Parents sometimes just don’t understand why we do what we do, why we fly to distant countries and volunteer our time for free. If this sounds all too familiar to you, then you should read on Oliver Adams from Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru (HOOP) and his new article about pestering parents and how to get your family on-board with your travel plans!
Table of Contents
1. “Avoid dangerous places!”
With the constant barrage of bad news, it’s no wonder that parents aren’t completely sold on the idea of their child going off to somewhere they could be in danger. But you can reassure them that virtually all travelers safely navigate the country you will be traveling in. Testimonials and reviews will also play an important part.
Home government websites have advice on how to travel safely within your country of choice, you should, of course, take all the necessary precautions. Your first way of reassuring them is by getting all your vaccinations and the best travel insurance possible!
2. “Your money would be better spent elsewhere!”
Parents spend a lot of money, time and love raising you and ensuring you do what’s best for your future. So it’s understandable that the idea of volunteering away from home could worry them. However you can reassure them of two things. Firstly, it is very possible to find volunteer programs with low or no costs at all. Secondly, it is an investment into your personal development which will see you come back as an even more amazing person! Oh and lastly, your parents will have many opportunities to brag to their friends about what you are getting up to.
3. “Now is the time to focus on your career!”
“What next?” The question we have all thought of after school or university. Parents may think now is the time to get your head down and step up onto the first wrung of the career ladder. They might not agree (at first) that volunteering abroad is a valuable time for you to think about your future and meet amazing people who will help you decide what you would eventually like to do! If you already know what you want to do, volunteering in a related area is a great way of gaining experience.
Make sure your parents understand that it will be an important opportunity leading to personal fulfillment.
4. “Some of these NGO’s are simply cowboys!”
Some parents may be of the mind-set that NGOs are just happy to take the money of slightly naive tourists. To put their minds at ease, show them that you have thoroughly checked out the NGO and you know exactly where their money is going.
5. “You will fall in love and never come back!”
..okay so this one may actually happen! There is always the chance of you finding the love of your life. But you can reassure your parents that there is zero chance of this happening. Although if it does, you will always be able to stay in contact and they will have an excuse to come and see you for a holiday wherever you end up!
Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru (HOOP) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization located in Arequipa, Peru. HOOP is not affiliated to any religious or political ideals. We work with the impoverished people in the Flora Tristan community. Flora Tristan is a shanty town located on the outskirts of Arequipa composed of haphazardly constructed shacks with a lack of basic services, such as electricity or running water.If you’re interested in volunteering with HOOP in Arequipa, Peru, just get in touch!