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Holiday? What holiday?

(51 Posts)
Thedrownedsubmariner Tue 02-Aug-16 02:25:41

Does anyone else spend the last few weeks of their much longed for and carefully planned annual leave anxious and dreading it?

Do certain sections of family (particularly) and friends use it as an opportunity to score points, whinge, moan, manipulate and emotionally blackmail you into stuff when all you wanted to do was head 'home' to normality for a few weeks and relax without having to second guess every last fucking action!

If so, join me here in the often heard (but never actioned) cry of "Balls to this, we are doing our own thing next year, ungrateful shits!"

We love them really but....hmmhmmangryangry

BummyMummy77 Tue 02-Aug-16 02:33:53


Dh and I have been having the exact same conversation recently.

Well I have as he's too nice to say it.

Every bit of time off or money we get goes in to going back to the UK where my family are lovely but mostly a fucking nightmare.

We've had one holiday since we've been together and want to go to Hawaii this Winter with ds who'll be three but my family are flipping out.

BummyMummy77 Tue 02-Aug-16 02:36:20

The whole time in the UK friends and family fight and sulk about seeing us then when they do lay this huge guilt trip about how little we see them.

Fine, fuck it. I'm spending the £4000 this costs on going on decent relaxing holiday next time.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 02-Aug-16 02:39:45

Not me - we do our own thing every year. Have not been 'home' since 2008. I didn't move overseas to spend my holidays back in the UK. No doubt I am not very popular with my family, but have no plans to change!

BummyMummy77 Tue 02-Aug-16 02:45:09

My family are heartbroken that ds is growing up away from them and are mostly unable to travel themselves so I'm stuck with it.

ToastedOrFresh Tue 02-Aug-16 02:57:48

Been on holiday to Australia, New Caledonia and The Cook Islands. Been to local destinations too whilst living overseas.

Not returning to Britain until it's time to go home. I already knew that when we came out to live overseas five years ago.

The drag of coming here for a, 'holiday' from Britain is bad enough. All that time and money spent/wasted on the trip just for his relatives to sit there on their arses looking hard done by. No doubt we will go back to that treadmill in due course.

This is the second interesting thread I've read on here about how much of an expensive pain in the arse it is to be expected to visit relatives when the holiday budget could be much better spent on a real, proper holiday.

Thedrownedsubmariner Tue 02-Aug-16 02:58:45

Shanghai, we do take other, shorter breaks in the area but our contract includes return flights to the UK each year with no exchange possible.

We have also made a rod for our own backs in as much as pre-children we were on a 6/3 or 8/4 rotation mostly so family saw more of us - and we got plenty of proper down time as well.

Throw ageing parents and young children across the board into the mix and everything comes with an extra veneer of guilt!

ShanghaiDiva Tue 02-Aug-16 03:01:30

That's tough Bummy.
Luckily my mum is able to travel to see us and as my brother also lives overseas (he doesn't go home either) none of her grandchildren has ever lived in the UK.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 02-Aug-16 03:06:22

That's tough Bummy. I don't think friends and family realise how expensive it is to come back all the time and it's not really a proper break.
I am lucky that my mum is able to travel to see us. My brother also lives overseas and none of her grandchildren has ever lived in the UK.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 02-Aug-16 03:09:26

Our contract includes return flights to the UK each year, but in practice we are given the sum in cash and use it to travel in Asia or to NZ.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 02-Aug-16 03:27:48

I've done the pilgrimage every year for 20+ years. Dh and I decided last week, after coming back from the uk literally on our knees with exhaustion, that next year we won't do it. If anyone wants to see us, they are welcome to visit and stay with us. I have also just started a new job with 20 days vacation a year. No way am I spending it in the uk....

Thedrownedsubmariner Tue 02-Aug-16 03:49:06

Well, if nothing else I'm glad it's not just us.

To be honest we need to to get back on track, we seem to have let our guard down a bit this year with the levels of emotional blackmail that we've tolerated.

Does anyone else get family members attempting to arrange their itinerary for them pre arrival - usually on the precious few weekends? I'm finding this very therapeutic btw...

ToastedOrFresh Tue 02-Aug-16 03:52:29

relax without having to second guess every last fucking action!

Yup, sounds like every thankless visit to Auckland from Britain to visit the in-laws.

Just the over arching sense of, why are we doing this followed by 'and we are doing this because.......?'

MardAsSnails Tue 02-Aug-16 04:02:23


People don't realise that we get very little leave. Plus all the 'oh but you live on holiday' - no I don't. I live somewhere people go on holiday, but my weekends are filled with the same shit but in a different country.

We've now agreed that we will do one week max in the uk every year, unless there's a reason (wedding, significant birthday, funeral etc), and for the last 3 years have been actually doing some holidays.

I'm fed up of my annual leave being watching Jeremy Kyle at someone's house and all the sitting around, but equally I hate having every second arranged and no time to think for ourselves

ShanghaiDiva Tue 02-Aug-16 04:06:23

But someone will be along in a minute to tell us how selfish we are, our decision to move and we should make the effort...

KickAssAngel Tue 02-Aug-16 04:18:45

Oh Dear God YES!

DH gets 2 weeks leave, and that includes sick days. I'm a teacher so get 2 months in the summer. Except I teach summer camp for most of that. And I'm doing an MA on top of a full time job and a child to look after.

No-one in our entire fucking family will visit us - all too scared to fly.

It is cheaper for 3 of us to pay for flights and hotel to Hawaii than for us to fly back to the UK.

Still we get The Guilt.

MIL cries and counts how many days she 'gets'. And is upset that my parents 'get' more days than her (except they don't. I stay at my sister's and visit friends or go to my parents for lunch etc). MIL has also (more than once) literally cried when DD was young and ran off ahead, meaning that she'd gone round a corner and MIL couldn't see her for a few seconds. This was inside, so no risk of DD disappearing, she'd just been a typical kid and ran around a corner to see something. I could see her, but MIL lost sight of her for 15 seconds and CRIED REAL TEARS. That is how much freedom we are not allowed.

I haven't done a lone trip back to the UK for over 2 years (made DH come with me this time), and not sure if/when I'll do another. DH went back last fall and saw his mum. I haven't seen my parents for two years, but still MIL cried and said how we didn't spend enough time with her.

I'm rambling - you've hit a nerve! I dream of going back alone and not telling any family and just seeing friends and actually having FUN.

ToastedOrFresh Tue 02-Aug-16 04:22:26

I dream of going back alone and not telling any family and just seeing friends and actually having FUN.

Oh the temptation !

Thedrownedsubmariner Tue 02-Aug-16 04:44:09

LET IT ALL OUT PEOPLE!!! gringringrin

Thedrownedsubmariner Tue 02-Aug-16 04:48:24

LET IT ALL OUT PEOPLE!!! gringringrin

feckity Tue 02-Aug-16 04:52:23

We have just left the UK for two years, and although we haven't really broached it with family, we're not planning on going back for holidays. Luckily they seem keen to visit so we should be ok. I think two years is short enough that a) we'll be back before they know it, and b) we need to make the most of our time out here, rather than spend annual leave travelling back to the UK.

JoandMax Tue 02-Aug-16 05:14:09

Oh my god yes!!!!!

Our first summer here I was totally guilt tripped into going back with kids for 5 weeks without DH - it was exhausting..... DCs were only just 4 and 5 and we stayed in 9 different places. I reverted back to a teenager at my parents, kids played up and were unsettled and everyone and anyone expected me to go to them which I foolishly did. Came back and cried on DH that I was never doing that again!!

This year we went back at Easter for 3 weeks with DH, it was definitely nicer but still so much travelling about and no actual 'holiday' for us really.

So now it's the summer and we've had a glorious 5 weeks so far not going anywhere. Just lazy days pottering and playing and relaxing! Still have 4 weeks left and we might go away somewhere but we're having such a great time I don't feel we need it.

Luckily my parents and sister come out and visit at least once a year, my in-laws live here too so I don't feel the DC are missing out

playftseforme Tue 02-Aug-16 05:17:25

I occasionally go back to London for work on v short trips. Fortunately none of my family live near London, so I get to see friends for drinks/dinner with almost no guilt attached.

SharingMichelle Tue 02-Aug-16 05:19:41

We just got back. We are NEVER going again. And we are NEVER staying in anyone's spare room ever again.

cexuwaleozbu Tue 02-Aug-16 05:48:29

I've never been an expat but I am friend with 2 families originally from the UK who visit every 2 years. The thing that strikes me reading this interesting thread is how unalike their visits are from those described above.

The UK is a holiday destination too and there is lots to do. Our friends always plan their holiday activities in advance and then let their various friends and relatives know which day-trips they can join them for (and schedule some days of "chilling out" where they don't have to be sociable with anyone too)

They also always book either self-catering or hotel accommodation as sleeping in some relative's spare room isn't that relaxing.

The alternative to spending weeks sitting with dull relatives watching Jeremy Kyle is not necessarily to avoid the whole country.

allegretto Tue 02-Aug-16 05:52:44

Last year we didn't go back - had a great holiday in Germany instead. This year we are on a three line whip to go back! TBH it is not so much of a problem for us as we are in Europe and we need to go back as my children can't really speak English blush and it really helps them but I totally get the frustration!

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