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Overseas relatives

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Given the nature of Canada's makeup,

I assume most people reading have relatives overseas.

I'm also going to go on a limb here and assume that most people can't afford to go overseas and meet their extended family on a regular basis.

That being said, let's say you do go abroad and it's "close" to your extended family -- do you feel obliged to visit?

My case is I have family in Germany, and it's essentially an unspoken rule that if I'm going anywhere near Germany, I'm going to spend at least a week with family to catch up. Catch up? Catch up with who's dead and who's getting confirmed.

While this has a kind of upside, for example a very comfortable bed in which to stay and food and drink for a King... sometimes you just don't have time to visit all the relatives abroad.

How do you balance this? Just looking for strategies or how this compares with western Europe to Asia for example. I understand Asian families are a lot more demanding.

-jM
A&D
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
It's not even about spending time, it's about living in a POS country that doesn't even given people a decent amount of time for vacation.

We've been programmed to feel GUILTY about taking time off, when you're going to see family. Let me know, it is anything BUT a vacation.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Misunderstood the point. Is your boss ok with you taking time off?


I meant to type *let me tell you, not let me know.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
I am the last person to feel guilty about taking time off.

-jM
A&D
Damn straight!

In fact, this year especially I've been challenging my management team with the way they treat vacation and extended time off. It's absurd to think that asking for more than 2 weeks off at a time is a galling act - like, fuck off already and expect more from yourself. Life's too short to limit yourself to brief spurts of time off. If a company is unable to facilitate extended time off for their employees, then they're doing it wrong. /end rant.


To answer the original question, you can always tell your family in advance "I only have 2 days in so and so city, so can we organize a big dinner at Uncle Joe's house? I'll be in the south of the country after that."

Done.
 
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stargurl*

TRIBE Member
In my case, I'm the one who moved overseas (just shy of 10 years ago now - time flies). I get a lot of vacation time (34 days/year plus up to 2 half days a month lieu time, and public holidays, so it all adds up) but I feel obligated to save everything up to go 'home'. In the time that I've been here I've seen very little of Europe and I almost never take a day off 'just because'.

We generally fly to Canada twice a year, and while I'm grateful for the fact that I have enough vacation time and money to do that, how I feel about our trips is complicated. The world is big, and there's so much I'd like to see, but my vacation resources (time/money) always get spent on trips to Canada. Who in their right mind goes on vacation to Brampton?! Plus, like ravinjunkie said, visiting family isn't really vacation. We've got little privacy (have to share a room with our daughter, there's always a point when the typical family conflicts start flaring up again, and there's also a moment when I do the math and wonder why I'm spending so much money per day (we don't have to pay for a place to stay, but flights for 3 people and a rental aren't cheap) to just hang out with family / go shopping / ...

I do try to plan in some 'away' time while we're visiting, but then I feel guilty if we're away from 'home' for more than a couple days because I know how much my parents enjoy seeing us (especially the little one!). Like I said, it's complicated.

That being said, we've just booked flights for about 3 and a half weeks in the summer, so here we go again...
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
I get almost 6 weeks vacation now. And at my work Vacation is sacred. If the days are available nobody ever says no or makes you feel bad about it. Last year I took 4 weeks off in the summer to save money on summer camp for the kids. Not an issue at all.
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Practically unheard of to have 6 weeks vacation - unless maybe you work for a startup or an American company.

I wish more companies were like this here in Canada. People would be a lot more happier.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
In my case, I'm the one who moved overseas (just shy of 10 years ago now - time flies). I get a lot of vacation time (34 days/year plus up to 2 half days a month lieu time, and public holidays, so it all adds up) but I feel obligated to save everything up to go 'home'. In the time that I've been here I've seen very little of Europe and I almost never take a day off 'just because'.

We generally fly to Canada twice a year, and while I'm grateful for the fact that I have enough vacation time and money to do that, how I feel about our trips is complicated. The world is big, and there's so much I'd like to see, but my vacation resources (time/money) always get spent on trips to Canada. Who in their right mind goes on vacation to Brampton?! Plus, like ravinjunkie said, visiting family isn't really vacation. We've got little privacy (have to share a room with our daughter, there's always a point when the typical family conflicts start flaring up again, and there's also a moment when I do the math and wonder why I'm spending so much money per day (we don't have to pay for a place to stay, but flights for 3 people and a rental aren't cheap) to just hang out with family / go shopping / ...

I do try to plan in some 'away' time while we're visiting, but then I feel guilty if we're away from 'home' for more than a couple days because I know how much my parents enjoy seeing us (especially the little one!). Like I said, it's complicated.

That being said, we've just booked flights for about 3 and a half weeks in the summer, so here we go again...
Buy 2 return tickets for your parents, or ask them to split it with you and get them to come to your hood. Take the Monday & Friday's off, work 3 days per week for 2 weeks and now you've fulfilled your obligation to see family and you still have vacation time to spare.

You shouldn't have to feel obligated to use all of your vacation time just to visit your family. Alternatively, meet up with them in Cuba or some other fun trip.

I live in Toronto and I don't even visit Brampton for as many days as you do!
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Practically unheard of to have 6 weeks vacation - unless maybe you work for a startup or an American company.

I wish more companies were like this here in Canada. People would be a lot more happier.

I don't think it's that rare. I didn't start out with that much but every few years got another week added on. I work for a very large company that considers work-life balance essential. A lot of companies have the same values but may provide other benefits instead.

I actually have the option to take extra vacation days or more stock options or better health plans or a balance of the three. And not unionized.
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Practically unheard of to have 6 weeks vacation - unless maybe you work for a startup or an American company.

I wish more companies were like this here in Canada. People would be a lot more happier.
Startups and certainly american companies are the LAST to offer lots of vacation.

In Canada it's law 2 weeks minimum (or 4% of hours worked), most offer 3 to start. USA it's common to get 1 week to start. Contrast to Europe's 6.

-jM
A&D
 
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