Wanderlust, itchy feet, travel bug, vagabond syndrome, digital nomad… there are many names to call people like me, like us. If you are determining to follow your calling, there’s this moment we all have to pass. The talk with the family.
Guessing many of you are in different position as I am because where I grew up doesn’t really have a concept of travel nor backpacking. Furthermore I’m a girl in a very conservative society so… When I was a freshman at university I mentioned to my brother that ‘My one life long dream is travel the world, literally’ and guess what he said? He said ‘I’m going to break your leg if you do, literally’. Okay so you can feel a little bit the vibe here. I grow up in the country that ‘I’m a grown up now!’ doesn’t work.
During many years of traveling, my family is sort of giving up on me but still has this belief that I’m going to settle in short future. Clearly I’m not going to do that anytime soon. I thought about this subject for a while now. Am I a horrible person to do this to my family? Constantly thinking about be in different places, planning to runaway for New Year’s holiday, and reading guidebooks about next destination even before unpack my backpack.
Let me say it this way. In New Year’s holiday or Christmas, do you visit your parents? Do you spend the whole holiday with them? And… are you having fun? It’s quite a long holiday, so you might want to take a trip to a gorgeous beach in Thailand or just relax at home without any duty. Is it wrong to think such things? I guess we all had this moment at some point.
So yes, that’s what I want to say to my loved ones. Leaving you doesn’t mean that I don’t love you anymore. It’s just one way of knowing me, figuring out who I really am and finding my own home. Honestly, it’s really, really fun too. I can’t be a different person just for others. Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry in some level. Feel like I should do more but love is a two way street, we should understand each other. Play guilt as a weapon is just wrong.
I am not leaving because of you, it’s because of me. Wow, it sounds like a line from some cheesy romantic movie. “I’m letting you go because I love you.” and “It’s not you, it’s me.” Well, anyhow that is the truth. Sometimes they understand ‘I am traveling the world for a long time’ as ‘I can’t stand you so I have to get out of here and find a new home.’ Let’s not get confused.
Do you have any opinion about the subject? Please share with us.
Once again, me traveling doesn’t mean that I don’t love you anymore, people.
#Additional thought…. I watch the movie 127 hours this weekend, and my first thought was ‘I would never let my parents to watch this movie.’
7 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Mean that I Don’t Love You Anymore”
Before I left to travel I lived 2 hours by plane from my family, in a way I think it’s easier because I’ll still only see them once or twice a year – it’s just that now the Skyping is harder when I have bad internet.
My family has pretty much accepted that I may or may not be at family outings depending on family plans. With hope, in time yours will make this adjustment as well.
Great post! Fortunately, my family (and social circle) is more accepting of travel. I hope your brother has come around! PS- Love the photo of you beating up a backpacker!
I’ll break your brother’s legs, so he can’t break yours.
Even as a male, living in a country that isn’t so conservative, it can still be challenging. You bring up a lot of good points here. Especially missing the holidays. My parent’s are overall accepting of my travel, but my brother tries to make me feel guilty about missing holidays. But my lifestyle choice (travel/living abroad over settling down at home) is something that everyone in the family has trouble accepting.
I think sometimes it IS hard for families to understand if we would rather travel away on our own than spend time with them. But I believe the old expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” to be true sometimes. If I see my family too much, I just want to be left alone for awhile. If I haven’t seen them for awhile, I can’t wait to spend time with them. What’s really important is the quality of time we spend together, not the quantity.
Juno, I was born and raised as a Chinese Indonesian. My family still lives there… I know exactly what you mean 🙂 Traveling? Backpacking? What is that? Why would you want to do that? There isn’t even an Indonesian word to describe “extended travel”.
However, I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been living on my own since 16, 2000 miles away. So they’re slowly getting used to my un-Asian way. Hah.
yes .leaving someone does not means that i dont love him.i left my parents in childhood but that doesnt means i dont love him.but you have to understand the diffrence between loving and caring.caring and loving are two diffrent aspects.i love him and i care for him are two totally diffrent entities.i care about my gf but i dont love him anymore.
by the way ..nice post and nice pics