I’m going to assume that not everyone who tells their family and friends they are quitting their jobs to travel the world at the age 30 is met with the same reaction as we were. I imagine a lot of people would be criticized for reasons including throwing away a career, wasting a ton of money, or plain old just being stupid. Not only did we not encounter any negativity, in fact, we were met with support and praise from every angle.
It can be tough for parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends, colleagues and beyond to understand your thinking. The key word here is your. It is your thinking and your decision and no one else’s, and not everyone will understand, respect or be thrilled with your decision, and that is okay. I believe if you see the reasons to do something, travel related or not, you cannot let outside forces including opinions of loved ones to deter you. You, of course, should factor in and listen to the opinions of your loved ones, but that doesn’t mean you cannot choose your own path and take your life in the direction you want it to go.
Lucky for myself, I have a large extended family who is well traveled. They also are a fun, crazy, perhaps a little overwhelming to an outsider, but most importantly, a very close-knit understanding group. Every member of my entire family has fully supported my decision, and they are beyond excited for me and proud of me. This fact means more to me than I think they even realize, as it provides me reassurance when the occasional doubt pops into my head. I’m not going to pretend that doubts don’t creep in from time to time, so it’s comforting knowing that not one person who is important in my life has told me I am making a bad decision.
Our group of friends have been just as supportive, and are genuinely excited for our upcoming journey. Some have even talked about meeting us somewhere along the way. I have not told any colleagues yet, and don’t have any plans to until July, however this is where I feel I will be met with my first resistance. A lot of my colleagues really don’t know the personal side of me, and many are at different stages of their lives than me. I feel that I will get a lot of the typical questions and crazy looks, but who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised by some more support.
The bottom line is that the importance of the support from the people who mean the most to us in our lives cannot be overstated. I can’t imagine how different and more difficult this process would be if my parents were against my decision…How much tension would be in our relationship, and how my doubts would be louder. If you have the support of loved ones, whether it be in travel, relationships, business, or anything for that matter, you definitely have more confidence and things as a whole run more smoothly, no matter what aspect or avenue of life. And if all else fails, know that there is a large, strong and broad community of travelers, travel bloggers, couchsurfers, vagabonders, thrill seekers, and people of all likes, colors and creeds that do and will support you in your travel related endeavors. Cheers to all of you!