Pursuing a life of travel and location independence is exciting.
But what is often overlooked and outshined by the glossy images of Instagram are the consequences that it has on those around us.
In my journey of pursuing my dreams, I’ve disappointed more than a few people, particularly my parents.
For as long as I can remember, my need for travel and exploration has always been a source of conflict between my parents and me.
I was always a bit too independent, too curious, too “head in the clouds” for them.
Even when I was a kid, I would go to my friend’s homes, lose track of time, forget to call them, and go home to a FUMING father.
One time, when I was five, I fell asleep on our couch underneath a pile of laundry, and my parents FREAKED out because they thought I was missing.
Apparently, they searched the entire neighborhood for me before realizing I was home all along.
I guess you can say I scared them a little bit.
Unfortunately for my parents, my appetite for independence and adventure only grew bigger as I got older,
I remember the first time I told them I wanted to go study abroad in Tanzania, they were shocked and didn’t take it well.
“Why?” they asked me. “What’s wrong with just studying in school?”
“Nothing,” I said. “I just want to go see the world.”
“But why there?”
And honestly, it didn’t really matter where I was going because they always had some kind of objection.
They had the same reaction when I told them I was going to Kenya, Thailand, Cambodia, California… it didn’t really matter if I was going halfway across the world or to the next town.
But all of this taught me something really important:
you can’t let other people’s fears rule your life.
As selfish as that sounds, you cannot stop doing the things you love in order to make other people happy.
Because you’ll be miserable and other people will only be getting half of you.
If I stop traveling tomorrow, my parent’s will only be getting half a daughter and my friends will only be getting half a friend.
And I don’t want to be half of anything nor want half of anyone.
When I first moved back home last year, my parents breathed a sigh of relief.
They said, “Oh good! She’s finally done with her “traveling phase” and now she’s home for good.”
But little do they know, I actually have bigger plans in store.
And I’m terrified to tell them.
I’m terrified of disappointing them again.
Disappointment is not an easy look to forget on your parents’ faces.
It breaks my heart to know what I love doing breaks their hearts.
I don’t have a solution and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do except be myself.
But for now, all I can do is treasure every moment I have with them.