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Lingvistov Discussion Club: Long-Term Travel Plans

How Should I Tell my Family About my Long-Term Travel Plans?
 
Dear Rolf,
 
I’m 18, I’ve graduated high school, and I’m interested in traveling for at least a year while I’m young—probably after two or four years of college. The problem is that my family has very mainstream expectations — start a career after college, get married, and start a family. I know I have to follow my travel dreams, but I still want the support of my family. How can I intelligently inform them, and calmly reason with them, about my plans for life, and about the one thing I look forward to the most for my future?
—Megan
 
Dear Megan,
 
LONG-TERM-TRAVELYour concern with how your family will receive your travel plans is a very common one. And while all families are different, I can give you some general advice.
For starters, most parents are more open to the idea of long-term travel than you might think. They might be concerned about safety, and they might be concerned that you’ll party too much—but at heart they’ll probably understand because they’d probably love to travel too.
So I’d start getting them used to the idea immediately. The fact that you have plans to go to college is helpful, since it will show to them that you are serious about “normal” pursuits, even as you plan your long-term travels.
You don’t even need to tell them everything at once. Just tell them you’re considering taking off a year to travel after college. Maybe at first tell them you’re thinking about study abroad, or maybe a long-term journey to a part of the world that fascinates you. Make them understand that this is a sincere intellectual and spiritual interest for you, and that you plan on taking it seriously. You might even look for some blogs or stories about other young female travelers who’ve gone out and had amazing experiences (parents always like examples of other people who are doing it). You can truthfully tell them that thousands of people do this every year and then come home to lead “normal” lives that have been made more amazing by the travel experience. 
Again, I don’t know your family, but if they are like most families they will respect your decision if you let them know your desires early, give them time to get used to it, and be confident and constructive in telling them about your desires. By the time you finish college they’ll be used to the idea.

*  *  *
 
Go for it Megan!  You will be married with a mortgage and two kids before you know it.  Take advantage of the lack of responsibilities of youth to pursue dreams that most easily can be fulfilled then.  We most regret what we don’t do. 
I would keep talking about my dream with my family and over time demonstrate that you have definite plans to do so.  That way your family can get used to the idea, and overcome some of the fears they have for their daughter. 
 
*  *  *
 
Whether or not you have the support of your family do it. You can only live for YOU in this life. As long as you are responsible your family hopefully will come around. That means planning extensively with facts and figures and then sharing those details with your family.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. Go enjoy and see the world.
 
*  *  *

Megan-do it. Please please do it. I didn’t do it and now I’m 30, married and it’s my single biggest all-consuming regret in life. I didn’t do it because I felt so much pressure from my parents to be “normal” i.e. - get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. Your parents will be fine-you will be fine.
 
*  *  *
long-term travel/ journey – долгосрочное путешествие (поездка)
to be concerned about something – быть чем-то обеспокоенным
to take off a year to travel – взять административный отпуск для путешествия
a long-term journey to a part of the world that fascinates you – долгосрочное путешествие в ту часть света, которая тебя зачаровывает
female travelers – девушки-путешественницы
to respect one’s decisions – уважать чьи-то решения
to take advantage of smth – воспользоваться случаем, преимуществом
 
Discussion points
  1. Do you think that young people should travel after school if they have this possibility? What are the common problems they face?
  2. If you had the chance to travel abroad what country would you choose?
  3. Why are parents afraid of such long-term traveling? What can happen with young people when they are in a foreign country? 

Assignments
 
I. Find English equivalents in the text.
закончить школу; начать карьеру; завести семью; предвкушать что-то; искренний интеллектуальный и духовный интерес; получить поразительный опыт; уважать чье-то решение; подходить к какому-либо вопросу уверенно и творчески (конструктивно); отсутствие обязательств в молодости; следовать за мечтой; преодолеть некоторые страхи; чувствовать давление со стороны родителей.
 
II. Study the following phrases; recall the sentences in which they are used and use them in sentences of your own.
to be interested in traveling; to have (very) mainstream expectations; to receive one’s plans; to be open to the idea; to be concerned about smth; to take off a year to travel; a long-term journey to a part of the world that fascinates you; to take advantage of smth.
 
III. Fill in the blanks with suitable words and word combinations from the story.
  1. I’ve graduated high school, and I’m interested ___________ for at least a year while I’m young.
  2. Your parents will probably understand you ___________ because they’d probably love to travel too.
  3. They might be concerned about ___________, and they might be concerned that you will ___________ too much.
  4. I didn’t do it and now I’m 30, married and it’s my ___________ in life.
 
IV. Translate the following sentences.
  1. Я понимаю, что долгосрочное путешествие в Японию является для тебя искренним интеллектуальным и духовным интересом, но я очень беспокоюсь о твоей безопасности.
  2. Мне нужно время, чтобы свыкнуться с мыслью о долгосрочном путешествии.
  3. Мы жалеем о том, чего не сделали. Дерзай, Джон. Поезжай в ту часть света, которая так сильно тебя пленит.
  4. Я чувствую давление со стороны родителей. Кажется, что они совсем не уважают моего решения. 

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