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DS (17) wants to visit gf in Rio. WWYD?

(28 Posts)
IndridCold Tue 05-Jan-16 20:22:23

A year ago DS met a Brazilian girl, through a friend of his, since then they have kept in touch via Skype. They obviously get on well and he refers to her as his gf.

We met her in the summer, when she came to London with her family, but now they are hatching up a plan for him to go to Rio at Easter for a week. The plan is for him to stay with her family.

I am really not sure that this is a good idea, and don't want him to go, but I'm not sure if IABU. We live in the sticks, so he is not at all streetwise even in UK terms and Rio is not the safest city in the world.

Can you say you really know someone if most of your friendship has been on Skype, what if they fall out? Rio is so far away.

I have many other concerns too.

I know you have to let them grow up and become independent, but this seems such a massive step. I would welcome some sensible mumsnet opinions please! Am I being an over-protective cow, or a sensible to just say no?

shouldhepay Tue 05-Jan-16 20:25:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklingbrook Tue 05-Jan-16 20:25:30

Who would be funding this?

BoboChic Tue 05-Jan-16 20:27:45

I think I agree with others - your DS has both to assume full financial responsibility for his long distance relationship and to fulfill his responsibilities to school/exams. If he can do both, he can go to Rio!

WickedWax Tue 05-Jan-16 20:29:09

This would not be happening unless my DS was funding it himself. I would not be happy about this but if he was paying for it himself I guess I couldn't stop him.

SirChenjin Tue 05-Jan-16 20:32:38

Agree. Once he's come up with a plan re his exams, funding it, and solutions to all your other concerns then he can go to Rio. Bless his cotton socks grin

IndridCold Tue 05-Jan-16 20:43:59

We would definitely not be paying, but I think he probably has enough saved to cover it.

It's more the safety aspect. We don't know the gf's family (although I suspect they are fine, and live in a nice part of the city).

He has never travelled on his own before, what if something went wrong? Friends of ours have advised against it (wife is Brazilian). Dealing with police in Brazil is not like in Europe, and I've read that trouble is beginning to increase again because the economy is in such a mess.

Not sure about exams - I thought AS exams didn't exist any more, but there will probably be a school trip of some sort, which would be important.

woundbobbin Tue 05-Jan-16 20:45:06

I flew to Brazil at 16 and then every year for a decade or so after that. I was doing charity work as oppose to meeting a boyfriend but at 17 I spent a couple of days in Rio 'holidaying' with a friend. I learnt Portuguese which obviously helped. My parents paid my flights and my A-level results were what I needed to get me into uni. I used to go for at least 8 weeks - I remember my brother telling my parents they were irresponsible. Looking at some of the posts here maybe they were but I had some of the happiest times of my life working there and not only gained a second language but a shed load of life experience and perspective.

N3wYear2016 Tue 05-Jan-16 21:34:27

Rio Olympics 5 to 21 August 2016

Perhaps he can volunteer or get ticket to view sports

I would investigate some costs

Does he have part time job ?

If he goes ensure he has travel insurance before leaving

whois Tue 05-Jan-16 21:41:17

It would be a great adventure. Could you help him plan sensibly (insurance, what to do if thing a go wrong, safety etc) and wish him well?

N3wYear2016 Tue 05-Jan-16 22:17:00

If your son can stay with the GF family it surely would be a great opportunity to have a family show him the city

Perhaps in return GF could come to visit you in the future

GloriaHotcakes Tue 05-Jan-16 22:21:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CuntWagon Tue 05-Jan-16 22:35:02

I just come back from Rio. Didn't feel unsafe at any point, police everywhere due I assume to the build up to the Olympics. The favelas are very easy to spot!

IndridCold Tue 05-Jan-16 23:42:57

Well, consensus seems to be in favour so I may have to think more positively about it. He is a sensible boy, and I think his gf is sensible too (quite reserved, but switched on).

He is learning Portuguese so it would be good practice for him, unfortunately my only (second hand) experience of Rio is from friends who went for business, stayed on for a holiday and had to come home early after being mugged for the third time. Good to hear some less negative impressions!

cdtaylornats Wed 06-Jan-16 08:31:27

He is going to be with locals who presumably live there without being mugged every 5 minutes. It would be a great opportunity and if he can afford it and wants to go at 17 how could you stop him?

wannabestressfree Wed 06-Jan-16 08:39:06

It's worth remembering that Olympics will be on so flights will be very costly....

SuperCee7 Wed 06-Jan-16 10:39:12

Holidayers get mugged in every county. There vulnerable easy targets. If he's staying with a local family in a nice part of the city he should be fine.

SoWhite Wed 06-Jan-16 13:50:09

Fuck no. When he turns 18, and can pay for it himself, they he can crack on.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 06-Jan-16 13:56:55

Rio... To me it's not like Bogota or Mexico City or even Detroit

I think he should go. What a great life experience.

Skype with the girlfriend 's parents before you say yes though. And yes he pays!

QforCucumber Wed 06-Jan-16 14:07:20

at 17 i went on a girls holiday to Ibiza, it was drink, drug and everything else fuelled for a week.

Honestly, for my own child I think I'd much prefer a week or 2 in Rio staying with a family with the knowledge I could skype him every evening to see how it was going than them going on a similar one to the Ibiza holiday I had.

IpanemaChica Wed 06-Jan-16 14:25:07

If they can afford to travel to Europe, the family will live in a good area with security.

Rio can be dangerous but it's an amazing place. If he speaks Brazilian Portuguese that will help but he will have his gf to do the talking!

'Don't anything to the beach that you don't want to loose' was the advice I was given.

IndridCold Wed 06-Jan-16 15:42:33

Thanks again for all your replies, I do feel a bit more reassured. I've travelled quite a lot around Europe and India, but the idea of South America has always freaked me out a bit.

GF's family are obviously well off, and I'm sure they will be fine, but I don't know them and haven't met them. DS has (and presumably made a good impression).

With a properly arranged exchange there is some sort of backup if things go wrong (I'm thinking more in terms of a big falling out than anything more serious). There would be no one else there for him to turn to for help or advice.

I know that GF's mum is happy to Skype to discuss further, so maybe that's the next step.

Qfor grin. One's own youthful experiences are never very helpful reassuring, are they?

whois Wed 06-Jan-16 18:20:34

There would be no one else there for him to turn to for help or advice.

Yeah so if the worst case happened and they fell out and she didn't want him to stay there? Hopefully you speak to the parents first and they aren't the kind of people that would kick him out. But you could talk through what to do - i.e. call some hostels until you find one with a bed and get a pre-booked taxi there?

Defo make sure he has access to 'emergency funds'

Shirkingfromhome Wed 06-Jan-16 18:34:33

I'd let him go it's only a week. It's a fabulous opportunity and a great city. Your ds will be accompanied by his gf so he won't stick out too much as a gringo.

Why would a host family kick-out a teenager in any country hmm Skype them a few times and perhaps buy a flexi-return so he can return home quickly if it all goes tits up.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 06-Jan-16 18:50:21

This is a fantastic idea- a really good safe way to introduce him to independent travel.

I flew for the first time at 11 and I love flying on my own now.

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