learn foreign languages and know how to say greetings like “annyeong haseyo” with proper tone and conviction. Our parents may have always told us not to talk to strangers. But in most life scenarios especially when travelling, we need to create interactions, if not lasting friendships, with different people.
not go anywhere
From extreme roads to unpredictable weather conditions, oftentimes, the best tour spots and attractions are the ones that are less convenient to go to. We are natural thrill-seekers and favour to do activities from where we can get the most fun. But when we bring this up to our parents to ask for permission, there is likely a bigger chance to witness the northern lights during summer nights in Iceland than getting a go signal to even book a flight in the first place.
We are used to being told to go only to safe places BUT life was not meant to be ordinary. When we travel, we are drawn to do something different and interesting. Hike a mountain, cross a river, jump from a plane, use all of the body’s five senses because the possibilities are endless. The best takeaway from these experiences is being able to step out of the comfort zone and conquer fears, something you learn on your own.
Save your money, son
A part of a parent’s duty is to teach us the value of money and why a person should save. While going on a trip can cost a pretty penny, nothing compares to the value of joy and excitement travelling brings. Visiting a new place is a chance to indulge in local food and taste the best delicacies it has to offer. Don’t regret not going to souvenir shops to take home items that will remind you of the amazing memories you had. You can always work around a budget but also learn when to say “yes” if it can be stretched a little further. Sure we are guilty of spending our savings but travelling is an investment in yourself. There is much more to gain from it that makes you richer as a person.
Travelling is a good way to appreciate cultures, places and people and understand life, like how our parents would mostly want us to. We grew up guided by their influences on how to behave especially during times when we are out there on our own. Our conscience may feel a slight tinge of guilt from our rather high-risk decisions. But at least we get an opportunity to apply what we learn and draw from experiences that make us more responsible which is something to be proud of. Try not to miss out on the adventures that await you…just don’t tell your dad and mom YET.