How did you get your parents to allow you?? – A lot of women and men too, have asked me this question when they realize that I am solo traveling. For a lot of Indian parents the idea of their daughter traveling solo is bizarre and fraught with danger. Here I can share with you my experiences with Solo travel & my very Indian family.
The person you are
One aspect that a lot of people don’t realise is that rules are not the same for everyone. Who you are as a person, and what impression you have created in the past and so on, lead to people allowing or not allowing you. In this case it depends on you as a daughter. Me for example, prior to solo traveling, I had already been traveling on my own to relatives houses, visited my brother when he was posted abroad and so on. All these things as you realise are completely socially acceptable and not something your parents would object to.
I also had an ashram in Coimbatore, which I used to keep visiting very often, again on my own. Finally instead of traveling back n forth I even stayed there full time for a while. This was difficult for my parents but I was able to manage it. Sadhguru helped me with this – because I had also gone to him and asked him the same question, ‘I want to come to the ashram but parents won’t allow it’. So he just said well tell them ‘This is what you want to do’.
So I told my parents in a very positive and open way that see ‘This is what I want to do.’ & the whole thing just went through very smoothly. So I usually attribute many of the best things in my life to Sadhguru. Once I returned from the ashram after a year, then I did many different things in life. Solo travel also just happened…. there was never really a ‘how did your parents allow you’ situation at all.
I asked my mom to share her experience about the matter, and here is what she has to say,
I see that a lot of us very often are so sure that “My parents won’t allow it” that we never really even go and ask. Or if we do ask, we put forth the case with so much of negativity or closed kind of mindset that the parents respond like wise and say ‘no’.
So here is a simple way I suggest that you can firstly take permission from your parents for Solo Travel,
1) Tell your parents that you want to do this: Do this in a positive and friendly way. Be open that they may hedge around a few times at least. But if you stick to your positive approach, I feel they would respond like wise.
2) Lay GroundWork: This needs to be done in advance. Like I explained earlier, you need to make your parents feel that you are capable for it. Go solo to relatives houses in other cities and countries. If you can stay solo for work or other reason for a while then nothing like it as this allows you also to grow and your parents will feel less protective towards you. This also in fact, prepares you for solo travel.
3) Start with trips which are simple, small and safe: Maybe just the weekend to a nearby ‘safe’ place. Like Pondicherry, Mysore, Pune… depends on where you are located. Find a place to stay which is recommended by another woman solo traveler. Ask me if you need names. So it’s a simple trip you know – travel to the place is booked, accommodation is booked. And both of them are reasonably safe as you have taken recommendations for the same.
4) Share with them stories of women bravery and inspiration. This I feel all of us should do because we just need to make the whole overall environment for women much more positive. Especially now a days so many great stories are coming out of women doing so many things…. slip in stories of other women who are solo traveling. Me, if you like 😉
In fact I also do this. I am always telling my Mom about the other solo women travelers I meet on the road. I am sure my Mom feels better having met some of my solo traveling women friends who visited me at home when they were in Mumbai. The fact that one of them way way younger to me, helped too. 😉
So the parents when it comes to solo travel shouldn’t be too difficult. You have to put in the proper ground work though. Also as much as possible, keep it as positive a situation as possible in your heart & mind at least. Sometimes on the outside things may become negative, but when within yourself things are positive then situations eventually turn better.
Lastly, keep parents updated once you do manage to travel. One call a day. This one call a day is also important for your own safety. This way someone else (parents or spouse or who ever) knows where you were planning to go, in case you disappear or something.
So this was about the parents & near family. What about the other family – the extended one? Will share few experiences on that in another blog on the same…. 😉