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It took a lot of convincing to get my parents’ permission to travel on my own. But once I did, I realised that travelling on my own was wonderful.
Travel- the best way to be lost and found at the same time. However, Indian parents don’t let their daughters travel, either alone or with friends.
Recently, before the lockdown began, I went on a trip with my friends. When we planned, it was just a carefree trip but it took a lot of effort to convince them to let me go.
There are a number of things you learn when you travel. It helps you understand the true meaning of life and become a better person. Every time you travel, you see the world with new eyes. And once you’re outside your parents’ safety net, you learn to be more responsible and to take your own decisions. Travelling helps you become more confident.
In our society, travelling is often looked at as a comment on a girl’s character. For me and a lot of my friends, it is unimaginable to even propose a trip, let alone a solo trip! You either don’t trust your daughter or you don’t think she’s mature enough. And you question her confidence and her self-esteem.
Parents wanting their daughters to be safe is fair. The world is not a pretty place for girls. And every parent, is obviously, concerned about their daughter’s safety. However, by not trusting her, you prove to her that she isn’t smart or capable enough to handle the situation.
At the same time, when it comes to her marriage, you expect her to take such a big decision of choosing her partner. Especially in arranged marriages, parents expect their daughter to choose a life partner within a few meets. And if she opts for a love marriage, you don’t trust that choice either.
We like to believe that we keep the birds safe when we don’t set them free. A lot of times, it is the same for the daughters too. Daughters need to be freed too. All our lives we have been told that if we keep travelling we will not be focused enough. But travelling helps us find our purpose and focus in life.
I still remember that time when I travelled with my friends for the first time. It was difficult to convince our parents. They flat out refused initially but we didn’t give up and finally managed to convince them.
However, there were conditions they put on us- ‘Call us every two hours,’ ‘We want numbers of everyone you’re going with.’ They even told us that if we didn’t come back safe or made mistakes, they wouldn’t us travel again. Though we agreed to all their conditions, we know they won’t allow us to travel like that again- not with friends but definitely not solo! All this thanks to the pressure from the society.
There is a quote by Jackson Brown Jr that I like a lot- ‘Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do rather than by the ones you did do.’
So with that quote in mind, let your daughter make their own decisions. Let them listen to their hearts and live their dreams. If they want to fly, let them fly free as a bird. And let your daughter consider you her friend and not her strict parent.
Picture credits: Pexels
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