Let Them Go

I wrote this post up earlier this year, 2017, and it’s one very close to my heart. I’m all about humility (very serious about that) and I do love helping younger travellers out but I feel that this is the advice that they, and their loved ones, need to have a look at if there’s any reservations on their part. 

Hope you enjoy.

Writing this post up has been on my mind for a while and, what with my workload for school looking a little intimidating, I figured I’d get it done now. Quick forewarning, I will be getting a little emotional.

So, traveling became a dream for me when I saw a tourism ad on the television that consisted of the Remarkable Rocks in South Australia. I imagine the thought was something like, Shit if that’s out there, I need to see it! Take note that I was probably four years old at the time so don’t count on me actually having dropped the S bomb at that age.

The Remarkable Rocks ad, along with many others, were nice and inspiring ads and I’m most certain that others around the world have had similar moments. Thanks to social media, looking at natural and cultural wonders from around the world on a daily basis has become an epidemic that we can all get on aboard with.

Now, let’s skip ahead from the inception moment to the long desired one when ‘Inexperienced Young Traveller’ – they know who they are – is of age, has worked their arse off and finally has their bags packed… and something stops them from getting on the plane.

This, I can only trust, would be a heartbreaking moment kiddies.

Reasons vary – the Inexperienced Young Traveller has broken a vital limb, the airline has pulled a Tigerair and been forced to cancel all of their flights to Whoop Whoop or the chosen destination has been hit by some uneasiness, hence putting the plan on hold. If the Sheep is talking about you, good reader, you have said Sheep’s sympathies. Some things just simply cannot be helped.

However, there’s one excuse that I simply cannot tolerate stopping the IYT from getting on the plane. Said IYT has pulled out of their dream trip… because their parentals don’t want them to go.

This is wear my emotions will start to kick in.

Brenna Holeman of This Battered Suitcase went live on the Facebook abomination a few weeks back, in which she answered followers’ queries (thanks for answering mine) and shared one saddening question by a young woman. The young woman in question pointed out that her parents didn’t want her traveling simply because they believed it to be unsafe.

A little bit later I was reading about Cynthia Lee over at Every Footstep An Adventure (you want a good travel blog you suss out the Canadians – they know their shit) who was meant to take off with a friend before said friend’s parents made them pull out.

My heart breaks for anyone who has been placed in this kind of shituation (again, getting emotional).

For the record, parents have a right to be worried for their children’s safety – it’s only natural, and I’ve always believed that there’s nothing more dangerous in the world than a parent protecting their child, but children grow up.

They develop aspirations and if said aspirations include a passport, than I say, ‘Let them go.’

My own parents had their reservations about me going my own way – to Thailand during the coup of 2014, and they even expressed their concerns about me crossing Australia for my first weekish long holiday (our homeland by the way). This pissed me off a lot (in a quiet way), but I reminded myself, they never experienced what I wanted to do. They weren’t able to reassure themselves of what could really happen.

This is where the fear stems from. Some have the luxury to raise their children with the odd trip via customs and immigration, whilst others won’t – reasons will vary and the latter shouldn’t be blamed. Not everyone is granted such privilege, but with budget travel another much welcomed epidemic the privilege can be very real. So, with all of that said, if it can be done parents, share in your child’s disease.

And this is where my big shot of advice gets thrown in.

I’ve had people come to me asking for advice on locations and tricks to use and I’ll happily give them the answers, should I have them – TripAdvisor forums don’t always bear fruit and asking those who’ve attended Google university is just plain illogical to me (first hand experience trumps all!).

If I don’t have said answers though, I’ll point them towards individuals (solo females, people with special needs, those who’ve been to a certain destination and so on – I’ve met my share of these awesomniacs) who have the much needed first-hand knowledge.

That said – to stamp the fears out, good parents, I highly recommend seeking out fellow parentals who’ve seen their offspring off at the airport. They can help reassure you that travelling can be the best of things.

You’re likely to know your share of passport holding elders. If you do, go to them, ask them every question you can think of and put yourself at ease. If you don’t, beg your friends and family if they know any of their own and hunt those people down relentlessly.

Information can be the tamer of our hesitations – it can put us all in a positive frame of mind that will get us all out the door and looking in the right direction that some of us can so sorely need. The world is calling – Lonely Planet’s yearly top ten destinations is temptation enough.

A male backpacker in sunglasses in a forest in Tokmok

It’s the best thing you can do for yourselves and most importantly, for your IYT.

Additional photography provided by Benjamin Combs, Oziel Gómez, Cristina Gottardi, Echo Grid, Aneta Ivanova and Kace Rodriguez