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Traveling Alone or Family Travel Whether you want to travel alone, or travel with the kids, parents, or granny, this forum is for you!

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Old 02-07-2005, 03:58 PM   #1
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I've been looking forward to a long solo European backpacking trip for years, so when I managed to get a job for a month in France, I thought to myself "this is it!" So I mentally planned a 4-month trip revolving around that one month of employment.
I'm 19 and living with my parents, so I told them about my plans and they are delighted. But the "solo" part of it hasn't really sunk in. Over the past few weeks they've been lovingly - but persistently - hijacking my trip by tacking their own plans on to mine. What's worse is that they're divorced so I now find myself coordinating my plans with TWO other itineraries instead of just one.
I don't want to get into all the boring details, but let's just say that whereas my original plan was pretty loosey goosey with no strict itinerary, I'm now getting bogged down by a departure date that reduces my travel time by a month, rendez-vous dates, and the reduced freedom of being escorted around by a parent half of the time. As soon as my mom is done travelling with me in Spain she plans on handing me off to my dad in France. So much for independent travelling!
Am I being reasonable or am I just being ungrateful?
Anyway I've still got lots of time to work things out, so I'm sure that whatever happens I'll have a great time, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Cheers!
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:09 PM   #2
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ditch em first chance you get! Thats my two cents. Parents are great to go to disney land with but I can't imagine having them overseas with me.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:28 PM   #3
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Just have a sit down with them and explain that you plan on getting very drunk and rowdy while you're away.

If they still insist on travelling with you, you have very cool parents
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:32 PM   #4
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who's bankrolling it?


you?...then tell em' it's YOUR time


them? well then u need to sell them a hell of a "coming of age" speech
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:55 PM   #5
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i'm paying for my airfare. in spain we're staying with family so no one's paying. in france I'd stay in hostels when I'm on my own, but if my dad tags along there's no way the whole dorm thing is gonna fly with him, so he'll end up picking up the tab at some 3-star hotel or doily infested auberge.
I'm totally independent of them financially (as far as this trip goes anyway), but I'm still at the mercy of the all-powerful guilt-trip.
I'm not a fan of ditching them outright, so I'm working on plans to make little side trips on my own to give myself some breathing room for several days at a time (see my thread in "general advice"). This will work on my mom, but not my dad, who's just as keen as me to get off the beaten path. I'm working on it! I'm using all my brain power on this little predicament
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:10 PM   #6
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I am bit older then ya im sure, and i hate to say it, but you better nip this in the bud...have a sit down with them or they are both going be blanket you
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Old 02-07-2005, 05:46 PM   #7
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I see your point, I've been telling myself that very thing for years. But there are always complications. In my case, it's a combination of a traditional and protective family and a mentally fragile mother. In a messed up way, love has become synonimous with being together, so that making a bold stand for my own autonomy would end very badly indeed.
My this has quickly turned into a therapy session!
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:37 PM   #8
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Yea dude talk to them, and if they don't understand then just ditch them for big parts of the trip.
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:12 PM   #9
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They'll understand in the end. I think you should leave a note on their pillow at a hotel saying you will meetup with them again in 3 weeks. Till then you love them and hope they have fun!
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:33 AM   #10
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Its time to leave the roost. Your all grown up. You are not the youngest treker and certainly not the firts 19 yr old to head out into the world. The younger the better I say. Be calm about it as you do not want to create more drama than nessissary...BUT they have to know that this is your time and you will do with it what you will. They sound old school....Are you an only child?? if you are that will make it harder for them. But stick to your guns and show them you can do this.

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Old 02-08-2005, 03:25 PM   #11
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When I first started travelling on my own at 16, I was an only child with over protective parents too. I took each one aside separately (so they couldn't tag team and gang up on my plans), and then showed them my 'plans' (whether or not I would stick to them was up in the air). Then I promised that I would call frequently and write often.

I would remind them that they did all the same things I was doing at my age. I would tell them that I really loved them, but I really wanted to experience something on my own and make the same great memories that they had made. I would also promise to drop in on friends if I was in the area so I wouldn't be rude. Tell them that you're out to prove that you can enjoy the world with your own company. You have to keep reminding them that you love them, but this is something that you need to do to prove to yourself that you're independant and ready to be on your own. They might be concerned about your safety... just reassure them by showing them some kind of 'plan' for yourself... and they will probably lay off.

It took my parents about a year to get it. When they finally did, they were ok with it all. It took numerous reminders, but they got the hint just in time for my first trip to New Orleans in college.
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:19 PM   #12
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Yea, haha I'm 14 and I traveled to France/Monaco/Italy solo last summer. Then when I came back I sort of got too excited and told them a couple of the stuff that you don't tell your parents(I didn't think it was that bad, it was stuff that's bad at the time that you lauph at later, haha). Like the time I went to Italy for dinner with a friend but left all my stuff in France because I thought we'd be back soon, haha I feel like telling a story now! WELL! So we were trying to get on the second to last train back to France after dinner, missed it by litterally less then 3 seconds, the doors closed while we were in front of them, haha. So we had to wait 2n hours for the next train. Then we get off at a station 20km away from out hostel, wait another 2 hours for the last bus of the night to our town that we're staying in, then we have to walk like through this mountain jungle thing hahaha to get to our hostel because the gates are locked because it's midnight and the hostel sucks and locks the gates like that, haha. Yea, so we climb a giant wall on the highway on the mountain thing and then climg the prickly bush infested mountain to out hostel at midnight, only to get back and decide we're hungry and to go to the gas station and buy tons of food haha. Then we went to the discotheque till 6! That night was fun... I love Europe!

Yea, that had nothing to do with it, but I have no one to tell me stories to!! haha, so I have to get them out somehow. My parents freak out and my friends don't care about traveling! haha.

Yea, but it took my parents...7 months to let me go on this 2 weeks trip. Now I'm begging for a year abroad my junior year(16 years old) it's been...4 months now and their still thinking about it.

But, your situation is different. Tell your parents that this is important to you, and that you've been looking forward to going out on your own for years and it's something you really just want to experience and be really nice about it and stuff. Maybe even suggest something else, like maybe they can go with a friend? or i donno, haha. I've actually been to Paris with my dad three times because he's an airline pilot and in the summer he's in Paris 6 days a week, so I just went with him. And it's really restricting. Because they want to go in the whole tourist citcuit and just follow the english speaking crowd. You don't get to meet anyone, and it isn't very....adventurous feeling.

My parents want to do something like that with me, it's horrible, their spending a shitload of money on hotels, like $400 a night for 6 of us in our family for a week in paris....i'm going to be so embarresed, my parents are so stereotypical and think it's hilarious to be the "oh so talked about obnoxious american." *smacks forhead*, haha that's going to be a long week. My parents are racist and it's horrible, ugh, how am I related to them?
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:06 PM   #13
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I am pretty happy my parents can't afford traveling overseas
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:08 PM   #14
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Be thankful that you're parents eventually came around. When I was 15 I took a Spanish class in Madrid where I was visiting family with my mom. One day I decided to go to the Plaza Mayor for lunch and some sightseeing after class. I had money, knew Spanish, and had already used the metro system dozens of times, so I had no trouble getting around. Keep in mind it was the middle of the afternoon, so all the axe murderers were not prowling the streets yet. I returned 3 hours after my class had ended to a scene from a hostage negotiation movie. My Spanish relatives had called my teacher who had given them the phone numbers of my classmates. They were calling them one by one asking for information on my whereabouts. Meanwhile my mother and my aunt had gone to the language school in person to speak with the principle. All that was missing was a large map of the city posted on the wall with strategically placed tacks. I was mortified, too upset for words. When I asked them what the f**k was going on they explained that they were afraid that I had gotten lost or worse. No joke. Of course I knew that they worried because they cared for me, but I took it as a serious insult to my intelligence. Needless to say the remaining week of that class was humiliating and the experience totally soured the rest of my trip.

That being said, I'm a pretty mellow person, and that fiasco is ancient history, so I will have a talk with them, but as CD said, I will avoid unecessary drama like the plague and hopefully keep those waterworks turned off. And I will let you know how that goes...
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:57 AM   #15
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Wow.
Yea i say use that story to your advantage. Remind them of your need for independence and exploration!
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:57 PM   #16
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Glad to say that the problem's solved. Took your advice lilwings and talked to them seperately. I told them that I'm fine with visiting family and friends with them but that beyond that I intend to go on my own. My explanation was basically that the point of the trip is not just a change of scenery but also a change of people. I live, work, and study around them all year round, so why should we vacation together as well? This didn't go over very well but they know that I'll be paying for myself over there anyway so there isn't much they can do to stop me.
Thanks again for the help.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:58 AM   #17
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^props Glad you got ot sorted.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:49 PM   #18
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Unless you have extraordinarily cool parents, it sounds like they're going to seriously cramp your style. I highly suggest sitting down with them and talking to them calmly but firmly, especially your dad. Suggest some alternatives. Maybe he'd be willing to let you crash at a youth hostel by yourself on your own money, while he's at the 4 star hotel. Just tell him that you'd prefer it because it's a better way for you to meet travelers your own age. If he doesn't aggree to that, see if he's willing to split up with you a few hours each day, so you can explore new cultures by yourself, and once again, meet more people. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:50 PM   #19
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Man ok, I know what your going thorugh I have a mom thats the same way, she was telling me stuff like ohhh I always wanted to see Oz I might come and visit some friends there and then we can fly home together, you see whats going on though, shes trying to control my trip now all of the sudden im limited because I have to fly home with mom, you give them an inch they take a mile you just have to tell them listen I know your trying to take the reigns on my trip i wont let this happen, this is my trip, this will make me a better person for doing this on my own me thinks you have really over protective parents, that like to get in your business like if your fightin with a buddy they wanna know what going on and deal with it......dont let it happen fight the power
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:16 AM   #20
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Good for you for sorting that out without flippin out at anyone. Sometimes you gotta be aggressive, but it's great when it doesn't come to that.

I have a 47 year old relative who still lives with his mother! You know the guy andy (ehk and I go way back). He acts like it's all good but deep inside he's a broken man.

Your parents aren't that bad andy, just keep up that magic smooth talking and I really think they'll respect your space (they won't like it at first... ok maybe for next few decades... but they'll get over it).
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