TELLING YOUR PARENTS YOU’RE FLYING SOLO
When I booked up a trip abroad on my own, I wasn’t going to do it before letting my mum and dad know. It was mostly out of respect, they were going to worry about me and I didn’t want to say “I’ve booked this without considering how you feel first.” So, here’s how it went for me and how it might go for you.
Picture this: You’re twenty years old, 4’11 and a female, planning on getting on an airplane and going to a country you’ve never been to before on your own. Now imagine your mums horror when you tell her about it. The first thing she asked, was, “Who with?” when I told her I was going to meet a friend I have had for years there, and they were going to be with me for the entire time, she was even more worried, “You’ve never met this person before!” Again, a fair concern, she also expressed worries over never speaking to this person herself, worries of me being left alone, and worries of the fact I was going to be staying in an Air BnB.
Then she asked, “Have you told your dad?” – these are the words I actually dreaded because my Dad is the only man in our house, his say is normally final and he has the opinion to change your opinion. So I pleaded, “Can’t you tell him for me, please? I know what he will say,” at first she said no, told me it was up to me, but later that evening she told me that she had spoke with him about it, and that he had expressed the same worries he had. But all I cared about was: They know. I felt okay with booking the flight, because they knew. I wasn’t keeping secrets and I wasn’t leaving it to the last minute to let them know. I was okay with that, I was okay with their worries because I could easily FaceTime them during my trip and send regular tips, also snapchats new map feature would be activated on my phone during my stay.
So, why was it such a big deal telling them, I’m an adult, twenty years old, I didn’t need their permission so why did I need to tell them and why was I so worried? Simple. Respect. I just don’t have it in me to do big things like this without consulting them first. I’m the child who can never make up her mind, I’m the clumsy one and socially awkward one, basically, the one they would worry the most about doing this type of thing.
I assumed my mum had told Lauren about it so I just didn’t get around to mentioning it to her, until we went over to my Nans house to give her some birthday gifts and cards, my nan mentioned it and sighed over how I wasn’t going to be spending my birthday with my family, and Lauren said, “Why? Where are you going?” When I told her, she first said “Where are you staying” – her worries weren’t really the same as my mums, probably because she knew of my friendships that I have over the internet, and I showed her the Air BnB. It was also Lauren who suggested that I ask my friend to stay with me in the Air BnB just so she had some peace of mind that I wasn’t staying on my own, and she was even more encouraging about it when I told her that there were two beds int he Air BnB too. My mum was on board with this idea and asked me to ask my friend. Nothing was mentioned again until a few weeks later when my mum mentioned it and I told her that yes, I had asked, and they were going to be staying with me.
My dad was kind of in the blind about it though. He knew I was going but he didn’t know the specifics and he didn’t ask me about it either. I worried about getting a big lecture off him actually, I knew what the lecture would consist of if it happened and I knew that he’d have the same worries as Lauren and my mum and more.
To be honest though, I’m glad that I waited to tell my parents before I booked the trip. Yes, I’m an adult and I don’t need their permission, but it’s such a big thing to do: Go to a foreign country on your own. I knew that if I was saying that I was going to Wales for a weekend they wouldn’t have been so surprised and they probably wouldn’t have cared as much, but to say I’m going to Lisbon on my own is very extreme. Which my mum actually even said, “I know we tell you to do more but this is taking it to the extreme.” – But I’m Georgia and I don’t do things the simple, normal way.
I’m glad I went on this trip though. It was a very new thing for me to do, and my first trip abroad without my family. I’d definitely do it again. My mum seemed genuinely pleased that I went away too, because she saw how happy my time there made me. I’ll do it again, definitely.