How to Handle Travel Wary Filipino Family

Dear Reader,

I grew up in a family that have always loved to travel.  But when I started to take traveling regularly, I would be a hypocrite if I would say it came easy. Remember when you were told, you have to put up sh*t until you’re taken seriously with what you do, and what you like to do. Traveling was like that for me too.  So, how are you going to tell your parents that you’re off to see the world, one trip at a time?

Let them know you’re old enough

“I trust you but I do not trust the people, and the circumstances around you” is one line I’ve heard too often. And I get that, and I agree with that one too, and not just in travel, and in life in general. Which is why having a healthy, and open relationship with family works well for the itchy-soled. Conversations usually starts with the blunt questions of “What If’s” and believe me, they are just warming up. The obvious thing is they bore and/or raised you, and could not take the worry off  (even you cry blood for it). So it is only fair that you let them know that you can take care of yourself. Let them understand that you’re already a grown up who will always try to handle any situation with a clear head, which may not happen all the time but do so anyways. They want to find comfort in knowing that while you’re running off somewhere, you have Ms. Foresight, and and Mr. Hindsight as travel companions whether you’re in a company of friends or just yourself. Don’t go defensive, and rebel on them like a teenager would (but if you are, a teenager that is, don’t rebel still) — that would only defeat the purpose.

Raise Your Travel Fund + make sure it does not run out.

When I started traveling by myself, I knew that financial help or aid was out of the question for this “vice”. If I wanted to travel, I would have to fund it myself. It meant working for it, and sacrificing expensive coffee, and other what-nots. Willing yourself to work, and prepare for travel is going to be difficult — it is the first battle you will find yourself struggling at. And yes, the struggle is real. But travel funds, is the gateway for travel. Travel is expensive! Yes, you can travel on a tight budget — budget travel is STILL money going out of your pockets. So raising a travel fund second nature to breathing is a skill one wanderlust must learn. Because how can you expect your parents trust when you can not even tend for yourself with those expense? Hmm.. Come on now, who are we kiddin’, right?

Do Not Mislead Them.

If you are traveling solo, do not let them think that you’re traveling with company. Should they ask, be ready with information, and let them know that you have prepared your trip prior to its actuality. You do not want them shouting at you for going off somewhere not knowing how to get there in the first place. I’ve been there — and it’s not a pretty place to be in. Okay, my mom was not shouting but the conversation was not at all pretty. The more planned out the travel is, the send off became less difficult.

Promise to Communicate + keep that promise.

Your family will never buy the excuses of “I was too tired”, “there was no signal”, or “I ran out of credit” for not calling. Make sure to let them know if you go off your mobile network coverage for a few days, and what day should they expect a call from you.  If you’re old enough to travel, I bet you’re old enough to realize your parents are already old folks to be in constant worry about your whereabouts. Always let your family, or someone you trust know of your whereabouts — for their sound comfort, and for your safety.

For some it will come easy, and for the others it may not. Some parents are less restricting to their dalagitas thirst for adventures. But if your family is a paper cut out of tradition like mine, keeping a your head size in check, and feet planted on the ground is always the safest way to go around it. No need for drama, adult conversation will just do the trick. The older I get the more I seem to agree on how rules are made to be bent a little, and broken once in a while but better practiced followed the best way one could.