Parents do this thing they call call worry.
Now I am not a doctor but I think it is caused by a microchip implanted during the labour/adoption process that causes them to have irrational fears about their child’s wellbeing. Seemingly harmless things (such as living) causes parents, at any stage of parenthood, a great amount of grief. Travelling is no exception to this programmed worry… in fact, I think it has it’s own microchip.
From the moment you crossed the street you were going too far for your parent’s liking- let alone deciding to get on a plane and go somewhere. They are not there to protect you (which in parent speak = not cool). Now I am a female traveller, I am sure that doesn’t help my cause much, but if I am going alone anywhere I get a minimum of 4 disapproving “hmm”s (and that is just at the airport). When I was in Japan my parents were already worried sick- then some guy decided to fire a bunch of missiles over the place. (Great. Thanks for helping.)
Now parents, I know you mean well by it. It is wonderful that we have someone who cares. Thank you for caring so much. It’s wonderful that you love us and express that to us in your individual way but all our lives you told us to spread our wings and fly. I just find that this is a lot of effort and I don’t get very far so I get on a big metal thing with wings and fly instead. It isn’t quite what you meant, but all lessons are up for interpretation.
There will always be political fall-outs, religious disagreements, idiots with guns, and raw chicken. Travelling next year, or the next year, or the next will not change the dangers of the world. I will still be your kid- and I will still be away from home (let’s be honest, that’s the real issue here). Street meat is questionable in any country, assholes are everywhere, and the Canadian Dollar sucks to exchange- some things are unavoidable. However, you raised me to take care of myself, make mostly educated choices, and always aim for the groin. I’ve got this.
It will never be a “good time” to travel. It never has been and never will be. There have always been dangers associated with travel, but really no more than the dangers that are associated with going to the grocery store (yes, in our good, residential neighbourhood). We always hear about the 1 in a million tourist being kidnapped while hiking, but you don’t hear about the other 999,999 that hiked there, experienced it, and went home safely. We hear about the abnormal. It stands out.
Parents’ concerns are valid. There is that 1 in a million who was someone’s baby. There is potential that it could be you. Listen to your parents, and understand that what they say they say it out of love and care. Parents, please remember you want to provide caution while not freaking your child out. It is a balance of understanding on both sides.
As you go forth in your travels, remember all of the lessons that your parents taught you to get you here. That no matter what, they always want you to come home.
“Be safe.” I love you, too.
“We are respecting our parents’ wishes… They didn’t want to shelter us from the world’s treacheries. They wanted us to survive them.” – Lemony Snicket