Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Would you allow it??

This morn. on the way to work, me and the hubby were talking about the differences between girls and guys traveling by themselves or, actually, with another friend. Which is safer and would we allow such from our own daughter or son.

First, let me give you a little background. My boss' daughter and a friend of hers - they're both in their early 20s - will be traveling/backpacking through Greece in July - next month. Just the two of them.

So, this morn. I was thinking about it and asked my husband if he'd allow our daughter, when and if we have one, to travel/backpack w/ a girlfriend through Greece or Europe. He immediately said no. Then I asked him if it was a boy would he allow it. He laughed a little and said yes. This is when I took the offensive and said it wasn't fair because boys can get into even more trouble than girls. Which is true, I think, w/ some guys.

He then started explaining how dangerous it is for girls to travel and that boys are probably less likely to be hassled or pick-pocketed or even worse - raped. I agreed. And then he reminded me of that girl, Natalee Holloway (an American), who went to Aruba w/ her graduating class and came up missing. They have yet to find her. She apparently met some guys there and left w/ them late one night after partying at a club and that's the last anyone saw of her.

Her mother has been to Aruba many times, the case is still being investigated (and this happened over a year ago), no one has been charged - altho they have suspects - but the thing is, they can't find the body. They have video footage of her talking to a few guys, but no one can give any details. One of the guys is the son of a diplomat and they highly suspected him in the beginning - not sure if they still do, but he swears he had nothing to do w/ it. He said, as well as a few of his friends, that they all went to the beach and she insisted that they leave her there. A few other guys stated that they took her back to her hotel and dropped her off, but there's no evidence supporting this.

Did she get swallowed into the sex trade? Which from various news programs I've watched, this is something that happens more than ppl would like to think or was she murdered?! They've had psyhics on the case and, if I'm not mistaken, they have said they believe she's dead.... I think.

Anyway, I found that - even though I didn't want to in the beginning - that I agreed w/ my husband. I think that I would feel better if a daughter were traveling w/ several girls, instead of just one, but even then I think I'd still worry a lot and probably not allow it. I hate to say that because you wan't to show your child love and trust, but how far does that go? In the States, you're pretty much an adult by the age of 18... you can vote and make your own decisions, move out on your own, join the military, start working, go off to college, and so on. In this part of the world, it's different - for girls especially.

I graduated when I was 17 yrs old. I got my own apt., started working full-time at what used to be Republic Bank and started going to college. I didn't have a car and took the bus everywhere. I had a little efficiency apt., I put in a security alarm on the windows cuz I lived on the first floor, and even got myself a gun - if you can believe it. It was a small gun but when I think back on it, I can't believe I had it. I used to have nightmares about using that gun, but I never had to - thank God. All I knew is that I didn't want to live w/ my older brother - he was a nightmare - so living by myself was the best thing for me. Here, in this part of the world, you don't find girls out on their own.... it's just not done.

In the past, I would have probably been all up in arms against my husband and argued about why he wouldn't allow such an adventure for a daugther, but now.... I see his point. I'm sorta surprised that my boss is allowing this BUT the more I think about it, there's also something else that sticks out in my mind that many may disagree with and that is ..... I think Arab girls can travel more easily through Europe than others. For one, many are fluent in a variety of languages which makes traveling easier and two, these girls tend to be of a different caliber and it shows... or maybe I'm just an outsider looking in and I see things differently.... but this is the way it seems to me in a lot of cases. Now, I'm not talking about all Arab girls - because not all are like this - but a large majority are. They seem to have a thickness of skin that many Western girls don't have, and they're raised differently and have different values... and that makes a world of difference when traveling or even being out on your own. They're not out there meeting up w/ all the single guys, partying til the wee hours of the morning and drinking or drugging like many in other parts of the world.

I don't know... I go back and forth with this... and wonder how I'd be if it happened to me. I know that I didn't have the chance to travel through Europe in my 20's but I always wanted to. I know I wouldn't have been stupid or careless if I had, but would that matter? A girl that I used to work with backpacked through Europe w/ her boyfriend and they didn't have any trouble. They stayed at hostels and loved every minute of it. I've traveled w/ girlfriends and have never had a problem, but it was always several girls, not just one. Nowadays, I think it's more dangerous... for some.


TechZ said...

I'd have to agree with your husband, a guy would be safer off with or without friends on such a trip, as compared to a girl. Going in groups is basically the safest way to do it, watch each others back and remember you're not alone.

Puppy said...

I would say its all depends on person. If I would have a daughter and I would be sure in her ability to value risks in certain/all environments, surely I will let her go on her own or with a friend.

When I first left to work/live in another city (Moscow) I was 20 yrs old and 3months. It was 1 year secondment from the company I worked for.

It was first time I left my parents house for such a long period. And you know, Moscow it’s a big city, with all their pluses and minuses. I am Caucasian looking, I mean dark hair, which generally Russians doesn’t like that much, due to their conflict in Chechnya.

I was working there on my own, learnt how to cook, going to big open markets which are far from center (since it was cheaper there, and I was living on my own salary without taking any finance from home). I didn’t know anyone in Moscow, but time after time I started to know people I worked with, with some of them now we are GREAT FRIENDS I could be involved in bad company, I don’t know anything could happen, drugs, alcohol, Moscow is full of it. But nothing happened, since “I was having a head on my shoulders’ and using my brains. And since that time traveling with one of my female friends, is not an issue for my parents. Even if we go travel with bunch of girls, regardless I am not an older one, I am the one who controls and risk assessing of environment, may be because I am the one who always sober :)

Well comment is getting long, as an answer if I will have a daughter like me I would let her go anywhere with whom she wanted :) Sounds like self advertisement, sorry.


mae mae said...

i agree with the hubby. i wouldn't wanna travel anywhere like that with just a friend and definitely not by myself, but i'm a big scaredy cat nowadays, lol. i could fathom (sp?) traveling with just my mom, but that's different cause she's older, wiser, and more experienced in the world. i'd be lost on a vacation by myself. completely lost.

Olivia said...

I have traveled alone between destinations, but usually to meet up with friends or family.

I don't think I would ever be harrassed, and I certainly never go for or attract doubtful company, but I would stil not go on holiday alone.

It is essential for me to share my experiences with a companion - funny, that, because I am an only child who enjoys solitude, but not during memorable experiences. Also funny that my Japanese friend who invites me all over Europe is an only child, and if I don't join her, she will travel alone. I see something dry and unenjoyable in that, but she is much more insular and reserved than I am.

If I comment on guys vs girls and getting into trouble, I will create a whole new post so I will leave that can of worms alone.

Sabra said...

Tooners - At least someone in that household made some sense... The answer should be a flat out NO! Trust me, Dear, one day when you have a 17, 18 or 20 year old daughter and she asks you, "Mom, can I go back pack around Europe this summer with my best friend?" You won't even hesitate - you'll immediately say, "Over my dead body!" I think it's wonderful that your boss's daughter and a friend are going to do this - there are probably still a few places where it would be perfectly safe - we picked up a female hitchiker in Innsbruk a couple years ago - she'd been hiking and just couldn't hike anymore to her car - how did she know it was safe to get in the car with us??? Nope, sorry. Just can't be too trusting these days. Good for Hubby for saying no. And, like I said, you will too, later down the road...

Anonymous said...

"One of the guys is the son of a diplomat"

A minor legal official actually.