Travel Guilt

Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 06:05 AM
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Travel Guilt

I have a little problem in my life and was wondering if any of you have the same problem and what do you do about it? So here goes:

I have 23 days holiday a year. To all my North American friends, that sounds like a lot. For my European friends, it's too little. I have to take some of those days and spend them on the friends & family I left behind in Canada, including my mother. However, I LOVE TO TRAVEL. Travel feeds my soul and keeps me sane. When I'm not working or talking, I'm planning my next trip. I buy 3 broadsheets on the weekend just for their travel sections and I buy most of the decent monthly travel magazines, UK and US. I just adore travel. I love doing it and I love reading about it.

The problem I have is that my pals & family back home expect me to visit every year. I have loads of places I want to visit and I think it is reasonable to visit everyone about once every 2 or 3 years. The rest of the time I want to spend exploring.

I was wondering how the rest of you balance your holidays??
Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 06:21 AM
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I know where you are coming from Ally. My husband and I reside overseas from our family, so we have the same dilmemma. We thrive on vacation travel to international places, but also know we need to see our family in the US since they are getting up in age and we never know how much longer they're going to be here.

Therefore, we try to make one trip per year to the US to see family (my side, his side, or both), and fit in our other travel desires in between. Do we get to all the international destinations we want each year? Not really. However, we try to remind ourselves that we would feel awfully bad if we skipped a year of seeing family for the sake of seeing another place that will be there next year.

There is no standard amount of time you should see your family, or how often, as it's completely your perogative. I just know that in our own situation, with our relatives getting up in age, we feel that we need to see them more often than we did several years ago. We quite honestly try to strike a happy medium between the two types of travel.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 06:53 AM
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I definitely understand your dilemma. I live in New York and my family lives in Wisconsin. The distance isn't that great, but my work schedule does not allow for many days off at all. So I too, feel the dilemma when I can get a couple of days off...part of me would like to see my family, part of me would like to travel, and part would like to simply stay home and relax.
I balance by trying to go see family for one long weekend a year, usually during the holidays. I usually save my longer vacations, when I can actually take an entire week, for travel. My family had a hard time at first, but over the last 10 years, they've learned to accept it. It also encourages them to come here and visit me occasionally, which is nice.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 07:18 AM
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I'm with you!

Our problem is a bit different. Our Macedonian "family" expects us to come every year -- but there's a big world out there ... and we can't afford to keep doing two trips to Europe a year. I had them weaned down to every 18 months -- but now my first Macedonian "grandson" is about to be born and you know what that means for "baba Sara"!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 07:47 AM
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We used to face your problem when our parents were alive. Now all close family is nearby.

Is it possible that you could trade off and have them visit you in Europe every other year. Perhaps then you could all visit some of the European destinations you're interested in. Seems only fair to share time and expense and trade off on family visits. You go to Canada one year and the next year they visit you.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 08:14 AM
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I try to combine my two loves. Family and travel. Our children live in differant states then do we. That means we are also not around our grandchildren much. Our first priority is our relationship with them and being part of their lives, not just a guest in their home. We call and email a lot and make extended weekend trips together somewhere in between where we all live! We have decided that when any of us visit the other, the three day rule applies. This turns out to be quality time and saves vacation days for other travel.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 08:33 AM
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I am also addicted to travel. If you have to be addicted to something, it's not all that bad. I also have 23 days per year off from work. This is the first year coming up that I have made plans for 2 trips that do not include a trip to Florida to visit my mother and her husband. I have always made a point of going there and this year it just didn't work out and I vow not to feel guilty about it.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 10:53 AM
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Giovanna, I think your suggestion is sensible. The problem I have is that in 2004, various people have staked a claim to 3 weeks of my holiday and I don't know what to tell them! As much as I adore Canada, I'm just not interested in spending much time there. Oh, the guilt...
Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 11:18 AM
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We will be eliminating any possible guilt next summer when we go to Japan to visit our son
He understands why we haven't been there yet, it is easier for us to have him here, but we need to see where he lives and why he likes it so much . He is a great traveler too and never feels the need to explain when he goes to Thailand instead of home, so I think our family is easy on the guilt trips
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 12:37 PM
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I can understand your problem Allypally, I live in the US and my sister and a brother live in 2 different European countries. When my parents where alive was easier for me,I just went back to my beloved city to stay with them, and then have a family reunion.. but now everytime I go back to Europe they expect me to stop and go to both countries to see them...I take a lots of trains....There are so many places that I would like to visit and explore,however,lately I try to extend my itinerary , visit new locations ,and then visit my family.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 02:13 PM
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AllyPally: Sorry for your 2004 dilemma. Three precious weeks and demands on all three. That's the absolute pits!

No possibility of persuading at least the demands on one week to come to your side? Obviously you don't want to alienate your family, but seems a little selfish on their part. Hope you can work something out.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 02:50 PM
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You will be building your own monster if you allow others to "stake claim" to three weeks of your time and your only reward will be similar expectations in the future. You can either give up your life to guilt or assert yourself and come up with a fair balance of your own. Everyone will be better off when you do because even knuckling under and "doing it their way" is only going to leave you frustrated and resentful. Remember: the relatively meager appreciation you may receive (and may not) will never compensate you for what you are giving up. "To thine own self be true" and don't blow your life on guilt trips!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 05:15 PM
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We share the same problem. My husband only gets 2 weeks off per year, and we LOVE to travel now that the kids are up and have their own families.

But...when we moved to Florida 19 years ago, we spent nearly every vacation going back to Louisville to see family and friends. That left us no time for "vacation". Over the last 10 years, we've lessened it to one long (4 nights) weekend, which gives hubby 8 weekdays plus 2 weekends for OUR trips, and 2 weekdays and 1 weekend for family in Kentucky. (His mom's in a nursing home, to make guilt even worse!)
Yes, we feel terribly guilty going off and seeing the world. But we're not young anymore either, and feel our ability to really "do" Europe and Asia will be sorely diminished in the coming years. So many places to see, so little time.
So we compromise the best we can. And still feel very guilty!
For Scarlett:
You will absolutely adore Japan! And the Japanese people. That's one place I definitely would like to return. Enjoy!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 05:22 PM
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Every few years the family "goes their separate way" and some spend holidays in foreign countries or we get together for something else in the year so we are off the hook for the holidays. I remember when I was younger we were ALWAYS together. The older I get the more I realize how much time I spent with them and there is a whole world waiting to be explored so I forgive myself.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 05:28 PM
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We had friends that were living in the Middle East and every year we would plan on meeting at a different country with their family and friends. It was a blast! We all liked to travel and this way it was special for everyone! One year they rented a villa in Tuscany. Another year they took a cruise down the Nile. We even met them in Ireland one year. A Caribbean trip over the cold holidays? Maybe you should give this a try.
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