How to deal with un-supportive family and friends when moving abroad

When I started blogging people wondered why I bitched about a country I willingly moved to and why I wasn’t moving back home if it was that bad?

Sometimes your friends and family, the people you want most to be supportive of your stay abroad , aren’t as enthusiastic as you’d like them to be. They  don’t always check on you and at some point it get’s embarrassing to keep checking on them.

 

You should never ask this to a Diasporian…

 

But it still sucks when your support system is so un-supportive. So below are some common criticisms future travelers hear and examples of how I’ve turned similar criticism around when I’ve been faced with it myself:

White people are racist avoid their countries – Yes, racism does exist but not everyone is racist. Just focus on your dreams and ignore the rest.

You are just running away.” People seem to assume that if you are traveling long-term, you are running away from something When people say this to me, I tell them that yes, I am running away — from their version of life and to my version of life. Remind people that what they do in their life may make them happy, but that you have different goals — and this trip is what makes you happy right now. Most people will admit you have a point and drop the subject because, at the end of the day, we all want our friends to realize their dreams and be happy. True friends will let you go after yours and be supportive along the way.

While I was away…..

I wish I could do that. It must be nice to not have any responsibility/This is jealousy, pure and simple. There’s nothing special about me and my decision.

It’s unsafe to live abroad. I typically respond to anyone who offers this argument by asking them why they believe this, and they will usually begin to spout stories they “learned” from the news about people who traveled alone and ended up in a bad situation. They might rattle off worst-case scenarios: “you could get sick, injured, robbed, or worse, and no one would be around to help.”

“It’s really unsafe to travel alone if you are a woman.” Reports of women getting hurt or killed overseas are always played up by the media. “The world is scary. Don’t go out there alone. Evil men lurk behind bushes.” No more so than where you live right now. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a list of solo female travel bloggers who can help dispel that myth for you:

 

2 thoughts on “How to deal with un-supportive family and friends when moving abroad

  1. Well, Well, Cate – people who are afraid of life will for course warn you off whatever initiative you take, whatever adventure or new thing you try. On the other hand, naturally, it is a good thing to talk and discuss with people who accept your drive for life – to discuss how to handle the dangers and difficulties that may come your way, but that’s another thing isn’t it!

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