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Getting cold feet about travelling

  • 10-09-2023 1:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 329 ✭✭

    Hi, I have thinking this through for the last while but there's only so far you can get in your own head. So here goes..

    I'm in my early 30s and I'm ashamed to say I am living at home. Last January I decided that I wanted to go see more of the world and thought of Australia to see what it was all about, with a view to heading off in November, so that I could avoid the worst of the dark days. I just recently got my visa but I have no flights booked yet.

    Unfortunately, our dog is ill. A cancerous tumour was discovered at the vets back in the springtime and the prognosis wasn't good. Thankfully she is still with us but the tumour has grown a lot over the last few months. I am worried sick now at the thoughts of heading off to the other side of the world and getting that dreaded phone call. As you can tell, she means the world to me. She will be very well looked after by my parents, but I feel I should be with her when that awful day comes, either at home or at the vets.

    I will also be leaving my boyfriend behind. I have asked him a couple of times throughout the year if he would consider coming with me, but he just doesn't want to go. He could easily take a career break from work and come back to it again, there would be no issue with that. I feel really down about this as I know loads of couples who travel all over the world together and have a great time.

    Its all starting to make me think do I even really want to go to Australia. Some days I feel excited to go, but a lot of the time I feel unease about it. I definitely have the itch to go travelling. I would also really like to live on the continent at some stage. I am really lucky aswell in that I have a US passport to use over there too. So sometimes I just think why Australia. But then I feel I just need to go there even for 6 months and get it out of my system just to say 'been there, done that'. I have so many people told of my plans for heading off to Australia and would feel like an idiot if I didnt go ahead. I know a couple of people in my family who would unfortunately relish the thought of me 'chickening out' (behind my back of course).

    I could go in a lot more detail but I I'll leave it at that. Thanks again for any thoughts or advice.



  • Registered Users Posts: 968 ✭✭✭Str8outtaWuhan

    If your fella is willing to let you off on your Tod for 6 months then he is not worth keeping imho. He either thinks he is the catch and you won't stray or worse couldn't give two hoots what you do. To me that is the issue not the dog.


    Warning applied for breach of charter. Please offer constructive advice when posting. The OP cheating is not an issue here or one they have asked advice on.

    Post edited by Big Bag of Chips on

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory

    I find we tend to regret the things we don't do a lot more than the things we do. I think you should go. You can't not travel because of a boyfriend. When you're old you'll always think of the travelling you could have done if he hadn't stopped you. Even just for for a few months and see how you feel.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I know what it is like to lose a pet when you are away, happened me during a short holiday. No harm at all in delaying your stay in Australia, don’t be afraid to do that. Re the boyfriend, does he have a specific aversion to distance travel, eg flights, or he is just too comfortable staying put? Even if he doesn’t want to go so far as living out there for a while, would he be prepared to take a two or three week holiday to visit you? I wouldn’t accept the plain excuse that Oz is too far for a short trip, I’ve done a fortnight to Sydney & Uluru via Singapore, went economy & not a bother. I have relatives who visit their own relatives in short trips there too. If your boyfriend wouldn’t be prepared to do that much (without a genuine excuse, eg phobia of flight) then he’s as well left well behind in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    Perhaps the BF sees that he cannot afford to leave work or take a chance on seeing the world or it doesn't appeal to him, like it doest appeal to a lot of people. Early thirties is not 'young' per se and usually people tend to have more ties then.

    I don't see any issue with the boyfriend trusting his partner to go do what she wants to do and both people being mature enough about it to accept that and live like that for a short term to be honest.

    I wouldn't let the dog hold you back to be honest but that's just me.

    Ultimately if you arent happy with travelling, either don't do it or start with somewhere not to far away for not as long.

  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    First of all, definitely travel. I'd recommend any of the Americas over Aus but I guess it depends what you're looking for. Try not be that irish person abroad who just finds comfort zone of other irish and doesn't really integrate into culture, that's what Aus is for many.

    2nd of all it sounds like yourself and your boyfriend are very incompatible on a pretty big matter. Someone without a thirst for travel would be a complete deal breaker for me so you should consider if that's who you'd like to spend your life with. Travelling single would also be much more fun than being tied to some homebird thousands of miles away.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    I don't get this thing about both people being 'incompatible' just because one likes to 'travel' and the other doesn't.

    There are plenty people who don't see the rationale for 6 months in a different country in your thirties or indeed at snay stage but who have no issues with 2 week breaks here and there.

    Its not feasible for a lot of people to head off on a six month trip as they get older with ties developing. The BF could be trying to save for a house or a life together but again acting like an adult and saying, yes if you want to go, go.

    If she doesn't like that fair enough but you can't split from someone just because they won't go on a six month trip with you, all other things being equal.

    If it's one of your deal breakers, fair enough

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,258 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    How long are you planning to be away for? You haven't really said. Six months? A year?

    Regarding your dog, I don't know how I would feel about leaving them if the prognosis isn't good - it would probably be enough to make me postpone (but not cancel) my trip. I do think you need to go and get this out of your system.

    Regarding your boyfriend - I would end the relationship amicably before leaving. It would be fairer to you both. That way there is no expectation for him to wait around here for you to return from your travels, or for you not to act on anything if you meet someone else while away.

    I don't see him as a bad guy or a sign that he doesn't care about you because he doesn't want to go. Some people just don't have the long-term travel / live abroad bug. A two week holiday abroad is fine, but spending years abroad never appealed to me. I know in his shoes, I would be the one saying "off you go, have a great time, I'll see you when you get back and we'll see what happens then."

    I think I'd be pretty annoyed if someone conflated my not wanting to put my life and career on hold to satisfy their desire to travel, with my not giving a toss about them. But it is an incompatibility you have to face up to. Long distance rarely works.

  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    That's literally the definition of being incompatible. People put value in different things. What's rationale for you would be completely irrational for someone else. Nobody is right or wrong, theyre just not right for each other.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    You do t know the value the OP is putting into this at all.

    Guy could be the best thing to ever happen the OP and she is getting told to drop him...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,717 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Going to Australia is like going to Cork with better weather and being much further away and same kind of culture. Unless you are going to embrace aboriginal culture. So, I wouldn't make it the be all and end all of your life. Ok, maybe much different landscape and wildlife. 😁 But from a human perspective ...

    Go to Europe. Much closer and much more interesting and you can be a cheap short flight away if you need to be back for the dog. And that can be the start of your journey.

    Forget about what your boyfriend or your family thinks. Just go. You'll regret not travelling for the rest of your life. Go and get it out of your system now, and go for several years. You are missing so many beautiful opportunities and memories.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,742 ✭✭✭✭martingriff

    Edit so you and your other half will have to have all the same interest and none different

    I know plenty of people who have opposite interest. Have no interest in the those interests. Get on like a great. Love some things together but the others stuff they just go off and do it themselves.

    Maybe it's not the boyfriend hates travelling and holidays but has no interest in spending 6 months in any other place

  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    You're conflating like a hobby with potentially a trip of a lifetime. They're on very opposite ends of spectrum when it comes to differences between a couple.

    I'd hope my right person would like to share such a big life experience with me. And if they didn't I'd like to be able to embrace it fully without being tied down to them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    That's ridiculous. Kakadu, Daintree, Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Uluru and Alice Springs are places like no other.

    Tasmania is the closest thing to Ireland and is still absolutely worth travelling to.

    Hanging around Bondi with the gaa gang in their county colours is crap, don't get sucked into that OP.

    Also go to New Zealand for a month, beautiful country.

    Go travel, stop off in a couple of places in Asia on your way to Australia. Do walking tours, stay in hostels, meet other travellers and have the time of your life.

    Don't end up in your 70s having spent all of your time on this island.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,743 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    Last January I decided that I wanted to go see more of the world and thought of Australia to see what it was all about, with a view to heading off in November, so that I could avoid the worst of the dark days. I just recently got my visa but I have no flights booked yet.


    Its all starting to make me think do I even really want to go to Australia. Some days I feel excited to go, but a lot of the time I feel unease about it. I definitely have the itch to go travelling. I would also really like to live on the continent at some stage. I am really lucky aswell in that I have a US passport to use over there too. So sometimes I just think why Australia. 

    Having lived there for a year, and with on-going family ties to the place too, I'd also think "why Australia?" Other than somewhat finer weather and meeting a great range of creatures that'd live to kill you, what would you be hoping to find/discover/experience by going there?

    Under the circumstances - especially regarding your dog's condition - and I'd be much more inclined to opt for the challenge and adventure of a European winter. Now full disclosure: because I live full-time on "The Continent" I'm somewhat biased, but it's a rare day that I'd ever meet another Irish person over here in anywhere that wasn't a tourist hotspot. But you'd have a job not bumping into someone Irish in Australia or the US every couple of days.

    So I can understand your boyfriend's attitude, if he doesn't see the point in travelling to the far side of the world to meet the same (kind of) people you'd meet in Dublin, Cork or Galway, and be doing the same things in the same way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,717 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    I did qualify with "different landscape and wildlife" and I have been there (NSW, Queensland, Barrier reef, Daintree, ... for a year, and NZ) and it's a naturally stunning country ... ... but ... my point was that people get this idea to "travel to Australia but it's too far" mentality and don't travel anywhere ... so goto somewhere closer first ... just get the hell moving ... 👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    When you travel to Australia you go for the long haul, literally. Someone who has cold feet who goes to Europe will be on a Ryanair flight home for 50 quid in no time.

    There is far more to Australia than watching gaa in Bondi. And to the other posted who made the stupid and tired argument of creatures that want to kill many Irish people have been killed by a snake/spider/crocodile/emu/koala bear?

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    You don't think that it's possible that the BF might be thinking about the future?

    He might be thinking we will need to buy a house, we may have kids and one of us needs to maintain earnings? In fairness we don't know the specifics of the relationship and never will but they could be things that are going on.

    That the OP hasn't travelled till this point, would to me, suggest that it really isn't that big a deal to them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,867 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    I understand totally about your dog, could you delay the start of your travels? My dog was fine for 9 months after being diagnosed with a tumour, but went downhill quick the last ten days or so. You have waited this long, you could easily wait an extra month or two.

    What is it exactly that you want out of travelling? Are you planning on just staying and working in Australia or will you be travelling anywhere else?

    Also, don't be ashamed to be living at home, many many people are these days

  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    Obviously it's possible, but she wants him to go with her so they're incompatible on what they're currently prioritising, I'm not sure why you're trying to argue the reality of the situation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    The reality of travelling to Australia for the majority of people is that they get work via Irish people, socialise and live with Irish people and get away to all of the other sights between work for weekends or towards the end of their trip, they watch whatever sport that brings the Irish together for.

    This gee idead notion that you aren't travelling unless you are 'immersed' in the people and the culture takes no account of that fact that for these long trips you need to work while on them.

    Plenty come back from Auz knowing more Irish people than they know in Ireland, having worked for the majority of their trip.

    And as for those that prefer to discover the wilds of Asia or some other far flung place, fair play go for it.

    The fact that the OP has to ask this question to a group of strangers on the internet or hasn't gone abroad earlier in life would suggest that they don't really know how much of a priority long distance/long term travel is for them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,717 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Was working, camping, scuba diving, hiking, cycling... in Australia and NZ. No GAA. Did not go to experience urban life in Australia. But it started by getting out of Ireland and going to the UK. If I didn't make that move when I was young, I'd probably never have gone. Certainly it gets harder to move the older you get. And you come up with excuses and one of the excuses is that's it's "too far" ... so pick somewhere closer first.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    OP do you want to travel, or travel and work? If you have savings and just want to travel, go to a travel agent and book a flexible return flight to Australia. Then go to Australia and do a group tour on either the east or west coast. If you like that do the other coast. Go to New Zealand. Go explore the world, its huge and you'll never regret it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,258 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    You're ignoring that the OP said that as well as travelling, they would also like to live on the Continent (presumably Europe) at some stage.

    It doesn't sound like the OP is thinking about settling down with a house or kids here anytime soon, even if that is where their boyfriend's head is at.

    It sounds like as a couple, they've reached one of life's crossroads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,470 ✭✭✭✭kippy

    She said 'she' would like to live on the continent at some stage which is fair enough.

    Her head may not be there at that and that may ultimately be the issue with the relationship. Perhaps they need to have a conversation about that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,718 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    I spent a year in Australia back in the late 90s. I mainly stayed in hostels so met a variety of people.... many irish, English, Scottish and Canadians. I also spent a summer travelling around southern Europe on my own and I've spent a fair bit of time travelling around India.

    So what I would say is this..... My legs nearly buckled from the nerves the first time I flew into a country knowing no one. It was scary. I will be a bit scary for you. If you can get over that initial fear, it can be a great experience. Prior to leaving I wavered between dread and excitement.

    If you're going to Oz just to travel, it is set up for solo travel. Lots of tours and long haul buses to get around. I wouldn't spend more than a few months there though unless you need to work.

    Are you coming back to a job? Because that can hang over you.

    I can understand your boyfriend not wanting to go. It's not for everyone. Have you been together long?

    Was it discussed much?

    Are you thinking of trying long distance? Is he?

    Do you love him? Does he love you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,258 ✭✭✭Ezeoul

    They do need to have an honest conversation about whether they have a future together long-term.

    Ultimately, the ball is in the OPs court. They are the ones changing the status quo here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    Why not try small Europe to start with.

    I'm sorry about your dog. It's awful worrying about a dear pets health and has to be even worse if you're far away.

    Travel even alone is brilliant and if you want to do don't be discouraged by your bf's unwillingness to go. It might just not be his thing. Time might not be right. It doesn't mean there's no future for you both, just that he doesn't want to go to Australia.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭SupaCat95

    Ahh you see what I see. This has nothing with travel or the dog. The dog will pass away with or without the OP. This tread has nothing do to with travelling. it is a Lithmus test for the boyfriend. How long are you with your BF for OP? If you (Pl.) cannot decide after a year, you can never decide.

    30 is no time for sensible ladies to be unsure. Either he is invested or not, he is committed or not, You (Pl.) see your future together or not. Trust me as someone older. Make your life the way you want it before 30. The rules are not the same for guys, they arent on the fertility clock, ignore what society tells you about fertility, time and options. 26 is peak fertility, AI is both expensive and does not come with guarantees and Clomid ..... (* shudders *).

    Make a decision and make a clear one. This has nothing to do with the family dog or travelling to Australia. "Do not reckless with other peoples hearts and do not tolerate people who are reckless with yours"

  • Administrators Posts: 13,853 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    He could easily take a career break from work and come back to it again, there would be no issue with that. I feel really down about this as I know loads of couples who travel all over the world together and have a great time.

    I think you are being unfair here. You are wishy-washy at best about going yet you are disappointed that your boyfriend didn't immediately agree to it and organise a career break! I'm not that interested in travelling. I never did the J1, I didn't go to Australia. So I can see where your boyfriend is coming from. When my children are older, and my money is my own I do hope to travel a bit more but it will most likely be short hop flights for long weekends somewhere I'd like to see.

    Also, who are these loads of couples you know that travel all over the world together? I know no couples of working age who head off on anything longer than the odd holiday or long weekend for a city break. I have one friend who does a lot of traveling with her husband. But it's weekend city breaks usually around Europe. Every few years she will go on a "big holiday" with him but it wouldn't be for 6 months, or anything like it.

    If you want to go, you really should go. Your relationship might survive the time apart, it might not. But it might not survive if you stay here anyway. There are no guarantees. You can't, however, try lay the blame at your boyfriend's feet if you don't go. You are the one with cold feet. You are an adult in your early 30s. You don't need anyone else's permission to go, nor do you need anyone to go with you. It'd be nice to have someone to share the experience with, but at your age you're limiting the people who are available/willing to drop everything and head off with you. And it's unfair to be disappointed in anyone who decides not to do this.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 347 ✭✭iniscealtra

    In his early thirties stour boyfriend is probably thinking of saving a deposit for a house or career progression. Also settling down might be part of that plan. He is happy for you to go. I would say that maybe you are in different stages of your life with different priorities. Have you talked to him about this?