Saturday, January 25, 2014


photo credits to rightful owner. 

At the start of this year, i made a decision. 
I made the decision to have the experience of being a solo traveler at least once in my life. Basically, i wanted to explore some part of the world that i had not been to by myself. 

The whole experience would be good for me to learn how to be independent and make new friends along the way and try things that i didn't do before. The more i thought about it, the more excited i got. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to go where you want, do what you want without the boundaries of others' schedules and preferences. And so in my head i started planning, where should i go, what should i do and how should i start. 

I've read through tons of articles on starting out as a lone female travelling the world and most of them speak about the fear of disastrous things happening in a foreign country. The fear of getting robbed, being lost and generally experiencing bad stuff to themselves while alone in a strange country.But while that fear is a big cause for concern in my mind, no one ever told me that there was another fear i had to prepare myself for. 

And that was the fear of telling my parents.

My parents are pretty cool and open-minded but they are also traditional in some ways. So when i decided to ask for my parents' permission to go on a solo trip, i was quite nervous about it. As much as i would like to just do it,  i knew that my parents had to be on board with the idea before i could really pack up and go. Personally i'm very headstrong and once I've made up my mind to do something, nothing could really stop me from doing it. But over the years, that rebellious kid in me is gone and i've learned to respect my parents and their opinions so naturally when i came to the decision to do something quite life-changing as this, i wanted to ask for their permission. 

Days before telling them, i pondered over this decision and replayed scenarios in my head. I wasn't sure how my dad would take it but i knew for sure my mum would be dead set against this idea.
 Sometimes they surprise me, most times they don't. 
And so yesterday, i finally mustered the courage to ask them and it was exactly as i expected.

My dad kept quiet. 
And my mum said "No".

My short stature and my gender played a part but most of all, the thought of i being alone in a foreign country scares my mum to death. She says i can go with friends but i can't go alone. And insists that we're not like Caucasians, who try to make their kids independent by asking them to move out at the age of 18. 

We argued. I'm not one to give up without a fight.

"I want the experience, the opportunity to be independent" i said

She tells me i'm being selfish and should think about how as parents, they will worry for me.

I fight back by saying that as parents, they'll never stop worrying about me. 

She counters with "If anything happens here, we can get to you. If you have friends, they can help you.
 But if you're alone, who will help you?"

I replied
 "You've been great parents, you taught me how to differentiate between right and wrong, you've brought me up to be independent and mature and now, you have to let me go and trust that i will make the right decisions on my own. That's the whole point of my wanting to travel alone, so i can depend on myself and only myself." 

At the end of the much heated discussion, we came to a compromise. While my mum is still not totally open to the idea of me going alone, she has mentioned that she's not fully against it anymore and that her mindset might change in time to come. 

Guess we'll just have to play the waiting game but i'm hoping the odds will turn out in my favor.

Till then,

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