“I Want to Travel Around the World” – How to Tell Your Friends & Family About Your RTW Trip

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In some countries/cultures/societies, traveling around the world is seen as something that’s reckless, expensive and potentially damaging to your career and future life in general (because you’ll be seen as ‘wasting time’ when you should be working/studying).

Obviously most people will also be able to appreciate the benefits of such a trip, but a lot of people still seem to have the attitude that unless you’ve ‘made it’ (i.e. got to the point where you’re financially independent and free from the daily grind) you shouldn’t be going traveling, and that it would be irresponsible to do so.

Thankfully that stance is slowly changing as the world becomes smaller and more accessible, and as traveling begins to be seen as something for everyone and not just the ultra-rich, but there’s still a long way to go.

Telling FriendsSo how do you tell your friends and family “I want to travel around the world”? You’ll naturally want their full support – and most good friends and family members will be pleased for you, but it’s natural too want such a monumental conversation (when you tell them) to go well.

Hopefully this guide should give you some good advice and tips on how to break the news, and how to manage their various responses (especially the negative ones).

Preparing for the Announcement

As with most things, it’s key to get the timing right. You’ll want to wait for a time when you’re together and when everyone’s in a good mood and in an environment where you can talk about such matters (i.e. not in the middle of a film at the cinema!).

It’s a good idea to think of all of the positives of taking such a trip, and thinking about which ones would appeal to which people. Then, when you’re explaining it all to them you can give them a list of positives about taking a RTW trip that will interest them and that they will agree with (creating ‘selling points’, if you will).

Before you tell anyone, you should also have looked extensively into round-the-world travel, and thought about the kind of trip you want to take and where you want to go. Do as much planning as possible (without booking anything).

Why? Having a plan before you tell your friends and family will prove to them you’re serious. Showing them how well prepared you are and that you’ve thought everything through (and that this isn’t a ‘spur of the moment’ decision) will reassure them that you know what you’re doing and that you’ll be safe.

Telling Your Family

Declaring to your family that you want to travel around the world (especially if you’re young and you’ve never done anything like that before) can be a nervous experience, as you’re never quite sure how they’re going to react.

Telling your familyIf your parents have traveled a lot, you probably won’t have any problems with them, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

Most parents have a mixed reaction to you breaking the news. They’ll be excited for you, but they’ll also be worried for your safety and well-being. It’s natural for parents to worry (because they care so much), so be ready to reassure them to how you’re going to stay safe and show them how well prepared you are and how much research you’ve done.

Tell them that you’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and that it’s something you really want to do. Explain to them how you’ll keep in touch (by email or by phone) and how you expect to finance your trip.

Parents will also feel a lot better if they know you’ll be traveling with a few close (and responsible) friends as opposed to going solo.

Telling Your Friends

You don’t have to tell them all at once, but make sure you tell the ‘most important’ ones first (or they may be annoyed with you if they find out from someone else).

Telling your friends “I want to travel around the world” is a lot easier than telling your family, as they aren’t going to have the same concerns that your parents and close family will. Sure, they’ll be worried for your safety, but they’ll be more concerned about losing their friend for months on end.

Most (good) friends will be pleased for you when you tell them, and will often tell you how jealous they are, and how they’d love to do that someday.

Dealing with Negative Reactions

Whenever you announce such a major decision to your friends and family, it’s likely that some people won’t be on board with the idea (for whatever reasons).

Dissaproving LookThey may think you’re running away from your problems, they may not understand why people go traveling, or they might just not think that it’s a good idea.

While you’ll have to accept that they may not understand your decision, you’ll undoubtedly want them on board (eventually) if possible. Remember that their feelings and opinions are their own, and ‘wrong’ –they’re just different to yours because they see the world in a different way.

Lastly, some friends will be worried that they’re going to lose you as their friend, as they feel that in going off and experiencing the world (while they’re stuck at home) you’ll come back a changed person and won’t want to hang out with them anymore.

Dealing with People Who Don’t Understand

Some people have a very specific way of how life should be lived, and won’t agree with your decision to go off traveling the world. For example, some people live by the idea of ‘go to school, go to college, study hard, graduate, get a good job, buy a house, get married, have kids, retire’, and clearly ‘going traveling’ isn’t something in this plan.

The best way to ‘win people over’ is to tell them WHY you want to go on a RTW trip (and be honest), and try to put it to them in a way they can relate to.

Sometimes you just need to ‘plant the seed’ and let them come around to the idea that what you’re doing isn’t terrible.
The important thing here is just not to stress out too much, and to not get into a huge argument and say things you’ll later regret.

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  1. How to Save Money for Your Round the World Trip
  2. Budgeting for Your Trip – How Much Does it Cost to Travel the World?

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