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Finding Courage To Book Something and Go

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Want to go on vacation for my last spring break but having trouble convincing my mother that I will be ok.
8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 1 Msg: #163930  
I always wanted to travel by myself. But when I bring this idea to my mother, of course she shuts the idea down. She didn't tell me I couldn't go but stressed that I should find someone to go with or join an organization that goes places. Joining an organization is not something I want to do just as a means to travel and finding someone to go with is a problem. I would love to have someone go with me but I don't have many people to ask if there available or if they can afford to go where ever I want to go. A little background about me. I am a senior in college trying to get through the last leg of it. This semester is my 6th year and I have not been on a vacation since I was like 6 or 7. I am now 23 soon to be 24 in a little over a months time and I just need to get out. I am a introvert but is trying to become a little more extrovert and I am very polite and sympathetic, meaning i'm gullible to sad tells. I'm currently living under my mother's roof with my only sibling. So like I said before I always wanted to travel but the main thing that is stopping me from just booking and going is having to tell my mom beforehand and not feeling guilty to point I just cancel and stay home. How are some ways I can convince/reassure my mother that I will take all precautions and be travel savvy when going alone. I plan to go to Chicago during my spring break as my first vacation in years and also would it help me out even better to attend self defense classes before going?

Thanks in advance! Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 2 Msg: #163956  
Hello Tracey and welcome to Travelblog!

Well, I have some news for you - it doesn't matter if you are 23, 33, or 43 you mother is still going to worry about you - so there is no avoiding that issue.

However, there are means to minimize as much as possible. As well as taking self-defence classes, why not a first aid course? I would also ensure that your medical kit is brimming with every item you can carry - there is another thread on that here: Travel first aid kit

Your destination is going to be crucial to getting mum on side. For example, the Middle East is going to raise immediate concerns, even though it is far safer than perceptions. Africa is another one that will raise some anxious words, but again, the reality is safer. I would start with someone else in the US or even head to Canada. It would be good for you to head to Europe or Asia at some stage, but one step at a time.

It is important for you to contact mum when you arrive in each city, calling her every day is just crazy and expensive - but perhaps you can send an email or contact her via Facebook. Knowing that they can contact you at any time "just in case" certainly reduces concerns.

One bit of advice with those who are sympathetic to sad tales, there is a simple rule - under no circumstances do you give money to anyone who asks. If you decide this beforehand, then there is no decision to make on the road.

In the end, you just book the trip, with only a short time frame until you leave so you will not be subjected to prolonged pressure. Also, booking something that you cannot cancel and get a refund virtually commits you to going - and saying that you will lose money if you do not travel is a convincing argument. Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 3 Msg: #163960  
Good advice above but maybe a few more things to get your mum on side...

Why not take her with you? Just for the first week or so, you can experience the first bits of travel together, she'll see that it's really not so bad and she will leave you in the knowledge that you'll be just fine.

As Shane has said keeping her up to date with your progress will also help.. start a blog, email and texting will all help. If you can take a mobile with you, that way she knows that she can always contact you (or vice versa) if she needs to. Clearly you don't want her calling every 5 minutes so let her know it's just for emergencies or if wants to send a text to say hi!

Why not get her to read some of the blogs on here and around the web.. she can see other people who have done the same and all the fantastic experiences they have had... maybe read them first just to check there aren't any shocking bits in there! We've all had some 'interesting' experiences but they rarely spoil any trip and certainly don't put people off.

Of course any travel does have it's problems, like you say you do not want to fall prey to any scams out there so read about the common ones before you go. That way you'll be able to spot someone who it trying to take advantage before any harm is done.

Parents do worry, it's natural but involve her in the planning and keep her up to date and she should wave you off at the airport in no time wishing you a fantastic adventure. Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 4 Msg: #163968  

In the end, you just book the trip, with only a short time frame until you leave so you will not be subjected to prolonged pressure. Also, booking something that you cannot cancel and get a refund virtually commits you to going - and saying that you will lose money if you do not travel is a convincing argument.



This what i'll have to do if it comes down to just me. I really only plan to visit places in the us but canada may be an option too.

Why not take her with you? Just for the first week or so, you can experience the first bits of travel together, she'll see that it's really not so bad and she will leave you in the knowledge that you'll be just fine.



I can't take anyone with me that can't afford it on their own. I can afford only my expenses and I have tried to sort of involve her in plans of places I wanted to go. But she just starts doing the lecture of importance of taking someone with you or joining an organization that goes out of town.
Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 5 Msg: #163976  
What sort of organization does your mum think you should join? I wonder if there is a way to volunteer in the places you are going, no need to volunteer the whole time (just half the time) but at least there is some network you contact at your destination.

I do like the idea of taking your mum with you, but if finances do not permit, then it is not an option. I did forget to mention (but Sophie & Dale did) becoming familiar with scams that can haunt travellers. But if you are within the US or Canada, then many of those will not apply. Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 6 Msg: #163980  
Since im in college school organizations or church groups that travel for conventions or just any type of events. I will read up on on popular and recent scams. I have asked a couple ladies if they wanted to go but both have kids and their outlook could change just like that so as it gets closer to my spring break im just going to go book and not tell my mom a few days prior if it seems like 1 will be the loneliest number. Thank you Shane and Sophie and Dale for timely input, it is very appreciated. Reply to this

8 years ago, December 4th 2012 No: 7 Msg: #163982  
You are most welcome. I mostly travel on my own and it is my preferred means of travel. I have a friend who is more shy than me who travels on her own (she is currently in New Zealand) and she prefers it that way as well. The main thing with travelling alone is this - are you happy with your own company? if the answer is 'yes', you will have a great time! If the answer is 'no' or 'maybe' then you are likely to seek (and find) people to talk to (or they will find you). Either way, travelling solo is far more pleasant than it appears.

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8 years ago, December 6th 2012 No: 8 Msg: #164038  
B Posts: 2,008
You mentioned a self-defense class in your initial post. I can speak from experience that it is not strictly necessary, but will certainly help. I took a class like it in college. I needed the actual skills once since then, when I was attacked by a drunk. Far more importantly, the class taught me how to be aware of my surroundings at all times, and how to spot potentially unsafe situations before they escalate. Many guidebooks call this "street smarts". Reply to this

8 years ago, December 12th 2012 No: 9 Msg: #164227  
Tracey,

Chicago is a great city to start your adventures. There is a lot to do and see. You may want to start with a couple of museums until you become comfortable traveling and exploring alone. You can sit in a coffee house reading your book and talking with people. There are many great ways to get the feel for a new town.

As others above had said you will need to use common sense.
Avoid the dodgy sections of don't. Don't stay out past dark in certain sections. You will get the feel for a city fairly quickly.

Chicago has a very good public transit system so you will be able to move around town easily.

Happy travels and keep us posted.
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8 years ago, December 13th 2012 No: 10 Msg: #164249  
B Posts: 897
Hi Tracey and welcome to Travelblog. As Shane has said, your mother is always going to worry about you no matter how old you are...at 46 after a lifetime of frowns, worries, but what if you get kidnapped by cannibals circumstances lead to me taking my mother to remote Sumatra.....and I have created a monster.....she is currently sulking because I wont take her to French Polynesia with me......(she likes Bora Bora but doesnt like the look of Rangiroa and Fakarava)....however, taking her with me has changed how she reacts to Im going to - now.

Id suggest for this first trip, to put you and your mum at ease, stick with what is familiar, go somewhere in the States or Canada. She will worry a lot less if you are in Montreal than in Mumbai. Set some ground rules, agree on how often you will check in and how..you do not want her ringing the only phone on the island while you are out diving resulting in an entire village waiting on the beach to tell you important call from Australia, ring back soon, and all follow in to the one phone to listen in.....my mother actually did this to me...to tell me my cat was fine!.

What are your interests? Do you play any sports - diving is my interest, reason for travel and saving grace when Im on a remoter island where no one speaks english..What have you been studying? is there something that you can combine your trip with to consolidate that studying into a real experience?. I lecture Engineering and am always telling my students to go off and see the world and bring me back pictures of bridges - not because i want to see bridges, but because I want them to experience the world, build their confidence and gain that maturity that only comes when you are fully out of the nest. With no support system sitting in the next room, you are a fully fledged adult. Say you studied business and economics....go to wall street..or silicone valley if you studied IT. If you have a ''thing'' to see or do you can plan around that, even if it is just a day visit, you have a starting point so you are not just wandering around thinking...where do i go and what do i see today?..on the way to the ''thing'' you will see other ''things'' that may catch your eye..something to explore tommorow.

As much as I agree with self defence courses there is also an inner vibe you should have. Carry yourself with confidence. Dont walk around looking like a startled deer..that attracts those with less honorable intentions. I have my very own TOUGH walk for remote dingy port cities if I have to transit through them...Chin up, Head held high, smile, shoulders back, no slouching and no trying to blend into corners....I do not give off the impression of being a nervous person way out of place in an environment. Ive found this also makes people seem to want to talk to me...especially other solo travellers. I have no shame in asking a couple or family if i may share their table in a restaurant, the worst that can happen is they say no..which has so far never happened. You may meet some great people who you form bonds with that remain long after travel.

This is your time to shine, your world to conquer and your door to open...go on...dare you! Reply to this

8 years ago, January 16th 2013 No: 11 Msg: #165185  
You will just have to get used to your mother always being afraid for you if you go on a trip whether alone or accompanied. The news media in America is a fear monger without equal. I am 62 and always before I leave on a trip my mother is convinced I will be murdered.
It's best not to discuss your trips with those around you as they will just tell you reasons you shouldn't go. I am currently looking at taking a trip to Los Cabos so everyone is pointing out to me about kidnappings and drug cartels in Mexico.....sigh.
I believe that as long as a person uses the same common sense measures they use in the US they will be all right.
I believe a self-defense course would be a waste of time and may bring on a false sense of security. Exercising the same precautions that you use at home would be a better idea. Instead of a self-defense course a much better investment of time and money would be to learn a foreign language, perhaps Spanish. This could be useful in your career as well.
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8 years ago, January 16th 2013 No: 12 Msg: #165188  

In response to: Msg #165185

Since you are heading to Cabo you may want to send a private message to cabochick She spends several months a year in that area and just north of there and would be able to make several suggestions on what to do and to see.

We went a couple of years ago and enjoyed our time. We would have liked to explore the area north of there but we were still in school and short on time.

Happy Travels, MJ Reply to this

8 years ago, January 16th 2013 No: 13 Msg: #165194  

In response to: Msg #165188 Thanks. I actually read your blog on Cabo and hers last night as part of my homework for the trip. Reading Cabochicks blog last year on the turtles and whales is what made me decide I wanted to take a trip to Cabo in the future. Reply to this

7 years ago, November 22nd 2013 No: 14 Msg: #177309  
I am always thankful when I get new ideas for where I want to go with my reading,




[Edited: 2013 Nov 22 14:07 - D MJ Binkley:42569 - Please no advertising in the forums. ]
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