Author Topic: Family moving out of country and visiting  (Read 6531 times)

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Geekychick1984

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Family moving out of country and visiting
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:55:20 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. 

Sharnita

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 01:03:57 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.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 01:07:31 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.

learningtofly

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 01:29:17 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 01:31:30 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. 

SPuck

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 01:33:43 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 01:40:01 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:41:34 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

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 01:43:47 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. 

camlan

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 01:46:39 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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


MummySweet

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 02:07:17 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.   



SamiHami

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 02:46:36 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."

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bah12

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 03:39:40 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."

Talley

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 04:23:46 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.



jmarvellous

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 05:00:45 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.