Author Topic: Traveling with picky eaters  (Read 15285 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #60 on: April 05, 2013, 09:04:11 AM »
I am going to side with Snowdragon. I'd much rather split than eat at McDonald's on vacation. Especially for multiple meals. Eating alone isn't as terrible as one might think. I've traveled alone and eaten in foreign restaurants alone. It's not as fun as eating with others but it's not a horrible experience either.

I do agree that people whose traveling styles don't mesh shouldn't travel together. But sometimes, you can find yourself stuck in that very situation for various reasons, sometimes beyond your control. Then you do have to find a way to work things out. Although sometimes the ideal solution is "you do what I want today and I'll do what you want tomorrow", sometimes it can be, "let's each go our separate ways and meet back".

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.

Trading off activities is something that only works if both people are at least ammenable to the different activities. In the case of meals, eating a fast food burger on vacation would make me pretty unhappy. If I had my heart set on eating at Chez LocalEthnic but my traveling companion wanted to eat at ChezLocalNotEthnic, I could compromise and do that. But I don't see Chez LocalAnything as a fair trade off for McD's.

rigs32

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2013, 10:58:54 AM »
It sounds like the basic issue is one of communication.  Had there been a discussion before the trip regarding food preference and the choice to split up or stay together, hopefully an understanding could have been reached.  But the issue arose while on the trip. 

I guess I don't see how splitting up is a failure to accommodate or compromise.  If the picky eater wanted company, each person *could* get take out and eat together in a separate location.  But why is constant companionship a requirement?  I find it difficult to be with a traveling companion 24/7.  Even my SO and I take time to do our own thing when traveling so we don't get sick of each other.

TootsNYC

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2013, 11:03:19 AM »

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.


Truly miserable? There is absolutely nothing at the beach that you could find to enjoy if you went here for *part* of your vacation? There is absolutely no way to find the slightest bit of interest or enjoyment in a trip to the museum?

That sounds like the picky eaters in the OP--they can't set aside their personal preferences long enough to discover that the might actually BE *something* enjoyable  even if the basic event is not to their tastes.

(Not that I personally think splitting up is so bad. I just wonder sometimes if there are too many people in our world who want to only ever do things THEIR way.)

NyaChan

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #63 on: April 05, 2013, 11:24:45 AM »
Well look at this way -

You can't wear just a swimsuit for various reasons.  You wear it with capris and a jacket to cover your arms.  You don't like being in the sun, because it is very uncomfortable for you heat-wise and you tan at an alarming rate (i.e. milky tea to americano coffee with one dollop of cream in one day).  If you go to the beach, you spend the whole day chasing the shade, of which there is very little, wiping off sweat, wrapping yourself in a towel to escape the sun, and trying really hard not to look like you are miserable because then it might spoil the fun of the person you are with who is there to lay out and tan. 

Will I do it?  Yes, and I have.  But that is a period of time that I did not in the least enjoy, especially since we'd been to the beach the day before to snorkel and the other person had opportunities to lay out, both on the beach and on the deck of the cruise ship every day of our 5 day vacation, albeit without my immediate company for a lot of it (I picked chairs that were in the shade while she picked ones out on the deck).  Luckily, this is a friend I am very close to, and despite my efforts to look like I was comfortable, she cut the second beach day short, recognizing that there was a better compromise available where both of us could have something fairly close to what we actually enjoy.

Venus193

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2013, 11:33:23 AM »
I would not have put up with it. This is a HUGE peeve of mine. At first I would have been nice, but by the 3rd or fourth meal and or whining session I would have told the person off.

Eat or don't eat what ever you want, but don't make it someone else's issue and don't ever, ever, ever say "no" to an idea unless you have a counter idea ready. If someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you open your guide book and say "oh, actually how about Hummus Chateau 3 blocks way", that's cool, but if someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you whine and say "but I can't eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat there!" you can just just sit outside and pout by yourself while the rest of us get our carnivore on. Bonus if its raining and we get a window table.

Guide books, for tourists and most likely for locals as well, are not hard to come by and list restaurants by all sorts of methods - by food, by neighborhood, by price. Picky eaters especially should invest in one or more.

In a group, everyone has to compromise a little, and sometimes in a restaurant of "familiar" foods is super fun (McDonalds in Japan has rice balls, in London people eat Pizza Hut with utensils, etc) to see how is done there, but food exploration is a HUGE HUGE HUGE part of traveling and under no circumstances would I let someone's pickiness stifle my foodie-ness continuously. People can make do, or separate but dictating and whining are not ok.

Exponential ditto on this before I've even read the rest of the thread (which it is my usual habit to do).

lowspark

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #65 on: April 05, 2013, 11:48:52 AM »

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.


Truly miserable? There is absolutely nothing at the beach that you could find to enjoy if you went here for *part* of your vacation? There is absolutely no way to find the slightest bit of interest or enjoyment in a trip to the museum?

That sounds like the picky eaters in the OP--they can't set aside their personal preferences long enough to discover that the might actually BE *something* enjoyable  even if the basic event is not to their tastes.

(Not that I personally think splitting up is so bad. I just wonder sometimes if there are too many people in our world who want to only ever do things THEIR way.)

Yup, truly miserable. I know because I did it. Once. I spent the day on the beach with two people who loved the beach. It wasn't even a vacation, it was one friend who was in town visiting me and another friend. We live 50 miles from the beach and visiting friend really wanted to go so we went. They spent most of the day in the water. I don't like going out into the water so I spent most of the day sitting under the parasol, hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. I did bring things to do, books, magazines, etc.

But I was still bored stiff, totally uncomfortable, and as it turns out, mildly sunburned at the end of the day because the shade simply does not protect you as much as I thought it would. Yeah, I would have covered up more had I known, but then I would have been even hotter and more uncomfortable. (And I'm dark complected so I don't burn easily.)

I learned my lesson. One hour on the beach is my limit. I will happily occupy myself for that long if my companion wants to frolic or venture out into the surf or take a walk in the sand or whatever. Any more than that and I'm going to have to decline.

As far as others occupying themselves in a museum, I can't really answer that because I love them. But I do know people who pretty much refuse to go at all, so I'm sure that for them, it's equivalent to my experience at the beach. Different strokes, as they say.

I just don't get the idea that it's so important to force yourself to do something you really really don't want to do for the sake of togetherness. It's not so much that I insist on doing things my way. As I said, I'm perfectly willing to compromise in some areas. It's more that I insist on not doing things that I already know from experience that I will not be happy doing.

Venus193

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #66 on: April 05, 2013, 12:14:25 PM »
I think someone can either say 'I don't want to split up' or 'I don't want to eat there', but not both. If someone's going to absolutely refuse to go somewhere ever, be it Local Place or McDonald's, they can't also specify 'don't leave me'. If neither party wants to split up, then the only option seems to be, they both go to the place the other wants and perhaps have a drink while their friend eats.

Splitting who chooses the restaurants might work for some people, but not always, if there is one or more parties who won't/can't eat at some places. I would be really unhappy giving up half my dinners to eat at a fast food place while on vacation, and equally someone who doesn't want to eat non-Western food isn't going to be very happy to get dragged to local places half the time.

Absolutely this.

I have only ever traveled once with a picky eater (who couldn't handle any spices).  She had no problem ordering plain food wherever we went on that vacation.  She had her plain steak and bottled water while the other woman and I had Seafood Specialty of the House.  We didn't once eat in McDonalds or Pizza Hut.

A couple of years later another person requested advice on traveling to the same destination; she was planning an itinerary that involved five other people, none of whom had been there either.  When the conversation turned to food I advised her to check out the local pubs and various ethnic restaurants and forget about McDonalds and pizza.  She said "Oh, that's going to be a problem; what will Boyfriend eat?"

I have no idea what happened because none of the people in that party were willing to talk about the trip after the fact.

AnnaJ

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #67 on: April 05, 2013, 12:32:03 PM »
I'm surprised so many people think that eating by yourself is some sort of punishment.  When I've traveled with friends I've never felt the need to be with them all of the time, including at mealtime - if someone wants to eat a place A, then they can eat at place A while I eat at place B, not a problem.

I can understand if everyone is traveling by car and you only want to make one stop, or the occasions some people have mentioned where local friends want to treat them, but most of the time it seems reasonable to go your separate way and find what you want to eat - not because it's selfish or you want things your own way, but because it avoids needless stress.

Venus193

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #68 on: April 05, 2013, 12:39:42 PM »
I eat alone 90% of the time so this wouldn't bother me.  I think part of the issue in this thread is about people who aren't comfortable traveling [relatively] alone.

Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.

daen

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #69 on: April 05, 2013, 01:23:25 PM »
Sometimes there are considerations other than food.

On my one major overseas trip, I swore I would not set foot in a McD's. I was travelling alone, so I didn't have anyone else's food preferences to contend with. However, I started getting tired of being on my own All The Time.
When I ran into a congenial bunch of Aussies who folded me into their group, I stuck with them all evening for companionship, and we went to a McD's. I didn't eat anything (although the baby Brie on the menu - a tie-in to a Disney movie that was on at the time - did sound much more appetizing than anything I had ever seen in my country's McD's), and I was inside a Golden Arches, but it was worth it to be with some nice people for a while.

ladyknight1

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #70 on: April 05, 2013, 02:59:51 PM »
My sister is one of the pickiest eaters I know, but she is willing to try new cuisines and restaurants.

I will not travel with MIL, who feels the need to share exactly what she thinks about anyone else's food.

stargazer

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #71 on: April 05, 2013, 03:05:52 PM »
I am considered a picky eater by some (I will eat all fruit sans tomatoes but few veggies, no beans, potatoes, seafood or spicy food - although I will eat things MADE with tomatoes like sauce or potatoes like fries).  However, I can find something to eat at almost any restaurant and unless I already know from the ingredients I won't like it, I will try something new.  Just discovered I liked avocado egg rolls (my resolution for this year was trying new things).  It sounds like the problem most people are dealing with is not picky eaters, but entitled eaters.  (The only problem I have run into is people mocking my food choices for being boring - hey, if I'm eating here with you and happy with my food, how bout NOT commenting on my pasta with cheese and butter and comparing me to your kid when it's the only thing I want to eat in a seafood restaurant?).

Mikayla

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #72 on: April 05, 2013, 04:19:34 PM »
It sounds like the basic issue is one of communication.  Had there been a discussion before the trip regarding food preference and the choice to split up or stay together, hopefully an understanding could have been reached.  But the issue arose while on the trip. 

I guess I don't see how splitting up is a failure to accommodate or compromise.  If the picky eater wanted company, each person *could* get take out and eat together in a separate location.  But why is constant companionship a requirement?  I find it difficult to be with a traveling companion 24/7.  Even my SO and I take time to do our own thing when traveling so we don't get sick of each other.

I agree with this.  It's never happened to me, because anyone who knows me well enough to travel with me knows I'm all about the ethnic cuisine!  But if this somehow did occur, there's no way I'd let it happen more than once.   I'd just wander off by myself, or set up a Plan B for the adventurous ones.

iridaceae

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2013, 07:17:00 AM »


Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.

Massively interesting assumptions there about people who have traveled on tours. Also about tours.

Snowdragon,  as I said upthread we ate at a McDonald's in Milan because our Italian host's daughter desperately wanted to; what would you have done?

Margo

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Re: Traveling with picky eaters
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2013, 10:08:55 AM »
I eat alone 90% of the time so this wouldn't bother me.  I think part of the issue in this thread is about people who aren't comfortable traveling [relatively] alone.

Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.

I'm surprised so many people think that eating by yourself is some sort of punishment.  When I've traveled with friends I've never felt the need to be with them all of the time, including at mealtime - if someone wants to eat a place A, then they can eat at place A while I eat at place B, not a problem.

I can understand if everyone is traveling by car and you only want to make one stop, or the occasions some people have mentioned where local friends want to treat them, but most of the time it seems reasonable to go your separate way and find what you want to eat - not because it's selfish or you want things your own way, but because it avoids needless stress.

I think a lot of people do find eating (out) alone very hard, especially in a foreign or unfamiliar place - I personally don't see it as a punishment, but I can understand the perspective of those for whom "just split up" isn't a good solution. That's one of the reasons why I would see sitting with / having a coffee with the person who wanted to eat somewhere I didn't as being a potential way of compromising, as well as the possibility of separating completely for meals.

Equally, while I would never chose to be part of a tour, I don't think one should assume that those who do, do so out of insecurity, any more than one would assume that someone who choses to read a guidebook rather than wander around is insecure. It's simply a personal preference. (after all, someone travelling outside their homeland for the first time , even with a tour group, may be being far braver and more adventurous than some one who travels a lot and is in the same city as an independent traveller, once you take into account the starting point and experience of each..)