This is something which has been playing on my mind lately. When is the right time? Who do you tell first? Who will be supportive and who won’t?
Best advices you need to know telling people about your travel
I’ve read a lot of blogs where people describe holding onto their secret for months or even years and finally tell their parents, boss, friends etc and wish they’d done it sooner. They tell how everyone around them were surprisingly supportive – even to the point where their employer promised they would have a job to come back to if travelling didn’t work out. Maybe I’m wrong but I just can’t imagine things going quite so well for me. At the very least, people who care are going to worry – that’s only natural. For that reason alone, I struggle to see how it would be as simple as making an announcement and everyone thinking it is a great idea. In terms of work, the legal world tends to exist inside its own little bubble. You’re made to believe that leaving law would be career suicide, you’d have to retrain from scratch and no one will want to employ you because you’re over-qualified.
For these reasons, even though all I want to talk about at the minute is our plan for a better life, we’ve agreed to delay telling anyone until we have firm plans in place. We want to be able to show that we are serious about travelling long-term, we’ve thought it through and it is important to us. Our hope is that this will allay most worries – although I still fully expect some comments about how we’re just giving up, running away or going through some kind of mutual breakdown. I have huge admiration for anyone planning this on their own – I feel like I’m only getting this far by being able to talk to my husband everyday. Honestly, I don’t know how I would cope otherwise.
I’ve collated the best advice, in my opinion, for broaching the subject with your family and friends:
- Take time to discuss it face to face – don’t rush and treat it like any other important announcement.
- Explain why you’ve taken the decision you have – for me, this is about personal growth, re-ordering my priorities and getting the most out of life.
- Describe your plans – how you will find places to stay, how you will get around, meet people etc.
- Show them travel blogs – it might be easier to accept the decision if they can see that lots of other people are already living this way, are earning enough to survive (some even to thrive!) and, above all, they are safe and happy.
- Get them involved – is there anything they know about which they help you with or is there something they should read up on instead? The more knowledge the better.
- Keep in touch – over Skype or email and tell them in advance if you are going to be without internet for a while!
- Don’t forget to listen and answer their questions – some people will want to know everything immediately, others will need time for the penny to drop then the questions will come later.
Ultimately, if you’re an adult then remember you’re not asking for permission. All any of us can really expect is an acknowledgement that travelling is important to us – anything more than that is a bonus!