Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Differences in traveling on a joint family vacation

(Joint family vacay!)

We recently got back from a lovely vacation to Italy with both sets of parents (joint family ish-style!), which was the first time we all traveled together to a destination where we were all tourists. I wasn't sure how it was going to go because both sets of parents are POLAR opposites in their traveling styles.

My inlaws traveling style (mostly my FIL) is extremely fast-paced. He likes to "finish off" 10 things in one day, like an episode of The Amazing Race. He plans the trip by looking at top ten lists of must-see tourist spots and likes to take a picture in front of every one of them. He likes to read about the places extensively before he visits, so all he needs is a "quick snap". This is partly due to the many Indian passport and visa woes, he may never get the chance to go again. So he likes to pack it ALL in, in one go. He is more energetic, but it is very tiring for my MIL and she often complains and looks like "Grumpy Cat" face in front of each of the top 10 monuments.

Come to think of it, once upon a time....dear husband-ji used to be like that too! When we took our first vacation together, I used to call him the "travel monster"! Hahahaha!!!!! Like father, like son!

My parents, on the other hand, like to go on vacation to relax. They both like to sleep in, wake up slowly, and go out for a few hours in the afternoon. They like to wander around and explore the city, without any particular destination in mind. Both my parents are artistic, so they get a lot of creative inspiration this way. If they do make plans to do something - it will be to tour a museum and go to a restaurant. They often have both lunch and dinner by sitting in a restaurant for hours, slowly eating their meal, and people-watching on the street in front. When my parents travel, they like to get lost, and they are on no particular schedule.

Husband-ji & I's traveling style is probably a mix of both of the above. We both love to photograph, so we may do one or two sites per day. We like to wake up early in the morning and explore, and go out and take pictures of the city's daily life. Then we like to have a leisurely lunch and dinner. Our main goal of the trip is both to relax, and take photographs. But now that we are parents, our traveling patterns mostly depend on Maya. Now that she is older, she tags along with us like a little buddy.

Everybody has different traveling styles and when you travel as a group you can really sense any incompatibilities in this area. Sometimes people travel with each other and they never want to do it again! So, knowing how different we travel, I wasn't sure how it was going to go....it WAS our first time, after all!

Luckily, everything went smoothly. By the time my inlaws got to Venice, they had already done a tour of Italy, so they were exhausted. We had also rented an apartment in Venice, so it felt like a home they could relax in. My parents tagged along with us for the main meals, and then we took my inlaws around Venice (husband-ji is practically an expert now!)

I was relieved that such diverse personalities gelled together so well and effortlessly. Go figure!

Stay tuned to hear more about our Joint Family vacay!!


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6 comments

  1. Ha ha, you nailed it. Same thing in my family - my mom gets tired of my fast walking dad, like he is running on some mission. But the rest of my family, want to check things out one by one as much as possible. I on the other hand want to do things slowly... aka do nothing and soak in cultures.

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  2. That is so true. I think that is the Indian way of travelling. Infact, i think that is also true with the Chinese and South East Asians. They put a "check" in the box next to the attraction. I think it has got to do with finances as well. IF they go ALL the way somewhere, they have to make most of it. Because coming all the way to Italy and only seeing Venice and not the Pisa could be wasted money because coming again is not happening. Not because they do not have money but because they rather spend that money to go see Australia. So its to get maximum value for the money spent. They also do not see the point of going to clubs in a foreign place because clubs in every country are dark and serve alchohol. Only variable is music and the kind of people. But that is such a waste of time.

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    1. Yes, totally. I think it is a time and cost factor.

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  3. It's good things went so well. I remember traveling with my Indian family and they were moving along faster than I was and trying to pack everything into one trip. I think I got lucky though, my MIL is not a fast-mover and so her and I walked along behind together and I got to listen more closely to the tour guide we hired and she didn't have to feel rushed or left behind.

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