To think it's not 'travelling' or 'finding yourself' if you're spending your days having cocktails in 5* hotels?,

(54 Posts)
Umlauf Wed 30-Jan-13 11:00:50

Best friend (very privileged girl but rather naive) got fed up of her well paid but dull job and decided to jack it in and go travelling for 6 months to find herself and learn about the wider world. I encouraged her because i think it's a fantastic thing to do, especially as she is very naive about society and money in general, and doesn't understand why everyone's parents can't just buy them a house/Bugatti/horse/spa membership.

Now she is on Facebook daily checking in at luxury hotels in Asia, describing the beautiful long days relaxing by the pool with all-inclusive cocktails! Just had a long phone call where she has told me she really understands the Thai culture now... She has been in Bangkok 3 days and not left the hotel because it's just too comfortable! Sounds incredible but... AIBU to get a bit annoyed with how she keeps referring to it 'going travelling to find herself?!'

YANBU, I don't think. How can you understand the culture unless you're immersing yourself in it? Hotels are like little isolated bits of home. YWBU to say that to her though...

I dont know. Some people define 'travelling' and 'holidays' as different things, but some people won't. It doesn't sound like your friend will achieve her goals this way, though, if that's what she was really after.

TWinklyLittleStar Wed 30-Jan-13 11:06:29

I would love to find my self by a pool in a 5* hotel in Thailand.

<not failing to grasp the point, no>

Nancy66 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:08:15

if I had the money I'd do luxury over roughing it any day.

givemeaclue Wed 30-Jan-13 11:09:39

She has found herself, she is a rich kid who likes cocktails and luxury. Perhaps that is all there is to find!

Well she is most definitely going 'travelling'. It's still travel whether you stay in 5* luxury hotels or backpackers hostels. Sure, she isn't 'experiencing real Thai culture' (or whatever that's supposed to mean), but she's definitely travelling. Although, anyone who goes on about 'finding themselves' is an idiot.

onetiredmummy Wed 30-Jan-13 11:11:38

Hahahaa a bit of green eyed monster there OP?

Well to me, finding yourself means deciding your priorities in life, possibly thinking over religious or political beliefs & having time that you wouldn't have in your normal routine to take your life in your hands & decide on its direction.

You don't have to be filthy, sweaty & living in cockroach infested hostels to do that (however much you think she should).

However I do agree from your post that its basically a holiday & she is likely to come back without much having changed smile

Fakebook Wed 30-Jan-13 11:12:00

She is finding herself. She's doing it by spending time by herself drinking cocktails and thinking.

Going and finding a Buddhist temple and doing yoga and meditation isn't everyone's cup of tea and is such a cliched way to "find yourself".

Sounds like she's having fun.

I'd probably be a bit annoyed as well.....and WILDLY jealous grin

Omnishambolic Wed 30-Jan-13 11:13:52

I don't think it's the law that you can only "find yourself" by doing everything as cheaply as possible. Neither is it impossible to learn about Thai culture from the luxury end of things (though I agree that after three days, claiming to be an expert in anything is a bit rich). She's obviously having a lovely time, she's happy, and she's doing it on her own budget. And the time off work will give her time to think, so maybe she'll get to what she wanted in her own time.

Anyway, it's not as though there's a guarantee she'll "find herself" after six months, whatever she's doing. She may just realise she's running away for six months, and then she's still got to make big decisions based in reality afterwards because nothing else in her life has really changed.

MyLastDuchess Wed 30-Jan-13 11:14:13

What givemeaclue said. You can only find yourself if you look in the right place!

[Hmm] at understanding a culture after 3 days though. I've been in NL 12 years now, speak the language and have a Dutch partner. The culture still surprises me all the time, it takes a lifetime to understand it.

munchkinmaster Wed 30-Jan-13 11:14:18

People who stay in huts on beaches for 5 mins and say they have understood the culture and found self are also idiots too. I think her way sound ace. There is no moral high ground in bed bugs and a shared loo.

Umlauf Wed 30-Jan-13 11:14:58

Ah clue that made me giggle guitily! She is lovely but clueless about the real world (think made in Chelsea) and the frustrating thing is she is telling everyone it was my idea and how she really understands how people live and its all thanks to me (in public Facebook statuses!)

Her parents are a bit cross with me as they think I'm a terrible influence who has forced their daughter to give up her respectable job and out of the country!

I'd love to find myself in luxury for 6 months too but sadly my tiny 1 bed rental will have to do! envy

I kind of see travelling as involving a backpack and a hostel though, not your LV monograms and the ShangriLa?! I'm coming across as a jealous cow, aren't I!

seeker Wed 30-Jan-13 11:18:27

I remember telling dp that somebody we knew was going to "find himself"

"What's he looking for?" He asked "A big field with a bastard in the middle of it?"

Yes, you are. Travelling only means that she's going from one place to another. It implies nothing about backpacks or such like.

Tbh, people reading the FB statuses probably just think she's a rich fool and nothing else.

kimorama Wed 30-Jan-13 11:38:15

I spent years trying to find myself. Looked in a mirror and there I was.

sue52 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:04:21

She's found out that she's a priviledged person who enjoys life's luxuries. Self awareness means different things to different people.

TaggieCampbellBlack Wed 30-Jan-13 13:07:07

I could happily find myself if given enough cocktails in a 5* hotel.

pansyflimflam Wed 30-Jan-13 13:08:05

My DH has a friend that posted pics of herself in India with the title 'This is me helping poor people'.........hmm She is a nice person but a bit of a tool. OP you do sound a bit jealous to be honest.

NoTeaForMe Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:35

I'm jealous. I want to find myself there too. I don't care if people judge me and think I'm not doing it properly, I'd stick two fingers up at them and shout 'I'm having fun!'

However, as I have a toddler and am pregnant, theres really no option to jet off anywhere as an adult for a while! Boo!

MardyArsedMidlander Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:57

She probably IS helping poor people more by staying in hotels staffed by local people- rather than some cringe worthy Trustafarians haggling over 10p with some poor rickshaw driver.

HollyBerryBush Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:31

I never quite 'get' people who go to 'find themselves' - a pointless exercise in self indulgence as you have to take yourself with you. It's not as if you are going to discover anything spectacularly interesting.

pansyflimflam Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:32

And the friend did 'find herself' in the sense that when she came back from 'travelling' (read: very long holiday) she met an equally nice but dim chap and they had a picture perfect wedding with a John Lewis gift list. She has a set of letters spelling HOME in her kitchen and bunting and makes cupcakes too.... She had a lovely time but nor sure it made a blind bit of difference to her life iykwim because she is pretty sheltered, although she does start a lot of her sentences with 'when I was travelling.....'

And if I ha the choice between youth hostel and posh hotel i would chose the latter, it just makes sense.

Grumpla Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:53

Haha seeker I may have to nick your DH's line!

blackice Wed 30-Jan-13 13:13:59

I don't think you're going to get much idea of a country's culture by either staying in a 5* hotel drinking cocktails OR by staying in a hostel for a few weeks.

LittleChimneyDroppings Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:42

I think I could find myself quite nicely in a 5* hotel sipping cocktails. I'm SURE I could grin

LOL @seeker!

Doing something different can stretch you. Perhaps a 5 start hotel is as adventurous as she is comfortable to go. Perhaps ordering her own drinks is a big deal to her? Who knows?

It's not what I'd think of if someone had told me they'd been travelling, but then when I went 'travelling' in Australia, some of the backpacking sharing dirt-floor hostles cost more than the hotels, because the 'travelling experience' has become a bit of a luxury 'thing' in and people like to pay extra to stay in a hammock and poo in a bush.

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Wed 30-Jan-13 13:22:39

Travelling to find myself = unfettered tossery.
Everyone knows you look for things where you last saw them. Therefore I will find myself in Asda or in bed with the baby.

SomeKindOfDeliciousBiscuit Wed 30-Jan-13 13:23:54

But I'd also like to add you wouldn't catch me roughing it round Asia. I'd let myself stay lost. Pools and cocktails, yes please. I think I'd go as far as... Wales? Wales is nice.

LaQueen Wed 30-Jan-13 13:39:04

Is it somehow more spiritually worthy to find a cockroach in your bed, and have to share a bathroom with 11 stoned students, then? Because I really don't think that's how the majority of Thai people loive either?

Sounds ideal to me, OP.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 30-Jan-13 13:44:41

you do need to get out of your hotel or hostel to see the country if you want to experience another country

mixing with other grungy travellers or those surrounded by luxury both can miss out on so much

many travellers are finding themselves in hostels by hanging about with other travellers finding themselves in hostels and not much else

to the locals you are money nothing else

I fucking hate "finding yourself" - what does it mean? Travelling the world to have fun or to experience other cultures or to escape your shit life back home is all fine but to find yourself is absolute bollocks.

But if I had to find myself it would be by a pool with a book and a handsome waiter bringing me an endless supply of cocktails.

chickengoujons Wed 30-Jan-13 13:47:58

I would choose her way anyday over 'slumming it' tourism which I find intensely annoying.

I find it incredibly irritating when people belive they have to get down with some poor people to have really travelled and experienced a culture. it so condecsending and silly.

I mean people coming to to visit britain should not be expected to stay in dirty b&bs or to stay in the most deprived areas they can find to get british culture should they?

FreudiansSlipper Wed 30-Jan-13 13:48:22

I travelled around Asia with my backpack thinking I was a real traveller I loved every minute of it (apart from when I realised I had eaten dog) it was a fantastic experience would I have experienced as much staying in an all inclusive I doubt it

now i would rather stay in luxury would still not sit around a pool all day I might as well go to centre parcs if that is what I want to do

DragonMamma Wed 30-Jan-13 13:50:09

My lovely cousin did this - moved to India to 'find himself'. All he found was his friends, in Goa and lots of cheap red wine.


FreudiansSlipper Wed 30-Jan-13 13:50:45

no but somewhere like Thailand if you stay in a luxury resort and never go out which many do not you miss out on so much, with all that luxury around you it is tempting not to bother to see things beyond the hotel gates

I ate in a local restaurant in the Gambia. That was an eye opener. Who knows what was in the food?

We decided to wander about ourself in the capital after listening to a sales pitch of a tour that included an attraction of 'seeing some real poverty'. We were ripped off everywhere we went. Locals Taxis charging us a couple of pounds for what should be a couple of pence, but there really is no way of refusing. They are 'entitled' to charge that from you, they think.

Our meal was 20p each, again, extortionate. Our drink of coke cost 20p each too.

We had many invitations to tea. We took one up and had to wait forever while they went out and found a cup from a neighbour, who then proceeded to 'rent' it to us. 5p.

We listened to stories of how £1 could buy them enough rice to feed their family for a week (I doubt it) and one local came in with no shoes saying how poor he was and could he meet us outside the nike shop at 6pm?

We didn't find ourselves but we were certainly found.

foxinsocks Wed 30-Jan-13 13:58:53

if she is looking for someone to help her find herself, please give her my number. For a hotel room and some cocktails, I will happily assist smile

FreudiansSlipper Wed 30-Jan-13 14:03:15

I was once invited to have tea ina town I Vietnam amazing buildings they then showed us round then asked for $5

I do not care about being ripped off in some countries more fool us for thinking we were so special that they wanted to invite us into their home

saying that our bike broke down in the middle of nowhere a farmer fixed it for us with his brother it took them ages they took us into their home feed us they had two rooms and refused to take any money. It was a very humbling experience (we did return the next day with football tops)

I do think roughing it a bit can bring more experiences, or has done in my experience

JustAHolyFool Wed 30-Jan-13 14:17:49

Whether you're staying in a shitty hostel or a 5-star hotel, it is supremely arrogant (and startlingly common) to think that you understand a culture in a number of days.

Absolutely. I went to relatively 'tame' Canada for a month and never managed to work out the tax system let alone their relationship with the indiginous people.

NicknameTaken Wed 30-Jan-13 14:25:30

Ah, if you think you're irritated now, you've so many more years of irritation ahead of you, when she flaunts her new-found knowledge of Thai culture and knowledge of the world.

I've travelled a lot and experienced terminal incomprehension regarding most of it.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 30-Jan-13 14:31:25

I hope she is leaving her hotels to at least meet people. Six months is a long time to spend in the company of a bartender (or, maybe not?). Its along time to be on your own everyday. Must be costing a blinking fortune, didnt she ask you to meet up with her? Afterall, shes paying for the room for two people.

Well good luck to her. I always have an inward laugh at the girls at work that took a year off to go travelling after school and never worked either to save for it or at all during the year as the parents paid for it. Every single one of them. Its not quite the same is it?

badguider Wed 30-Jan-13 14:36:51

well she might not find out much about asia in a 5* hotel but if she plans to spend 6months in her own company then she surely will learn something about herself!

in hostels you meet others and some people get so caught up in the socialising they don't really spend any time on their own at all... in a luxury hotel there isn't that social scene so it might actually be quite challenging after a while (i'd be ok for a week or so but bored shitless after that).

ThenWeTakeBerlin Wed 30-Jan-13 14:38:29

I'm saving for a high-end, glamorous gap yah.

I wouldn't call it 'finding myself', just a bloody good holiday!

Umlauf Wed 30-Jan-13 14:45:49

Thanks for your responses! I'm obviously jealous of the luxury holiday, but not of my friend in general, who wouldn't want to spend time in luxury hotels?! I also don't think you have to stay in a hovel, but you should at least venture out...?!

Ah, if you think you're irritated now, you've so many more years of irritation ahead of you, when she flaunts her new-found knowledge of Thai culture and knowledge of the world.

This, however, is what I'm not looking forward to and annoyed about!

Latara Wed 30-Jan-13 14:48:53

I would find myself very happy if i went travelling to posh hotels smile

I wouldn't worry. Google could probably equip you with enough questions to ask that she'll avoid talking about it, at least to you.

WilsonFrickett Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:21

grin @Seeker's DH

The thing is, hanging out on the Kho San road with the other CrustyTrusties isn't exactly experiencing true Thai culture either. I also don't know when going on a holiday (albeit a very long one) became about 'finding self'. She's on holiday, having a ball, I'm envy and wish I could afford it. Bugger finding myself, I'm all about the cocktails...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:53

I always find it a bit weird when people think that you have to go and live in a shithole somewhere to get any benefit out of going to a different place.

Sounds like she is having a fab time.

If she is so grateful, why don't you suggest that as a thank-you she could pay for you to join her for a week at the end of her trip? grin

KellyElly Wed 30-Jan-13 15:44:21

That is how I would like to 'find myself' grin

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 16:01:05

I want to travel in luxury.
If 'real' travelling involves shitting in a bucket I am happy to call it something else. I shall say I am occupying a posh foreign room in future.

Pigsmummy Thu 31-Jan-13 12:37:37

To be fair if she is naive and loaded she is best placed to stay in the hotel before she becomes a victim of every scam going! Leave her in peace and next time she calls swerve the call if it annoys you?

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