Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Geekychick1984 on September 24, 2012, 11:55:20 AM

Title: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Geekychick1984 on September 24, 2012, 11:55:20 AM
My brother just accepted a job overseas in Europe.  He, his wife, and their baby will be moving soon.  Most likely, they will be there for at least several years.

My brother and SIL have both mentioned several times since my brother even applied for this job that they hope we (DH and I) can visit them.  Each time, I've said that unfortunately, I don't foresee that being an option in the near future.  The first time I will admit I justified why (i.e., we are about start IVF (after other failed fertility treatments), and are hoping to have a baby soon (which they know), and I don't want to fly overseas with a baby/young child; I hate flying long distances, so I don't even want to fly overseas; I don't think  it will be economically feasible, etc.).

My question for you all is - when family moves overseas, is it up to you to visit them?  My husband thinks that since they're the ones choosing to move, they should accept the fact that they may not got a lot of visitors.  Are we rude for not taking the time and money to visit?  Every time I've mentioned we won't be able to visit, they seem a bit perturbed. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Sharnita on September 24, 2012, 12:03:57 PM
Well, I think that in a lot of cases I might enjoy being able to visit another country but could not afford it.  Paying to fly there would be expensive but if I could stay with them and and maybe eat meals in their home it would be a lot less expensive so I think that they have already met me half way.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: siamesecat2965 on September 24, 2012, 12:07:31 PM
I think its a two-way street, in that whenever possible, visiting should be done by both sides.  However, if one cannot, such in your case, then other side should accept that graciously, even if they are disappointed.  But they also shouldn't exepct and be upset that someone might not be able to visit.

Their insistance maybe due to where they are, and think you'd enjoy visiting them there.  I'd keep your respones short and sweet. "I'm sorry we can't" or "that's not possible right now" don't give long winded reasons or excuses; that just gives them more ammunition to work with.

I have an example; my cousin works in Capetown, SA, and is there for another year of his 3 year stint. I would absolutely love to be able to go see him, but financialy and timewise, its just not doable.  But he's fine with that.  I know he'd love for me to come out, but understands why I can't.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: learningtofly on September 24, 2012, 12:29:17 PM
I don't think you're rude.  I had an aunt and uncle move halfway around the world for work.  I would have loved to have visited.  It was out of my price range.  Their kids couldn't afford to go.  I think a handful of people managed the trip in the time they were gone.  They did come back twice a year.  When they came back we traveled to wherever they were staying because they had traveled enough.  It doesn't matter how nice the location is, that you would like to see your brother and family, or that you would have a free place to stay.  Some things simply are not possible.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Sharnita on September 24, 2012, 12:31:30 PM
I don't think you're rude.  I had an aunt and uncle move halfway around the world for work.  I would have loved to have visited.  It was out of my price range.  Their kids couldn't afford to go.  I think a handful of people managed the trip in the time they were gone.  They did come back twice a year.  When they came back we traveled to wherever they were staying because they had traveled enough.  It doesn't matter how nice the location is, that you would like to see your brother and family, or that you would have a free place to stay.  Some things simply are not possible.

I don't think they are obligated to travel back to visit either, though. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: SPuck on September 24, 2012, 12:33:43 PM
I think that is someone moves a continent away, you have to deal with the fact that visiting in person may no longer be an option for years int he future. I agree with the two way street aspect, but if both families are in a position where it is a burden to visit then you have to employ different methods to keep in contact. There is no right or wrong here, just the reality of the distance.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: TootsNYC on September 24, 2012, 12:40:01 PM
I disagree w/ the idea that because they have moved, the onus is on them to visit.

But I do agree that they need to understand if people can't visit often.

However, expressing the hope that you'll visit, or encouraging you to challenge your knee-jerk assumptions about whether you visit, are not rude either.  How much pressure is "too much" is nebulous and hard to define. But at this point, I don't think your family is rude for bringing the topic up.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Sharnita on September 24, 2012, 12:41:34 PM
I disagree w/ the idea that because they have moved, the onus is on them to visit.

But I do agree that they need to understand if people can't visit often.

However, expressing the hope that you'll visit, or encouraging you to challenge your knee-jerk assumptions about whether you visit, are not rude either.  How much pressure is "too much" is nebulous and hard to define. But at this point, I don't think your family is rude for bringing the topic up.

lol, this is what I was trying to say
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on September 24, 2012, 12:43:47 PM
I disagree w/ the idea that because they have moved, the onus is on them to visit.

But I do agree that they need to understand if people can't visit often.

However, expressing the hope that you'll visit, or encouraging you to challenge your knee-jerk assumptions about whether you visit, are not rude either.  How much pressure is "too much" is nebulous and hard to define. But at this point, I don't think your family is rude for bringing the topic up.

I agree with Toots.   I think that you should not justify it at all.  You can just say something like, "That would be great," and leave it at that.  If I was your brother and you start coming up with tons of excuses now, I would be hurt that you are already dismissive of the possibility before they even move. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: camlan on September 24, 2012, 12:46:39 PM
I'll bet they are a bit nervous about moving so far away, so completely cut off from family and friends. They are asking you to visit, because they anticipate being very lonely way, far away. Asking you to visit is partly a desire to have you visit, and partly a desire to make sure you all stay in contact. That you won't forget them.

The reality is that they will meet people through work, and their neighbors, and there might be a large ex-pat community where they are going. They may not be as lonely as they think.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: MummySweet on September 24, 2012, 01:07:17 PM
From the viewpoint of having lived overseas for several years (recently returned to the U.S):

No, it is not up to you to visit them.  Nor is it rude of you not too, even if you do have the time, financial ability, etc.

But remember, even though they made the decision to move, they are heading into the "great unknown."  Along with their excitement, they probably have healthy doses of uncertainty and fear too.   They want some assurances that they won't be forgotten or "left out" in their absence. 

Consider responding to their comments is a more non-commital way such as "We'll see how it goes. We know that XYZ is a fantastic place" or "We'll miss you terribly, but we'll have to see what the future brings."  I know you are trying to manage their expectations, but I suspect they may be hearing "Seeing you isn't worth the time or money." 

While it is completely reasonable to not plan to visit them, but there are some things you might plan to do.   Try to make sure that you are in regular contact with them, via email, skype, phone, etc.   Make sure that they aren't the ones who are always initiating contact.  (Because of the time difference, Europe 6-9 hours ahead, it may be a bit of an effort to find time to call them during waking hours for both of you, so it gets easy to let the contacting fall to them.)    Send a few care packages with favorite foods, etc., they are as valuable as gold because they are a tangible reminder that they are missed.    Or try to create a few traditions that both sides of the pond can participate in.  My FIL used to read us all "The Night before Christmas" over the phone.  We followed along in matching copies of the book he had given us.   One year he read to England, Taiwan, Philadelphia, Tucson and San Diego... all from his living room in Boston. 

Hopefully, over time efforts to remain in touch will be fairly equal on each side.   


Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: SamiHami on September 24, 2012, 01:46:36 PM
I don't see why you are making such a rigid statement to them that you will not visit. Of course you don't have to and shouldn't if you'd rather not. But if they say, "I hope you'll come visit sometime" why not just say "We'll see what happens" or "That would be nice" or some other non-committal statement. It isn't a lie and it would probably be nicer for them to hear than "No, I don't want to."
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: bah12 on September 24, 2012, 02:39:40 PM
I think regardless of location, families visit each other as they are able, can afford, and have the desire to.  And sometimes, it's more difficult than others.

Having family in another country, I think, is an opportunity.  No, visiting isn't as convenient, but it can make a trip that may otherwise be unaffordable, a lot easier to swallow...having someone to stay with, and show you around is a plus. 

I don't think the onus falls on any particular person/family to make the trip.  Visits go both ways and there are no hard and fast rules.

For your particular situation, it doesn't sound like they are issuing you a specific invite.  Hoping that you will be able to visit one day, is just that...a hope.  You don't have to make plans today or even make a commitment to make plans.  They will be there for several years.  Maybe you also hope that one day the trip will be feasible? 

I suggest responding with something like "While I don't think we'll be able to make it in the immediate future, we also hope that we'll have to opportunity to visit at least once before you leave."
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Talley on September 24, 2012, 03:23:46 PM
As part of the family unit that has lived/is still living abroad (we are in the same country now as my family, but still in a different country from DH's family), I would say that visiting is a two-way street. If is possible and if the desire is there, you can go visit - and they can come back for a visit. But on the other hand, you can choose not to visit, just as they can choose not to visit. And neither party should be badgered about it.

Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: #borecore on September 24, 2012, 04:00:45 PM
My uncle moved to a city in the middle of China that we'd never heard of when I was little. We always wanted to visit, but frankly plane tickets from the U.S. plus travel inside the country were not at all feasible for a family of our size and income; the situation was similar for his parents. It was simply easier for him to come here and do a bit of traveling within the States to see all the different people he wanted to see in one swoop, and it took less of his time off, too.

That situation has remained for more than 20 years now. He comes back once every two or so years and has free places to say and people who help him out more than they would with an ordinary guest (because of the high expense), and I'm pretty sure none of his family has ever been able to go there. He's never expressed more than passing disappointment, and I think that's the right attitude to have. If he couldn't afford to visit (and many times, his U.S. trips have not included a stop in my town!), people would reciprocate this understanding.

Be kind, tell them you'd love to see them if you could, but you just can't.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Giggity on September 24, 2012, 04:05:32 PM
Are we rude for not taking the time and money to visit?

Why would that be rude?
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: GraceSullivan on September 24, 2012, 05:09:33 PM
I agree with SamiHami that your best bet at this time would be to say something along the lines of "we'd love to visit; we'll see how things turn out."  Don't need to commit now to an actual visit.  Also, giving your (very understandable) excuses might just make them try to work around or fix your excuses (or dismiss them).

I agree with other posters that a lot of it has to do with expectations.  I've been the one to live far away from the majority of my family; the greatest distance recently was US east coast (family) and me on the west coast.  In the four years I lived out there, none of my family visited me.  But, there was the expectation that I was the one that should/will visit them, at least twice a year.  That bred resentment on my part, because I was the only one making the effort and putting in the expense.    Their excuses were/are not based on money, it was more based on comfort, vacation time, convenience, etc.  But my own comfort, vacation time and convenience were/are pretty much dismissed.

Even now I'm a two-flight, or 13 to 28 hour drive away (depending on the family member)--again, I travel to visit family twice a year, various family members have visited me once in 6 years.  If its off-balance, in my opinion and situation only, it can breed resentment.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Cami on September 24, 2012, 05:15:37 PM
My brother just accepted a job overseas in Europe.  He, his wife, and their baby will be moving soon.  Most likely, they will be there for at least several years.

My brother and SIL have both mentioned several times since my brother even applied for this job that they hope we (DH and I) can visit them.  Each time, I've said that unfortunately, I don't foresee that being an option in the near future.  The first time I will admit I justified why (i.e., we are about start IVF (after other failed fertility treatments), and are hoping to have a baby soon (which they know), and I don't want to fly overseas with a baby/young child; I hate flying long distances, so I don't even want to fly overseas; I don't think  it will be economically feasible, etc.).

My question for you all is - when family moves overseas, is it up to you to visit them?  My husband thinks that since they're the ones choosing to move, they should accept the fact that they may not got a lot of visitors.  Are we rude for not taking the time and money to visit?  Every time I've mentioned we won't be able to visit, they seem a bit perturbed.

As someone who moved away, I agree with this:
Asking you to visit is partly a desire to have you visit, and partly a desire to make sure you all stay in contact. That you won't forget them.


We had the "you moved, so it's your problem to come back and visit us rule"  thrown at us over and over and over, plus had almost no one visit us.  (We've lived here 20+ years and had less than 3 visits from family in that time. (My SIL has actually been IN our town twice in that time on business but "too busy" to see us and refused to take a vacation day after her business was done to see us.) At a certain point you start to feel/realize that maintaining a relationship with you is clearly not a priority for the people "back home" or that you're only worth maintaining a relationship with if YOU spend the money and vacation time.  And that's hurtful.

(Just as it would be hurtful, for example, if you had a friend who was happy to go out with you when you paid her way, but had no interest when it was her turn to pay. So while it might not be an issue of etiquette, it might be an issue of emotional equity.)

Truth is, they did forget us. The minute the moving truck pulled away, we were out of sight, out of mind. We were written off. So, OP, I'd advise if you don't want your brother and his wife to feel written off and you can't or won't go to visit them, please consider how you can help them feel that you still care about them.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: GraceSullivan on September 24, 2012, 05:20:02 PM
Cami said it much more eloquently than I did! ;)
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: heartmug on September 24, 2012, 05:34:55 PM

We had the "you moved, so it's your problem to come back and visit us rule"  thrown at us over and over and over, plus had almost no one visit us.  (We've lived here 20+ years and had less than 3 visits from family in that time.) At a certain point you start to feel/realize that maintaining a relationship with you is clearly not a priority for the people "back home" or that you're only worth maintaining a relationship with if YOU spend the money and vacation time.  And that's hurtful.


Oh boy, can I relate to that!  We are suppose to spend our money to come visit them.  Yep, we hear that a lot.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Phoebe on September 24, 2012, 06:07:46 PM
I don't see why you are making such a rigid statement to them that you will not visit. Of course you don't have to and shouldn't if you'd rather not. But if they say, "I hope you'll come visit sometime" why not just say "We'll see what happens" or "That would be nice" or some other non-committal statement. It isn't a lie and it would probably be nicer for them to hear than "No, I don't want to."

This is exactly the point I was going to make.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: KenveeB on September 24, 2012, 08:47:45 PM
I agree with not responding so rigidly. My family moved overseas when I was in high school. We had lots of family and friends use it as an excuse to make a trip that they otherwise wouldn't have done. They didn't have to pay lodging because they were staying with us plus they had (sort of) local guides, so it was an opportunity. There were plenty of times we said something like "Oh, you'll have to come visit us", meaning nothing more than "hey, feel free to come visit if you want to take a trip." Try to accept it as an offer, not a command, and a desire to stay in touch.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Ceallach on September 24, 2012, 08:57:05 PM
There is just no obligation either way, so nobody is rude.    I don't think it's necessary to explain to them that you have no intention of coming, because surely in *theory* you would like to visit them, right?   It's just that you know circumstances are unlikely to permit it.

I live overseas, and am fortunate in that some of my family have been able to visit.   Others haven't.  And that's ok.  It's no reflection of our closeness or anything like that, it's just life.  Some don't have the money, time or other resources necessary to make a trip overseas.    It's a fact we were aware of when we moved, and while it's a huge downside  - we really do miss everybody -  it's a fact that we cannot change as long as *our* life circumstances necessitate us being over here.   Thank goodness for skype!  (We're all having kids now, so it's great for the babies to wave to each other through skype and for us to be able to talk.  It has definitely bridged the distance better than the phone did).   
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Lady Snowdon on September 24, 2012, 09:07:08 PM
I think both sides need to manage their expectations, in a situation like this.  It doesn't work to always expect one side to make all the effort, no matter who "caused" the problem by moving away.  For a number of years, my grandparents lived in Berlin, Germany, while the rest of my family was still in the States.  On the rare occasions they made it home, people were willing to shift events around (my parents and my uncle and aunt were married within a week of each other because my grandparents wanted to be there for both weddings).  My mom somehow made it work to go visit them once with me. 

On the flip side, if there is a situation that prevents one side or the other from traveling, that needs to be taken into account as well.  My dad has Alzheimer's, and doesn't handle travel well at this point.  It's pretty much a given that he and my Mom will not be able to travel out to visit my DH and I anymore.  We're trying to figure things out to make sure we're still able to see each other. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: onikenbai on September 24, 2012, 10:24:25 PM
I think when you move to some far away place, especially if it's a place with a different language, you can't expect anybody to visit you unless you are a) getting married, b) having a baby or c) dying.  Even then, it's not guaranteed.  I moved to the other side of the earth for 4 years and not a single person in my family even expressed a wish to visit, and that was just fine with me.  I was the one who decided to see other places, not my family.

I think the only time you could conceivably be put out is if your whole family does a tour of Europe with the sole exception of the European country you are residing in while you are abroad.  I would be a tad miffed then.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: KenveeB on September 24, 2012, 10:31:40 PM
I think the only time you could conceivably be put out is if your whole family does a tour of Europe with the sole exception of the European country you are residing in while you are abroad.  I would be a tad miffed then.

How about moving to the other side of the country and having your grandparents take a tour of the area but not bother to come by to visit you? Not that I'm still bitter or anything, 15 years later.  :P

I think the key is in tone, and that's something only OP can answer. Are they doing it in a "you MUST visit" command sort of way, or a "oh, we'd love to have you, you've got to come" excitement in sharing kind of way? The first can be given the hard no, but for the second you should respond to the sentiment ("it'll be so exciting, I can't wait to hear all about it!") rather just flat declining the invitation.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: mbbored on September 24, 2012, 11:31:08 PM
I disagree w/ the idea that because they have moved, the onus is on them to visit.

But I do agree that they need to understand if people can't visit often.

However, expressing the hope that you'll visit, or encouraging you to challenge your knee-jerk assumptions about whether you visit, are not rude either.  How much pressure is "too much" is nebulous and hard to define. But at this point, I don't think your family is rude for bringing the topic up.

Thank you for this, Toots. I moved to the other side of the continent from my family for work and school and most of them have the belief that because I left, it's all on me to travel. While I understand that it's expensive to travel and I don't expect them to do it, the message I got when my sister spent a week 60 miles from me and couldn't be bothered to come see my home is that she does not support me and my decisions. On the other hand, when my sister-in-law went 200 miles out of her way to come see me, I was thrilled and honor.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Pippen on September 24, 2012, 11:54:56 PM
It would be lovely if you could but your circumstances prevent it. Most likely his company will give him tickets home at least once a year if he is on an expat package so he is not totally lost to you.

I would however seriously consider taking him up on his offer despite your reservations. It's a great opportunity. There is something really special about having your family visit when you are in a different country. You want to share everything with them and get them to experience your new life and you get an insight into it (and them) in ways you would never get otherwise.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: bopper on September 25, 2012, 07:43:55 AM
We moved to Germany for 3 years. We would have loved for people to come visit. My ILs came twice (they love to travel) but nobody else did, and that was okay.  We traveled home 1-2 per year.   I don't think people know what a hassle it is to come home for Christmas when you can't stay at your own house and are expected to visit everyone.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Geekychick1984 on September 25, 2012, 07:54:12 AM
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Seraphine1 on September 25, 2012, 08:59:58 AM
I think vague is best. 

I moved from Canada to the UK over 13 years ago.  While some of my family and friends have visited, I know others have not been in the position to, either for personal or financial reasons.  My own brother will not fly, so he and his family have never been here.  My parents are now elderly and in poor health, and they can no longer visit.

While I try to return as often as I can (about once a year), I know my feelings would certainly be hurt if anyone close to me said outright that they would never visit, especially for reasons like not wanting to fly or not wanting children to fly (but it's okay for me and my children to fly?)  I know my brother won't fly - I would never ask him to.  I know he won't come to visit, but he doesn't wave it in my face.  It's always been unspoken, and that's enough.  Like I said, vague is best.

There are ways to get to Europe without flying (I know several people who've sailed on transatlantic cruises - these are often very reasonable in price), and while I realise people in North America generally have less vacation time than Europeans, there are always ways of accomplishing something if you want it badly enough.  Time, money, motivation... these are all obstacles, but you yourself said that "you would love to see the country they are moving to".  If you won the lottery tomorrow, would your issues with flying be enough to keep you away?   

Your post sounded so rigid and I think that's what bothered me so - like there was absolutely no way you would ever consider this, and you feel your brother and SIL should know this before they leave.   Your insistence that you won't fly with kids til they are older, and pleas of travel sickness and lack of money - these reasons sound like excuses (the money issue is one thing, but there are medications for travel sickness and people fly with babies and children all the time).   Just say "it would be lovely to visit, we'll have to see what happens", and smile when you say it. 

The Skype account and social media like Facebook help a lot when you are away from family - they make them seem a lot less far away.  I hope you can maintain your relationships while your brother's family is away.

Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: TootsNYC on September 25, 2012, 10:05:42 AM
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.

I think that dwelling on how much you would LIKE to visit, and making concrete plans for staying in touch, will soften that blow.

And you know what? I really do suggest you challenge that assumption. I'd fly w/ a 3mo; I've flown w/ a 2yo. Seeing my brother in person, showing him that I care very much about his life (i.e., his life the way HE has arranged it), was absolutely worth it.

Motion sickness--you're saying that 5 hours of motion sickness (or the extra time to plan your flight in 2.5-hour hops, since it's Europe) wouldn't be worth 1 week in his company, 1 week of seeing his life, 1 week of seeing something special that he has a special opportunity to show you. That's sort of a tough thing to hear, so I wouldn't suggest you dwell on it. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: wolfie on September 25, 2012, 12:36:23 PM
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.

I think that dwelling on how much you would LIKE to visit, and making concrete plans for staying in touch, will soften that blow.

And you know what? I really do suggest you challenge that assumption. I'd fly w/ a 3mo; I've flown w/ a 2yo. Seeing my brother in person, showing him that I care very much about his life (i.e., his life the way HE has arranged it), was absolutely worth it.

Motion sickness--you're saying that 5 hours of motion sickness (or the extra time to plan your flight in 2.5-hour hops, since it's Europe) wouldn't be worth 1 week in his company, 1 week of seeing his life, 1 week of seeing something special that he has a special opportunity to show you. That's sort of a tough thing to hear, so I wouldn't suggest you dwell on it.

I have a flight to Europe in a few weeks and it will be 8 hours on the plane for me - plus a one hour hope from my airport to an airport that goes international. 8 - 9 hours is a lot of time to spend motion sick. Plus it might be more then a vaguely upset stomach - she could be vomiting for that entire 8 hours - which could make the first few days after landing unpleasant as she would either need to spend them in bed recovering, or try to socialize when she is feeling so poorly. I don't think poo-pooing someone else's medical conditions because it wouldn't upset you is appropriate. The poster says she gets motion sickness that is bad enough that she would not fly on a plane for that long. I don't see a reason to try to convince her that she is wrong about that.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: bopper on September 25, 2012, 02:01:53 PM
As someone who lived overseas, this is what you can do when they come back to visit to make their life easier (if it makes sense for your situation)
:
1) Don't necessarily make them come to you to visit.  When we came back we were expected to do all the travelling to visit people. If you can go to where they are it would save them extra travelling.

2) Offer your home as home base for them.  We stayed with friends, but I didn't think we could invite people to the house. So we always had to go travel. If it is possible, let them stay with you and let them host people at your house so they don't have to do the driving.

3) Appreciate how much effort it is for them to come back and visit; don't take it for granted. One Xmas we left for the USA after Dec 25th, and it was Snowpocolypse 2.0 on the US East Coast.  We had to wait a day for a new flight at the airport hotel, then fly out only to find that our quick layover in Zurich was going to be overnight due to a broken de-icer, and then we flew to WashingtonDC where we new we would be south of the snow...then we took a train to the Newark airport where we rented a car.   We had arranged to visit with the ILs on Wednesday and dutifully showed up after the 3 day traveling marathon.  We got there and they were like "Oh...would you like some lunch?"  And I was thinking "Darn tootin'!  We just travelled 3000+ miles and 3 days to get there and yes, we would like some lunch!"  They thought that we would move our whole visiting schedule back because we arrived later, but we had never told them we were changing anything!  That was the time I said to myself if we weren't moving back the next year, I would just stay overseas.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Sharnita on September 25, 2012, 03:21:22 PM
I think the attitude that "they chose to move" is also troubling, at least to me.  Yes, it was a choice, at least in a way but it sounds like it was tied to a career.  It isn't some extended vacation.  People do what they have to do to make a living and support their families to the best of their ability.  The amount of "choice" they have in that can be somewhat limited. 
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: MrsJWine on September 25, 2012, 03:56:48 PM
I don't think the OP owes a visit any more than her brother owes her one. I do think that if you are the one to move away from the family's central area, the burden should not be on everyone else to come visit you. That does not mean that I think the person who moves away should *have* to visit the rest of the family every single time. But practically speaking, it makes no sense to pressure everyone else to come to you.

I've been on both ends of this. I have a sister who lives in Europe with her family. I have never visited her. It's just insanely expensive to travel overseas. We can't do it. Well, we *could*, if we sold a lot of things and ate ramen for a month, but I don't consider those reasonable measures to expect of someone.

My husband's job moved us halfway across the country almost two years ago, and I do not expect the rest of the family to come visit us here. My parents and brothers (with their families) still live back home. They don't roll in money, either. If I want to see them, I will go out there myself. Would a visit from any of them be wonderful? Of course! But it's not the duty of three separate branches of the family to come visit me when I could see all three families on ONE visit.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Cat-Fu on September 25, 2012, 04:01:28 PM
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.

I think that dwelling on how much you would LIKE to visit, and making concrete plans for staying in touch, will soften that blow.

And you know what? I really do suggest you challenge that assumption. I'd fly w/ a 3mo; I've flown w/ a 2yo. Seeing my brother in person, showing him that I care very much about his life (i.e., his life the way HE has arranged it), was absolutely worth it.

Motion sickness--you're saying that 5 hours of motion sickness (or the extra time to plan your flight in 2.5-hour hops, since it's Europe) wouldn't be worth 1 week in his company, 1 week of seeing his life, 1 week of seeing something special that he has a special opportunity to show you. That's sort of a tough thing to hear, so I wouldn't suggest you dwell on it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, OP, but I'm assuming by the word "overseas" that the OP lives in the US, so a 2.5 hour flight isn't a possibility. IIRC, you could shell out thousands of dollars for a 3.5 hour Concorde flight, but guessing by the OP saying that she can't afford the regular flights that it's not an option, either. {ETA: Especially because they were retired in 2003 :P} I really don't think it's helpful to guilt the OP. (Sorry if I am misinterpreting, but that's how it reads to me.)
 
That said, my brother moved out to Detroit about 10 years ago, and he usually does most of the flying back. I miss him like crazy (he's a great guy), but I've only been able to afford to fly out to see him twice. He is often wistful that we can't visit, but we keep up frequently via Skype and facebook. Sometimes visiting either way just isn't an option, so you do what you can. Technology has made these vast separations loads easier on the heart. :)
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Sara Crewe on September 25, 2012, 04:24:16 PM



Correct me if I'm wrong, OP, but I'm assuming by the word "overseas" that the OP lives in the US, so a 2.5 hour flight isn't a possibility. IIRC, you could shell out thousands of dollars for a 3.5 hour Concorde flight, but guessing by the OP saying that she can't afford the regular flights that it's not an option, either. I really don't think it's helpful to guilt the OP. (Sorry if I am misinterpreting, but that's how it reads to me.)
 


I'm pretty sure Concorde hasn't been in service for a while now either - weren't they all deemed too old after the Paris aircrash?
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Cat-Fu on September 25, 2012, 04:29:08 PM



Correct me if I'm wrong, OP, but I'm assuming by the word "overseas" that the OP lives in the US, so a 2.5 hour flight isn't a possibility. IIRC, you could shell out thousands of dollars for a 3.5 hour Concorde flight, but guessing by the OP saying that she can't afford the regular flights that it's not an option, either. I really don't think it's helpful to guilt the OP. (Sorry if I am misinterpreting, but that's how it reads to me.)
 


I'm pretty sure Concorde hasn't been in service for a while now either - weren't they all deemed too old after the Paris aircrash?

Ha, you are correct. Oops! Now you all know how long ago it was that I last looked into overseas travel!  ;) Looks like the OP is out of luck on that score.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Seraphine1 on September 25, 2012, 04:31:18 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, OP, but I'm assuming by the word "overseas" that the OP lives in the US, so a 2.5 hour flight isn't a possibility. IIRC, you could shell out thousands of dollars for a 3.5 hour Concorde flight, but guessing by the OP saying that she can't afford the regular flights that it's not an option, either. I really don't think it's helpful to guilt the OP. (Sorry if I am misinterpreting, but that's how it reads to me.)


The Concorde's last flight was in 2003, so it's not an option either.

It's not entirely about dismissing the OP's medical problems with flying - I understand it could be very uncomfortable if not downright miserable.   I'm addressing her insistence on telling her brother that this trip will not happen in any circumstance.   I absolutely think she should be more vague instead of being so blunt with her brother - it doesn't hurt her in any way, and it will avoid a tremendous deal of hurt for her brother and his family. 

Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Ceallach on September 25, 2012, 08:46:23 PM
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.

Seeing you genuinely would love to visit (but know that you're not going to) then it's not setting false hope to say that.    I would be saying "I would love to visit Xcountry, it's going to be so amazing!  An overseas trip probably won't be on the cards for us for the next 2-3 years, but hopefully you can show us lots of photos!"  or similar. 

When we moved heaps of people said "Ooh we'll have to come visit!" and similar, but in reality most haven't.   We don't feel that they've let us down, because we know that they were expressing a genuine "We would love to visit you in Xcountry" feeling which was not a guarantee of anything actually happening - life, money and circumstances being what they are.   I took it more as "we'll come if circumstances are such that ever permit it" not an actual promise to visit.   It was nice that they were excited about it even though in reality they would never be able to come.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Dindrane on September 25, 2012, 11:09:17 PM
If your brother is a reasonable, polite sort of person, I don't think there's any reason to assume he doesn't already know that visiting him is going to be very difficult for you. Even if he doesn't know you're trying to start a family, he does know that it's a long and expensive trip. He probably also knows it would be a miserable trip for you, since I'm sure your motion-sickness has come up before.

So unless your brother isn't reasonable or polite, you don't need to emphasize those things. He knows, and bringing it up can just make it sound like you don't actually want to visit even if you sometimes say you do.

One possibly practical consideration -- focusing on the positive idea that you would really like to visit, rather than the negative idea that circumstances will almost certainly prevent it, might save you from a lot of hurt feelings later. I live very far away from my family (I was the one who moved), and other than my parents, not a one of them has ever come to visit me in the 5 years I've lived here. I wouldn't expect my more distant relatives to visit unless they happened to be in the area (and even then, I'd only expect it if it was convenient), but I would actually like my siblings to visit me at least once. In 5 years, with all the times I've brought up my desire to see them here, with all the other travel similar in scale that they have both done in that time, all I ever hear is how it's too expensive and too far and too difficult. Which, in the end, mostly sounds like I'm not worth the expense, the distance, or the effort.

I much prefer the clearly not very meaningful expressions of their desire to visit me. It's harder to compare that to the fact that they both do a lot of traveling to a lot of other places that aren't where I live. I'd prefer it even more if they would actually focus on a desire to visit me here, because then they might have actually figured out a way to do it just once.

Seeing them when we can coordinate our visits to our parents helps, because we do manage that once or twice a year. But it's not the same as seeing them here, particularly since I have gone to see both of them where they live on more than one occasion since I moved away.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: blarg314 on September 26, 2012, 02:51:27 AM

I've lived abroad from my family for about ten years now, and I'm generally the one who visits. My experience is that the person who moves away, regardless of distance, is the one who does the majority of the visiting.

What I would advise for the people who are staying behind is

- Don't be too definite about saying that you'll never, ever visit. Even if it's true, moving far away from home can be pretty stressful when you're doing it. Having to adapt to the understanding that any time you ever see your family in the future will be solely on your initiative and expense can make it seem a lot more lonely.  Once you're settled in and comfortable, it can be easier to process that reality.

- Recognize and be appreciative of the effort and money the travelling side is spending, even when it's done willingly. I think that the at home set often doesn't realize how much the away part of their family is sacrificing their own vacation time and budget year after year in order to see family. If the family at home takes it for granted, or worse, demands it, it rubs salt into the wound.

- Do what you can from your end to make visiting easier. Try to gather people in one place, rather than having the visitors hop around from city to city, if that makes it easier. Offer to put them up at your home, even if it's a stretch for you - saving another $1000 or two on hotel costs can make a huge difference.  Take  a few days of your own vacation to spend time while they're visiting.

- Make an effort to keep them in the loop with family and news, particularly if they're the only ones away from a group located close to you. Figure out the time-zones so you can make a voice call on special occasions, or when telling important news.  It can make living in a foreign country a lot more lonely if you get the feeling that you've been sidelined in the family's mind.

- If you're not making any effort to visit them, be really careful about the demands you make on them. Don't get offended or pile on the guilt if they decide *not* to visit one year, because they can't afford it or are too tired.

- Recognize, in your own mind at least, the difference between "can't" and "don't want to". My sister will say that they "can't" visit us, because of the money and the vacation time and the kids.  However, they make more than we do, and have more vacation time, and having kids won't absolve us from trans-Pacific travel. The truth is that they could visit if they wanted to, but they aren't willing to accept the hassle and sacrifice it would take to do so.
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Geekychick1984 on September 26, 2012, 07:33:50 AM
Once again, I really appreciate all of the comments and advice, especially from those of you who have indeed been on both sides of the equation.

I especially like Ceallach's wording of "I would be saying "I would love to visit Xcountry, it's going to be so amazing!  An overseas trip probably won't be on the cards for us for the next 2-3 years, but hopefully you can show us lots of photos!"

To respond to other comments, yes I live in the US and they're moving to Europe, so it would be a long flight.  I went to Europe for the first time a year or so ago, and I was miserable both ways - I was violently ill, and motion sickness meds didn't work.  It was so awful, that while I can somewhat tolerate a shorter domestic flight, I dread them now, as I get flashbacks to that experience.  So, I'm not sure it's something I can suck up. 

Someone (I forget who) mentioned if my brother is a reasonable person...unfortunately he isn't always so.  He and SIL do expect people to spend time and money to accomodate them.  For instance, they had a desitination wedding...they were very put out that some people just couldn't make it.  Another instance off the top of my head is SIL had a b-day dinner a few years ago (I actually had a thread about it here I think).  She sent out the location, and we looked at the menu to make sure we could afford it, as I was unemployed at the time, and RSVPd yes, as we could easily eat there for $10/person.  The day of the event, she sent out a message that since it was a larger party, she'd gone ahead and reserved the pre-set menu, and it would be $40/person.  I almost didn't go, but for family harmony, we sucked it up.  Those are just a few examples.

Hopefully though, if I'm less rigid in my response as you've all suggested, it won't become an issue.  I honestly didn't think about how this may be hurtful - I suppose I didn't want to "lead them on", but from some of your responses, I can see the other side.

Maybe they'll be having such a great time experiencing and seeing great things, that they won't focus on it so much. :)
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: DoubleTrouble on September 26, 2012, 08:22:01 AM
Once again, I really appreciate all of the comments and advice, especially from those of you who have indeed been on both sides of the equation.

I especially like Ceallach's wording of "I would be saying "I would love to visit Xcountry, it's going to be so amazing!  An overseas trip probably won't be on the cards for us for the next 2-3 years, but hopefully you can show us lots of photos!"
*snip*

I think this is the best way to go. While we live close to the majority of our family, we do have relatives on both coasts plus in the Bahamas. DH & I would love to take vacations to go visit everyone but with him being in law school, we just didn't have the money/time to do so. Which meant we had to miss my brother's graduate school graduation, a huge bummer. Our policy has been the above because we really do want to travel to visit people but time/money is restrictive right now. Everyone has been very understanding.

Hopefully your family can find ways to keep in touch through technology!
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: Geekychick1984 on September 26, 2012, 08:51:24 AM
Hopefully your family can find ways to keep in touch through technology!

Thanks!  We went out and got a nice webcam.  I love modern technology. :)
Title: Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
Post by: White Lotus on September 26, 2012, 05:43:22 PM
We have family all over the place, but in two principle locations.  We spend New Year's with my parents and sibs (domestic, also Big Seasonal Religious Holiday) and Thanksgiving with DH's, in the city where we live.  We see the distant (as in overseas) relatives, many of whom are elderly, once a year or two at most, depending (DH can do academic things there, helping to cover expenses and we can visit without using his vacation time, and sometimes I have business there, too), and nobody, at least in my family, is too young or old to learn Skype, social media, email, or how to send pictures or film clips.  You can keep in touch better than you might if they lived cross town. You just have to learn about time zones and calendars.  And, most importantly, you have to let go of the "they abandoned me" attitude, stop being PA, and actually want to do so.