Getting Dad On Board to Go Abroad

Carly Baldwin
Majors: Health Education: Community
Education and Health Across China
Summer I, 2017

I have always enjoyed traveling.  My first time out of the country was when I was eleven and I went without my parents.  I went to Europe with my grandpa and while my mom was really excited, my dad was not.  This pattern has stayed true for every travel experience I have had.  My mom has always been proud and excited, but my dad loves to share all of his concerns every time.

As I stated before, I love to travel; so last summer (2016) when I had the opportunity to go to Ecuador for a study abroad trip, I accepted right away.  I was going for two months to receive seven Spanish credits while taking classes there.  When I told my mom I was going, she was very happy for me.  My dad, however, was weary about me going to a Third World country.  While my dad had the right to be nervous, I told him everything was going to be fine.  After my study abroad trip, I decided to travel to Peru on my own.  One day I was walking around and was stopped by someone who told me that my backpack was unzipped.  At that moment, I realized my mistakes and knew that my passport was gone.  Luckily, everything worked out way better than I could have ever imagined.  I had tons of help from my trip’s faculty member and another student, people I was staying with in Peru, and from my mom during my mad dash to get an emergency passport before my flight back to the United States.

When I landed in the USA, I did not tell my dad that I got my passport stolen until about a month later.  He was not pleased, to say the least.  Due to all of this happening, it was a bit nerve racking to tell my dad that I had been accepted into another study abroad program in China.  I decided to tell him around other people to soften the blow.  Yet again, he was not excited or happy.

It can be tough to have a parent that is not excited about the opportunities I have been presented with, but I can also see his side.  This will be my fourth time leaving the country without my parents, and I think my dad has realized that there is not much that can stop me from going.  Although my dad has never shown any excitement about my traveling, I know that he is just as supportive as my mom is.  I am extremely lucky to have parents that help me reach my goals even if it makes them a little uncomfortable.

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