If you want to hit the open road and explore the world but have douche bags for… I mean parents who are very much opposed, this article is for you.
Whether you believe that talking to them would be a waste of time or whether you have already argued for hours, convincing your parents to let you backpack the world without a body guard or GPS implant is tough. If you think you can handle the guilt of putting your parents through unimaginable worry, anguish, depression and dishonor, you could just run away without a word. However, this is a pain I know first hand and can tell you that it isn’t the way to go. Therefore, no matter how you think you’re parents might react, it is in your best interest to at least try to convince them to let you go. It is a first step that I highly recommend.
In the following guide, you will learn how to present the best possible argument to your parents. Although they may still say no in the end, if you still decide to leave, at least they saw it coming.
Why Parents Don’t Want You To Travel
In order to understand how to convince your parents to let you travel, you have to understand their reasons for objecting.
Simply put, your parents love you. Even if you think they don’t, they do love you. No parent doesn’t feel at least some love for their child. It is this love that motivates 2 fundamental concerns. They are these concerns that you must familiarize yourself with. You must be able to comprehend their perspective in depth and on every level. Only then will you be able to present a significant and meaningful counter argument.
1) Parents Are Worried For Your Safety
This is a Parents biggest concern and the one with most bearing. It makes sense that after looking after you your entire life that they wouldn’t want you to leave. I know it sounds corny, but try and imagine how you would feel if you were in their shoes.
2) Parents Are Worried For Your Future
Not only are they concerned about you’re immediate safety but they are also equally as concerned for your life path, happiness, and success. In order to allay these concerns, you must assure them that traveling will contribute to the success of your future.
To do this, you need to approach them with the following:
1) Specify a mode of communication while on the road.
Be sure to give them specifics on how you will contact them whether it be an international phone, Skype, or email. I generally assure them that I will keep Skype on as much as possible.
2) Outline a plan
For this, try presenting a diagram of where exactly you will be going. Also, be sure to tell them how long you want to be away for. You don’t have to stick to it, but it’s a good idea to have some idea for both you and your parents sake. These days, I usually just tell which continent, which direction and how long, but you should definitely be more precise if it’s your first time.
3) Prove how you will support yourself
Unless you have saved up sufficient funds, this is going to be the hardest part to sell. One way to convince them is by starting a travel blog and illustrating how others have supported themselves in this way. A second but less ideal option is to highlight the success of vagabonds of the past such as Jack Kerouac. However, if you are serious about convincing you’re parents, you are going to have to save up at least some money. Definitely don’t tell them about how you plan to hitchhike, dumpster dive, hop trains, and sleep on the street ;)
4) Demonstrate a high degree of confidence and maturity
It is critical that you portray yourself as committed to your travel plans. You must also demonstrate a healthy level of confidence and maturity that won’t be confused with ignorance or naivety. Falling asleep in your room while cradling a bottle are luxuries to hold off on for the time being. There will be plenty of time for all of that once you hit the road.
5) Illuminate the benefits of travel
For this, depending on your situation, you can chose from a variety of themes. You could present an elaborate monologue on how, with the lack of any coming to age ceremonies in modern society, traveling will represent a right of passage that will inspire confidence within you. You could also make the point of how some of the greatest writers and thinkers, such as Jack Kerouac, were vagabonds. Finally, if you are interested in a future international job, you could explain how travel will represent an invaluable education, enabling enhanced language and social skills.
Now that you have allayed your parents concern for your safety and future,
it is time to land the finishing blow.
Chances are your parents did some traveling in their youth too. Even if they didn’t travel, they definitely did some wild and crazy shit. So definitely be sure to use this to your advantage. Second, remind them how they felt in their youths. Finally, assure them that the world has become much safer place, which with the advancement of technology and governance throughout the world, it assuredly has.
In order to form a substantial counter argument, it is essential that you understand your parents perspective. You must make sure that you address all their concerns as stated above and do so with a level of maturity. This means being informed, having a plan for your trip and having a plan for your future. Your plans don’t have to be perfect, just good enough to be convincing.
Although you could run away from home with out so much as a note, it just isn’t worth it. Not only will you feel terrible but you will put your parents through a hell you could never imagine. As a result, your best bet is to try and convince them to let you travel. The worst that could happen is they say no. In which case, you can still hit the road anyway if you want to. The best that could happen is that they support you and your dreams. They might even throw in a bit of change as well.
Prepare your argument, have no fear, and present it to your parents. You never know until you try.
Good luck and Persuasive Arguments,