Tackling The Sri Lankan Parent Before Embarking On Your First Solo Trip - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka

Tackling The Sri Lankan Parent Before Embarking On Your First Solo Trip

We know this can be stressful, but let’s break it down.

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Who doesn’t love to travel? More millennials are taking to the skies, on their own, to experience the wonders of new cultures and customs. Sure, taking your first trip alone can be quite nerve racking, but it can also be extremely rewarding. But before you take-off, you need to explain to your family just why you’re trying to travel alone to a strange land with no one to accompany you.

Yes, tackling the Asian parent isn’t always a walk in the park, and there are a variety of ways you can get about it. We recommend sitting down the folk and having a chat with them. Try these tips:

Research your destination beforehand

It’s important that you figure out where you want to go. “Pick a country that is perceived as safe,” says Nadeesha, a pro at solo travel. “This isn’t going to be a popular opinion because how can one define safe? But looking at statistics and traveller experiences, there are a few countries that are voted as not dangerous for solo female travellers.” So, picking an appropriate destination can work towards easing the worries of some parents.

Additionally, have photos and an itinerary ready to show your family. There’s nothing quite like showing them visual details of where you’re heading and the places you’ll stay. It’ll help them envisage your entire trip. 

Be prepared to answer an array of questions

You will be bombarded with a multitude of queries. “Why in the world do you want to travel by yourself?” your dad might ask incredulously. Have an answer prepared. Explain how you want to explore diverse cultures, visit wonderful sights and how it can expand your career or education. “Things like joining student exchange programs, travelling for work, events and conferences are also effective ways to convince your family to let you go. For some reason, parents are less stressed about solo travel if it’s for work,” explains Nadeesha.

Keep in touch

Let them know you will stay in touch, every day. Explain how you plan to do so, whether it’s keeping your present phone number on roaming, purchasing a SIM card at your destination or making use of the free Wi-Fi at airports, cafés and lodgings to call them on WhatsApp or Skype. If it helps, depending on time zones, set a specific time when you will check in each day with your family.

Next to safety, your mom and dad will probably worry about accidents and illnesses. Most Sri Lankan girls live a relatively sheltered life which makes parents worry about how they will take care of themselves if disaster hits. So ensure that you obtain travel insurance that covers a variety of sicknesses and accidents. Most local travel companies will be happy to sort this out for you.

Talk about how solo travel doesn’t mean you’ll be alone

It’s important your family knows that you will be meeting locals and other travellers as you explore new territories. It’s an old idea, but safety in numbers is one that can provide reassurance to jittery parents and help them understand how you can even consider a journey alone.

Every parent reacts differently to learning that their (not so) little girl is trying to set off on her own. But if all else fails, stick to your guns. “Sometimes the only thing that works is putting your foot down, explaining to them that you’re an independent person who can take care of herself and that you will travel,” suggests Nadeesha.

Ultimately, you’ll emerge more independent and self-confident, and undoubtedly apply all you’ve learned during the course of your travels, to everyday life.

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