A conversation that irked me

This is going to be one of my fairly word-vomitty, un-planned, see where it takes me type posts so if you’re not a fan of those, I won’t be offended (I wouldn’t be a fan either, don’t worry). But I had a conversation a few months ago that really irked me and I wanted to share it with you in case it irks you too – misery loves company and all that! So behold, story time with Jenny in Neverland. Today’s story is called, “A Conversation With my Postman”.

Now, before we get into it, I’m certain that my postman didn’t mean to cause offence or irk me with what he said. He’s a lovely man and I enjoy chatting to him (usually – apart from this occasion) so although he’s absolutely 100% not reading this, nothing again you, okay mate? Okay.

So the postman knocked a little while ago, armed with book mail and some products I was sent to review (yay!) and as always, we got chatting. He mentioned that he’d be gone for a few weeks in the Summer because he was going to be in India, for his son’s wedding. Which got us talking about holidays.

He asked me if I had any planned and I said my boyfriend and I were going away to Shropshire in September and that I was going to Norfolk for a Yoga retreat in November. He laughed and said, “have you ever been abroad?!” I’m sure he didn’t mean it but it sounded quite patronizing.

I said that yes, I have actually. So he asked me where I’d been and I started naming a few places, “Spain, Majorca, Tenerife, Gran Caneria etc. etc.” To which he laughed again and said “well what’s the longest journey you’ve been on?” Meaning, where’s the furthest place away I’ve been. So I said probably Tenerife, which was a 4 hour flight.

Cutting to the chase, he proceeded to tell me about a massive holiday he had in Thailand and all of these super long-haul, hot, exotic places that he’s been to. I managed to end the conversation eventually, shut the door and proceed to get more and more irked about it, the longer I thought about it.

Now again, I’m certain he didn’t mean bad by anything he said. But what really irked (I’ve said irked too much) me the most was the assumption that A) I should be going abroad, B) why aren’t I going abroad? and C) Even when I told him I had been abroad, my abroad wasn’t good enough. No, I haven’t been to Thailand. Fuck off.

I’ve spoke about this so many times, mostly on Twitter about how judgmental people can be with the whole “to travel or not to travel” argument and the realization that not everyone wants to travel and not everyone wants to travel far. I love my UK holidays and I’m not ashamed that I’m not jetting off to exotic places every Summer.

I want to reiterate again and again that there are so many reasons why people don’t travel, don’t want to travel and don’t want to travel far and not a single one of those reasons is your business and your place to judge why or where people travel or don’t travel to.

My holidays mean so much to me and having anxiety, even the smallest trips can sometimes be a huge deal for me. But I do them, I manage it and I am so grateful for being able to go on holiday – even if it is only to other parts of the UK. I’d love to travel abroad but money is tight and the holidays we take just happen to be closer to home. There’s nothing wrong with that.

So I’ll sign off with, please don’t judge people for their choices which have nothing to do with you. Not everyone can travel. Not everyone wants to travel. Not everyone can afford big, luxury holidays. Not everyone can afford small, low-key holidays. We’re all different and benefit from different things and if it’s none of your business, don’t make people feel about about their decisions.

At the end of the day, I don’t care where I am. As long as I’m in good company and make some lovely memories.

What are your thoughts on this post and this conversation I had? I’d love to hear your opinions but please be respectful of others.

Here are some of my previous posts about my UK staycations:

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93 thoughts on “A conversation that irked me

  1. Some people have no tact whatsoever. I haven’t been on a holiday abroad in eleven years and last went on holiday in 2015 to a caravan in Yorkshire with my family, and it was such a great, fun holiday we had. We’re always talking about it. I wish people would understand that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or go thousands of miles away to have an amazing holiday. It’s like you said people have their reasons to not go and those reasons are no business of anyone else.

  2. That’s really quite a rude comment of his, even though I could see how he didn’t mean it that way. The UK is full of beautiful places to explore, so why spend loads if you can see places equally as beautiful just a few miles away? It means you can spend more money when you’re there which is always a bonus to me.

    Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

  3. I can relate to this so much!! I’ve never been abroad (I didn’t even have a bloody passport until a few months ago) and I’m sick of the strange looks I get when I say I’ve never been on holiday. The simple fact is; I’m not interest in going on them. I grew up with my parents on benefits, we had to choose between eating and heating the house some winters – holidays were the last things on my parents minds!

    Don’t get me wrong, there are places I’d like to go because I’m interested in the history or sights or mythology, but it’s not high on my priority list. I’ve certainly no interest in going and laying next to a pool for a week, I hate the heat too much! (No offence to anyone who likes that kind of thing)

    I’d be just as irked as you were, and probably a lot less polite in my answer too lol xx

    Jade | jademarie.co.uk

    1. I hate the heat too so going to a hot place and laying in the sun is LITERALLY the last thing I’d want to do! See people don’t “see” all of that when they make those judgements. The only thing I’d say to you – because you’re a friend – is I hope you get to go / see what you want some day because you deserve it 😘

  4. I see why it irked you, that line of questioning does come across as pretty judgemental! I always think that what people say reflects more about themselves than it does about you. Perhaps he was trying to make himself feel better about one aspect of his life (travelling) in order to make up for something else that was bothering him. Don’t give it another thought and enjoy your breaks wherever they may take you! 🙂

  5. This would have got to me too! I loved this – ‘At the end of the day, I don’t care where I am. As long as I’m in good company and make some lovely memories.’

    I really don’t like when people try to push their opinions and ways onto others. I personally love travelling, I have been to the USA a couple of times but not done the ‘backpacking’ type of holiday in Thailand or whatever. I have also done short haul European trips and breaks away in the UK. I just love travelling and getting away in general. Where I have been isn’t used for ‘bragging points’. I do what I want to do and visit the places I really want to see. I am just grateful that I am able to travel at all.

    I was speaking to someone I work with and he said when he was my age him and his wife didn’t go on big holidays. You compromise on somethings to have other things. There is no right or wrong. Ultimately, just do what makes you happy. Don’t do things just to try and impress other people.

    Hayley || hayleyxmartin

    1. Exactly you’ve hit the nail on the head! I had no problem with people sharing their travels but what I don’t like is the bragging, it’s pointless and unnecessary and just makes people feel like crap 🙃🙃

  6. I’d have just said that it was high time we all woke up to the devastating impact flying has on the environment, smiled smugly and closed the door.

    Seriously though, I holiday in the town I live in, so I think you’re very intrepid and brave for travelling to other parts of the UK!

  7. Yes to all of this! I always feel people judge me when I say we’re going away somewhere in the UK or we’re going back to somewhere we’ve been before. I love going abroad but I don’t go far, it’s too expensive and my anxiety just gets worse so it’s far easier to stay closer to home. I hate people feeling like they have a right to an opinion on things like that as they have no idea the reasons behind peoples choices. The UK is full of beautiful places, I personally want to see as much as I can! Great post xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  8. Wow, how rude was he?! That’s so uncalled for! I’ve never been abroad because several members of my family have additional needs and it’s far easier for us to stick with what’s familiar than to go out of our comfort zone and deal with the constant meltdowns. The whole point of holiday’s are to offer people a chance to relax, however that may be. The fact that he was judging you for your choice is so rude.

  9. In Ireland, I feel that people turn their nose up as well if you aren’t “going foreign” for your holiday. On the other hand, Italians and Spanish love holidaying in their own country. Why can’t we feel the same?

  10. You know what, I love this.
    I always holiday in the UK. My go to is literally just up the road, I pick a wee village in Northumberland, usually around Alnwick or Warkworth, get a self catering cottage, and explore castles for a long weekend. And that’s heaven for me.
    TBH I don’t want to go abroad. I don’t want the hassle and the stress and the expense and the additional worry over healthcare and where it’d trigger a relapse and what would happen if it did.
    But I get that other people and that’s OK too, but I hate the judginess when you don’t. It’s not a bad thing, it’s personal preference.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  11. I think your postman would have irked me too Jenny! I love a good holiday but being a travel snob is the worst. There could be tons of reasons why someone can’t go abroad, everyone’s situations are so different. Holidaying in the U.K. is just as good, I’ve have such fond childhood memories of caravan holidays in Cornwall and Devon with my family. I’m also really excited for Norfolk too, it’s gonna be such a lovely break ☺️💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Exactly! Snobs of ANYTHING are awful because they just don’t take into consideration that everyone has different circumstances. I love Norfolk I’ve been 3 tines and I’m so excited to go again! xxx

  12. I love travel personally and I do think it’s good to see other cultures and experience other ways of living. But it’s exhausting! And as a disabled person it can really suck to know you’re in an amazing place and not be able to experience it because the travel has got you sick.
    UK holidays are so much easier on the body and wallet- as well as being truly beautiful! There’s a reason JRR Tolkien based The Shire on certain areas of England!
    Imogen’s Typewriter. ❤

  13. I get you. I tend to travel in Austria too – mostly because I enjoy driving by car the most but, again, this limits me a bit. So going to France would already take two days, and I often get comments why I just don’t fly ?? But I really enjoy my road trip holidays the most – the journey, the getting there, that you can see things on the way. But it irks me that people don’t seem to understand urg

    1. I mean yeah getting somewhere quick, flying is probably the better option but road trips sound amazing especially in a country like Austria! I’d love to join you on an Austrian road trip (with a stop at the Grand Prix!)

  14. I do think sometimes people to realise when they are saying something that can cause offence to someone and they really need to just think before they speak I think! I think wherever you go on holiday you can make it amazing but who you go with and just making it fun for yourself doesn’t matter if your travel 10 or 2 hours to get there! Xx

  15. This was really interesting. I personally love travel. And being on a plane is the most relaxing thing in the world to me, so I adore a long haul flight. But I view holidays as adventures, full to the brim itineraries etc. Beachy holidays aren’t my vibe but everyone should fully respect and appreciate everyone wants different things and that’s totally okay x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  16. I would have told him in that moment and I get it if maybe you couldn’t verbalize it but I would tell him the next time I see him. If not, after being upset, I would let it go. I don’t think some people realize that they’re being X,Y, Z so perhaps educating him or making him aware would be helpful. I’m not even sure this is a case of snobbery and more a case of just someone wanting to hear themselves the loudest in a conversation. Either way I’m sorry that happened to you.

  17. I think postmen in general lack tact or good timing, mine always used to bang on the door once I’d finally got my baby off to sleep and now manages to knock every time I’m completely naked getting dressed 🙄 Anyway, I think sometimes people just approach conversations with no idea they’re being offensive but really they just want to brag about their life because, well, they think we’re interested (we aren’t!) I also think sometimes we get upset/offended because of our reality/experiences and sometimes that’s a difficult area to navigate. When I’m talking to my son about what upsets him we encourage him to own his own feelings and realise he ALLOWS people to upset him because his feelings are his own, nobody makes us angry, we get angry. Theres a lot in therapy about how we let feelings in or ruminate on things we can’t change. Ofcourse there’s also a strong counter argument to considering others’ feelings when we act, and certainly listening when people tell us we are being upsetting. X

    1. As someone who’s been in therapy that makes a lot of sense but I agree with your comment about postmen haha! He’s a lovely bloke so I genuinely don’t think he meant anything by it. It was definitely my OWN insecurities that got pissed off by the comment, not the comment itself BUT I do think we need to be a bit more wary about what we say!

      1. Exactly it is a two way thing, some people just don’t see the awkwardness of their angle of conversation sometimes particularly certain generations more than others I think. Mine always jokes about me cleaning but that’s because he always comes in the one half hour I have to blitz everywhere 🤣

  18. He clearly lacks in tact but I genuinely don’t think he meant any harm. He obviously just didn’t think about what he was saying – as men don’t think about the implication of stuff like that I don’t think (and yes I know that sounds horribly generalised!) x

  19. I don’t think a holiday can be measured by how far your travel, but rather than the experiences and enjoyment you gain from it. Everyone in Australia seems to go to Bali – except us, it just doesn’t appeal at all.

  20. I think this was uncalled for entirely. A holiday is a holiday, no matter how far you happen to travel. Yes, it’s good to go to places for the ‘culture’ or whatever, but you can equally go on holiday to unwind. They’re personal experiences, so people shouldn’t let their snobbery ruin what’s special to one person. Plus, they don’t know how much effort people put in to actually go, as packing and holidays in general can be a stressful time. Cheers for sharing this, think that’s one less person on your Christmas list 😂

  21. It’s funny how some innocent conversations end up really getting under your skin, isn’t it? I’m going to Cardiff to stay with a friend in a few weeks and that’s the furthest I’ve gone in a long time. Circumstances mean i’m kinda lucky to be going anywhere, let alone abroad. You go to where you want to go – and as long as you enjoy it, who cares if you’ve gone 10 miles or 10,000 miles?

    Lovely post – I love your rambling ones!

  22. What a strange way to handle a conversation (the postman now). I like both going abroad and British holidays, I haven’t exactly been anywhere majorly exotic but it suits me and my family. I enjoy listening to how other people’s holidays went and hearing of their experiences, I would never dream of making anyone feel bad about that. I know your postman probably didn’t mean to but it is a little rude. Wherever you are off to next have a great time and enjoy the time relaxing.
    Kate x
    http://www.katesbeautyhome.com

  23. Thats so weird! I’m sorry you had to go through that convo! I think its great that you travel even if its close!! And just because people don’t travel doesn’t mean there is anything less about them! Tho it is a little fun to make fun of people that have never left the US, but I would never be snobby about it. Its more of a “Holy cow I can’t believe you have never been outside the US” type surprised disbelief. But I don’t think it makes me superior that I have. It just means I have been lucky enough to have the opportunities!

  24. I can totally see how this would irk you! It would’ve annoyed me, too! Personally, I’m not very much interested in traveling, and, to be honest, I’m a poor college student so I just don’t have that type of money in the first place. It’s so annoying when people get that better than you attitude just because they’ve done something different. 🙄

  25. This would really annoy me. I can’t travel as I’m housebound/bedridden, though to look at me, you wouldn’t know it. Like you say, not everyone can travel or even wants to. I’d love to travel but the only place I get to go is hospital lol x

  26. I’m with you! we love Lanzarote! people are always saying ‘Oh you’re going there AGAIN’, bloody cheek, we found the most amazing hotel, the same staff look after us time after time and treat us like returning family. We got fed up of long-haul, takes ages to get over the jet lag, especially when you have to go right back to work. People should mind their own business – we also love holidaying here in the UK, it’s an amazing little country! glad I found your blog!

  27. I completely agree with you on this. I have been lucky enough to go on some fairly long-haul holidays, but some of my favourite memories ever are from trips to the Scottish Isles. There are no wrong or right holidays, travel doesn’t make you a better person, especially if all you learn from it is to brag about where you’ve been! People can be so judgemental about this and I hate all the viral tweets telling people to “travel while they’re young” etc – it’s not feasible for everyone and it just makes people feel shit if they can’t. Your upcoming holidays sound amazing and I hope you have the best time!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  28. Oh I’ve come across SO many people who are like this and it’s ridiculous. I adore UK holidays. The whole journey of travelling abroad makes me anxious on its own. I’m sure I’ll give it a go one day, but it’s way too expensive for me right now. I don’t even mind, I love a UK break away.

  29. I feel your exasperation! We are doing mainly stay-cations at the moment, for a number of reasons, and whenever I say I have a week off, I always get “where are you going?” Where did we get to the point where every time someone has time off, they are supposed to be going somewhere – for the whole time? That means the only time you’re at home is when you’re working. I think that’s sad.

  30. seems a little odd, why is staying at home and seeing your home country such a bad thing? if its the cost then some places in the UK can be about the same price as a trip over seas.. i dont understand some people.

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