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Bad Idea - Planning Travel w/Ignorant Friend (long vent)

Bad Idea - Planning Travel w/Ignorant Friend (long vent)

Old Nov 21st, 2005, 05:45 PM
  #41  
 
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mcnyc-I think it is definitely good that you are not traveling with this person as it really appears that the two of you would not be the least bit compatible. I do think you were more than a little harsh with her when you cancelled the trip when all you had to do was just say that your plans had changed. I am not surprised she was sobbing.

That said, I can understand how frustrated you must have felt. Through my own experience, I know what it's like to just have someone tag along. In summer of 2004, my best friend since high school, went to Europe with my younger DD and myself where we meet up with my older DD. I planned the whole trip, asked her to let me know what she was interested in but she never did. However, she had never done much traveling and really wanted to go. We don't have the same tastes in restaurants and she hates to shop. But she was a good sport and even endured the shopping without much complaint although the rest of us could tell she was bored and not too happy. When we got home, I wasn't sure I would travel again with her but she had a wonderful time.

The good from this (and the point of my story) is that she learned a lot on our trip. She realized she could go off on her own for a few hours and she learned how important research and planning is. This summer, she and her husband and younger son met her older son in Italy and then went to France. I can guarantee you she would have never done that trip if she hadn't tagged along with me last summer.

Some people can read all the books and watch all the travel shows but don't know the first thing about plannig a trip. Because my friend and I have been so close over the years, I was willing to deal with her personality and she was willing to work with mine (they all laugh at my compulsive, obsessive planning). It is possible your "friend" would have learned immensely from traveling with you but it's good you didn't take the chance.



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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 06:49 PM
  #42  
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I did consider telling her a white lie, that my plans had changed, but then how would I explain my absence to her? And I won't ask others to lie for me while I'm away. That's just wrong. Of course in hindsight, I felt what I said to be harsh although it was the truth. (she cried after I told her I wasn't going. didn't even let me finish my sentence. i explained over her sobs.)

I've been thinking about what I said to her all day, and while it relieved me of her haphazard bookings, it didn't relieve me of my guilt. She is my friend, and an otherwise good friend. Although my action was very unfriendly, it would have been more unfriendly coming back from the trip.

A friend of mine did travel with her once. That friend is no longer her friend b/c of a similar situation (friend thought it would get better when they got to Vegas, it wasn't). Not wanting the same result it was either sucking it up and not being friends afterwards, or having a hurt friend and hopefully helping a friend realize why no one would travel with her (her main complaint).

I think if she didn't make the comments she made and be so serious about them, I would have gone through with the trip. She even admitted my choices bored her, but while I encouraged her to choose something that interested her, she chose to do nothing but make comments on my choices. It's hard to be followed around like that. At least for me it is.

I'm not saying if you don't plan, don't travel w/me. At least have an open mind for adventure. Don't put my ideas down if you don't like them, contribute.

Today was not a good day for me. Can't wait for it to be over.
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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 07:47 PM
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mcnyc-Sorry you had such a bad day. I know it is never easy to tell a friend the truth. I wasn't suggesting that you lie but you maybe could have tempered the truth a little. However, since she was sobbing from the beginning, it probably didn't make much difference!! Based on what happened with the other friend that traveled with her, it is good that you called off the trip. It is a little crazy, too, that she wouldn't do any research but was making hotel and flight arrangements without consulting you.

I think the difference between your friend and my friend that went to Europe with me, is that my friend didn't complain. She did realize after the fact that she could have gone to a museum while the rest of us went shopping. She admitted that she had been afraid to go off by herself. But after traveling with my family, she saw that it was pretty easy to get around. I know she gained confidence about traveling just by going on that first trip to Europe. I was still frustrated by some of her actions but could deal with them because she was a good sport and went along with the program. I don't think your friend would have done this so despite how bad you feel, you made the right choice.
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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 08:10 PM
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mcnyc, maybe you can still fix it. Maybe you can just tell her that you know yourself and it was starting to look like the trip wasnt' going to work. And that you value her friendship more than a silly old trip, which is why you felt it would be best to not travel together because you prefer to be her friend. And, maybe you can tell her how bad you've felt since you last talked to her, but you really wanted to be honest with her...as a friend.

I dunno, that's just my 2 cents. I know I would be annoyed just as you described, but I also have a conscience and would be as mortified as you are to have hurt another person's feelings. Still, you did the right thing. You did! Make it up to her, let it pass. Then take that trip when you can.
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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Personally I would not want to travel with either one of you. You don't have to lie to a friend but you don't have to bash her over the head either. If this is your idea of friendship I would hate to see how you treat your enemies.

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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 08:52 PM
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I think this is all made up.
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Old Nov 21st, 2005, 09:18 PM
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I do too but I am having a wonderful life so I don't let it bother me. I have a bowl full of chocolate mints and I am wearing my tiara.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Say what you will, it's not made up. I wouldn't dare make this stuff up!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:54 AM
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It sounds like you don't want to fire this person as a friend, just as a travel partner - and on this particular trip.

But giving bad news is never easy, because basically what you're saying on one level is, 'you suck as a travel partner.' All I know is that people are vastly more motivated to take feedback well when they feel they have a future with the other person, and if they stand to benefit in some way.

Somehow what you've got to get through isn't a laundry list of all the reasons why you feel she isn't suitable as a travel partner on this particular trip, so much as all the reasons why she's a good friend and why you don't want to jeopardize that friendship with a trip together. You say she's a good friend in other respects, so this is where you can honestly give her some praise, to cushion the blow of rejection. Emphasize the benefit of the split - that this is her chance to explore ways of travelling that don't rely on having friends go along with her. Many people - even on this board - find tours very rewarding, because of the people they can meet even when travelling solo.

Above all, avoid reiterating that somehow she would have 'passed' the exam if she'd done this or that. Instead, emphasize your share of the responsibility for what went wrong - not hers. (For example, you admit that you agreed to this thing too hastily, and that you also recognized too late the level of responsibility involved in managing a trip with an inexperienced person.)
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Sue, what a great response!!!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:21 PM
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After reading this post and Barb's "Divas" posts, I think that we should ask for "Fodorite Credentials" from any all all persons who ask to travel with us.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:28 PM
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Sue, is right on!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:12 PM
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Thanks Sue_xx_yy and all who provided helpful guidance. Yes, I NOW see how I could have handled it better. Sigh. Too late now.

Sorry to those who felt I was making this stuff up. It offended me tremendously to be accused of that and being a snobby traveler, of which I am neither. To those people I say remember to eat your words when you plan travel w/someone who's incompatible w/your travel ideals, whatever they may be.

I guess I invited these kinds of comments by posting here so I deserve what I got. Apparently for some, open mind=snob. Sad.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:07 PM
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mcnyc, I've been reading your thread here and I do hope you continue to post, travel, vent, whatever. I think most of us here support you and feel that you were not out of line to feel the way you did.....gawd, your thread gave me some flashbacks of my own experience! (Although Barb gets extra sainthood points for actually having gone through it, I think. ha ha!) Don't mind the critics, they're just plain mean.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:16 PM
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Please!!! continue posting , we have , at least, some of us, had that same experience.Some don't want to mention it because persons involved are here,
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:37 PM
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Oh ,yes, continue posting!
Most of us, would be long gone if we let the negative posters get to us.
Your experience is a good lesson to us all, very helpful and some good responses, which is what Travel Talk should be about- how to cope with all aspects of Travel..
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:45 PM
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Yes, please let us hear more about your other interesting friends.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 09:21 PM
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so now I am mean? Read what she wrote on 11/21 at 6:06pm and then picture your own friend talking to you like that. If she did say that to her supposed friend she was mean. I stand by my comment and this thread is depressing so I won't read any more of it.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 06:55 AM
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Hi all, thanks for your kind words. I think what upsets me most is how sad she is & my guilt at being mean to her. Frustration did the talking, not the friend I was supposed to be.

Anyway, lesson learned. I'll be careful w/friends I've never traveled w/before. I can buy a trip anytime, can't buy a friend and the memories that go w/it.

And let's let this post die unless someone has something helpful to add. Thanks.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 11:24 AM
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Oh, piffle, it's never too late until one of you is pushing up daisies. You're anxious about her disappointment, I can see that, but as unpleasant as it is to see a friend disappointed and sad, it makes for a terribly awkward friendship if the two of you act like she doesn't have the inner resources to deal with life's blows. She does have them, she's just forgotten the fact, and you can encourage her to remember. It's step one of maybe making it possible to travel together some day, because as you know, lots of disappointing things can happen on trips. So, let her know you'll be ready to help her plan that tour when she's ready to forgive you for handling things less than eloquently.

You don't have to have some kind of Hollywood-perfect friendship. A ratty old one full of mistakes and holes can do quite well, so stop sweating it!
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