I have officially had “the conversation” that I’ve heard other people talk about having. You know, the one where you tell your mom that you’re quitting your job, selling all of your stuff, and leaving everything you know behind to travel the world. Only mine was a little different, since my mom has known that these were my intentions for the past 3 years or so, and has overall been very supportive. It all started with a pair of running shorts.
Me: “I had to return the running shorts that you got me, they pilled in the crotch. They didn’t have any more in stock, so I just got a store credit”
Mom: “You should get a pair of sweatpants, they would be great for your trip”
Me: “ummm, why would I need sweatpants for the trip?”
Mom: “Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in airports and hotels on your vacation, and those places usually keep the air conditioning really cold”
Then it hit me. Even though my mom knew about the trip, and I had explained that we are taking very little and not staying in the nicest places, she didn’t get it. After talking for awhile, it became clear that she was thinking of the trip as a year long series of vacations back to back to back. You know, go to a country and vacation for awhile, fly to the next, and so on. When I explained that we would be doing most of our travel overland in busses or trains, it promped some questions.
Mom: “You’re at least going to stay in decent hotels though, right?”
Me: “Not exactly.” I then explained the basics of hostels and couch surfing.
Mom: “Oh. My. God. Please be careful! There won’t be strangers in the same room with you, right? I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I’m going to be worried sick! Now I understand why you need all of those crazy travel shots. Please make sure you get all of your shots. I don’t want you coming down with some crazy disease. Oh my god. I am getting a migraine. Does your dad know about this? I am exhausted. I need to lay down. Oh my god. When you said you weren’t staying in nice places, I was thinking maybe the Red Roof Inn instead of the Hilton. I had no idea. Oh. My. God. I will have to call you back.”
I did my best to paint the trip into a positive light and explain it a little more, but she was already beyond freaking out. I sent her a preview for the movie A Map for Saturday and told her to watch it. She ended up calling me back after she saw it and once she had time to calm down. Now she’s starting to understand the trip and why it is so important to me, and is still supportive. Nonetheless, it was an interesting conversation. The kind that up until this point, I had only read about.