On the Road

Young Travellers

Travel abroad for the young has now neatly been packaged into the idea of a GAP year. Between school and university it’s now accepted that people might want to see the world a bit and ‘find themselves’. Naturally, their parents are a bit anxious that their teenagers might turn into road junkies and so they’re normally sent off on some volunteering or adventure sports holiday. Preferably with a friend to keep them out of trouble. This all adds a bit of color to their resume and gives them a little time out before they return to tackle further education and apply themselves.

This perspective is very important for the young travel virgin to understand – it’s what your parents need to hear. Telling them that you have plans to roam around India for a year or so getting stoned with holy men in mountain caves, probably won’t go down so well. With a bunch of facial tattoos, ten thousand experiences under your belt and half the brain cells you started out with, the chances of you settling down to study business management grow dimmer by the chillum.

Thing is, no matter how desperate you are to get the hell out of your parent’s house and leave behind their patronizing interference with your life, never burn your bridges. In most cases they’re probably not total idiots and did a lot more for you in your life than you may be prepared to admit right now. It’s okay, there’s no hurry.

But you just might need their help some day.

When you find yourself robbed blind, in a Third World hospital with malaria or caught by the Colombian police with a bag of cocaine – it’s even money theirs will be the first number you call.

So make it as easy on them as you can. No one can stop you from doing what you want to do and no one should. You didn’t come into this life to make your folks happy. Your life is your own to live and getting on the road is about the best education out there. Just remember to send a postcard every month or so the first time you’re away or they just might order an international manhunt.