Like it or love it, most of us have to work for a living. This is the place to commiserate with other cube-dwellers and get tips from other business travelers. Talk about how the daily grind will one day allow you to realize your vagabond dreams. Share tips for turning travel you have to do into travel you want to do.

The difficulty of being unconventional.


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  • Added on: October 5th, 2008
I recently went on a trip to Guat, Mex, and Cuba, for about a month...while my hubs was off doing military things. I knew well before my trip that traveling was something I was meant to do. I have always felt and expressed a desire to travel the world, and I'm a bit off the wall and unconventional. That's just the way I am...and It's certainly no secret.

I'm currently in school- and buckling down, so I can get my first degree out of the way (Anthropology). I have a short two week stint in Sydney to visit a friend, coming up in May...but, I know other than that- I won't be doing any serious traveling til 2010.

My husband is in the military, and has told me many times he would do a round the world trip with me well before he ever joined (we have been together for almost 6 years- and met when I was almost 16). He knows me very well, and I thought he understood traveling was something I HAD to do.

Turns out, he thought (at least until my recent trip), that it was some lofty dream that I just talked about a lot...and is acting rather unwilling to take a year off after his enlistment is over to do some wandering. (A lot of the problem, I think is coming from his parents, which I will mention below...)

It took a lot of discussion to explain to him that there was no choice in the matter for me- and that I didn't want to be bitter (he doesn't want it either). So, I think now he finally understands.

He has 5 more years in the military, until we have the opportunity to do anything over a month together (I plan on traveling/studying abroad during his deployments, so that's six or more months every 18 months.) But, I'm concerned that when the time comes, he's going to flake on me... that he's not going to go for it. He is so obsessed with having control over his every situation and knowing exactly what's going on all the time (I blame his dad)...that I think he might freak out in a RTW setting. I mean...I'm having an extremely difficult time convincing him to NOT spend our 30 days of vacation at his parent's house...*sigh*.

He's not too keen on me taking trips during his deployment either...and for some reason thinks I should stay home?? (Completely ridiculous, as far as I'm concerned).

What's worse is his parents have been driving me up the wall with claims that my travels are "irresponsible" (I got an earful after telling my MIL I was going to Sydney in May) and "unrealistic". Their family is reeeallly conservative and Latin. His mom would never go away traveling without her husband. I am much more independent than that, and despite the fact that I don't want to be away from my husband...I have to anyway. So, why not spend it traveling?

I really wish they would put a sock in it, and he would stop being so "cautious" and cut the umbilical cord. I know some of it is money- but, honestly? I'm happy with a late model car...and I don't need the 52" tv. We're only in our (very) early twenties...and they're already riding our asses to settle down and have kids...which I WILL NOT be doing until at least my thirties... What do I do?!?!
"It's not down in any map. True places never are."
-Herman Mellville, "Moby Dick"


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  • Added on: October 5th, 2008
I don't even know that you're all that unconventional. This sounds like some pretty common complaints:
- husband has different priorities, doesn't quite get why your priorities are important to you.
- in-laws are a pain in the ass.

Doesn't this describe the problems of virtually every relationship?

Best of luck sorting it out, but don't give up what makes you happy.


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  • Added on: October 13th, 2008
Be assertive, do what makes you happy, try to help them understand. You're only young once. The easiest time to travel is when you don't have kids and/or a mortgage and/or pets, etc. If money is the issue, then work for it, take an extra job if need be, make a budget to travel, and budget wisely for the trip...that way, you've earned it. Plus, you can take advantage of some of the 'youth' (under 26) and student discounts where available. Take advantage of them!! If your in-laws are really driving you up the wall, you can cut off some of the communication with them.

I've left my husband many times for many weeks to travel on my own. He can't really say anything about it, since I'm stubbornly independent that way. And he knows that I can take care of myself, even in bad situations...I'm able to figure it out. Trust. We have tons of trust in our relationship. It is huge, and is probably why he doesn't even fuss when I go on a trip. And my in-laws thought I was crazy at first..what did I do? I did my own thing. That was years ago. But now they realize that traveling (solo at times) is my thing, and they can't do anything about it. We 'forced' them to experience a bit of the world by getting married in Thailand...they've opened up a bit since then.

Best of luck.


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  • Added on: October 13th, 2008
i am nowhere near the situation you are in, so i cannot relate. but i do know that if you have a dream, you MUST go for it, otherwise you may live to regret it, and that is not a risk worth taking.

in dealing with your husband and his family, why don't you write out a letter that spells out exactly the reasons why traveling is so important to you. telling them face to face leaves you open to unfair questions and not getting out everything you wanted to say, but writing it down should be all encompassing

good luck


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Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2008
You've got a lot of issues all roiling around at once. Maybe try to separate them -- divide and conquer!

The more immediate one is your plan to travel while your husband is on deployment. It sounds like an excellent plan to me. My niece's husband is a submariner. When he's away, she goes where and does what she wants. At least she did until she got a real job this fall. It makes perfect sense. As someone elase suggested, you may need to curtail communications with your inlaws. That might be hard, depending on your and their cultural traditions. But there is no question in my mind that you should use your solo time to travel.

The longer term issue is your RTW plan for after he gets out. You mention a lot of excuses you THINK your husband will have for not doing it. I understand that -- I do that too when I'm fretting about something. I suggest chilling on it for the time being. Do your shorter trips, share your experiences with him when you're both back. Build up the concept of travel being both wonderful and affordable. If money really may be an issue, start saving, and don't hide the fact that you're doing it.

You're young, and I can remember feeling as you do (must not settle down before doing the stuff you really want to do). But life's not quite that black and white, I've found. All over these boards there are people who travel with kids and people who travel after kids.

You'll know as you get closer to your husband's discharge date whether the RTW plan really needs to happen then, and you may have to make some tough choices. But be prepared to accept the notion that you may change your mind and decide to defer that travel. I guess what I'm trying to say is, take it one day, or one month at a time.

No one trip is "the trip of a lifetime" -- they all are.


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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2008
I'm with Mia. You travelling while he is deployed seems to be a perfect idea since you don't have children and you don't have to go crazy staying at home worrying about him.

It does sound like you'll run into problems some day if you think he's going to go RTW with you. Right now, it doesn't sound like he is all that interested. I can also sympathize with him not wanting to travel while on his month-long leave. I'm deployed for the State Department in a place probably nicer than where ever he is, but during my month of home leave coming up, I wouldn't have any desire to go travelling internationally. I'd rather sit at home, have some Starbucks, and catch up with friends.


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Waitin' For The Lentil Loaf
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  • Added on: October 24th, 2008
For a really unpopular side of things...

So you're in school while your husband is working full time. You go on vacations whenever it fits your schedule and want to do more and more. Do you have a job? Is your husband financing not only your education but your traveling as well? Now, I know, its family money, what's his is yours and whats yours is his. Here's the thing, you say that you are ok with an older model car etc. What is he comfortable with? School and traveling are both large expenditures. What does he want to be spending the money that he earns on? A new house? Traveling? Saving for children (kids cost money, you know)?

You guys seem (obviously I don't know the whole story) to have a very one way flow of money. He earns it, you spend it on ways that benefit you. Your education may get you a better salary later on but what are your plans with an anthropology degree? You also say this is your first degree, who will be financing the later ones? That's a lot of years of school where you will be bringing in little to no money. Plus, if you have children will you want to work full time? No matter what, children are going to effect your work/school schedule; not saying you can't do it but you'll have to be able to adapt and having a husband who is being shipped over seas adds a whole nuther layer of difficulty.

I'm not trying to tell you what you can and can't do. As much as we all want to believe that we can do it all, we can't do everything. From all the things you're taking on and, quite frankly, your petulance at deciding that you deserve to do all of them, well, no wonder his family is less than happy about it. Its not just money, you're deciding where a majority of your household's money goes, and its going to you. You also want to decide what you do with his time off (I'm not saying that its all his choice either but think of how his family views it). Maybe its just because you were the one typing out the post here, it is literally a one sided story, but it seems as though you're having a bit of a one sided marriage too.

What do you do? You talk to your husband. You discuss what you want, what he wants and if there is a budget to make all those things happen. You talk about when they should be happening. You both compromise. If you and your husband are on the same page and happy with your decisions then the in-laws are a cinch.
I don't want to be fearless, I want to be brave.


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  • Added on: November 5th, 2008
Wow, wow, wow, here. I do have a job...ha. And, before he joined the military, I was the sole breadwinner of the operation. I pay my own way with mostly everything. I'm not really a big fan of housewifedom, and wouldn't go there.

I have no plans for children for at least another 10, maybe 15, unless by some freak accident I get knocked up by mistake- no kids for me.

I do save a good bit of money as well. (Typically, I am the only one of us who does, as he spends it on things like guns, scopes, fishing, etc., etc.,)

It may seem one-sided, because I was talking about "my" feelings...but, if you want to know the truth- I don't think I'm being any bit selfish, considering that I made it clear that world travel was a lifetime goal of mine, well before we married. After the ring was on my finger, things swiftly changed course.

As for my anthropology degree, I plan on pursuing a Masters (and subsequently a PhD) while teaching school (I'm trying to complete a double and get certification so I can teach). My husband is not financing my education, either. I got grants and scholarships to take care of that. So...I work nearly full time and go to school.

I think my problem isn't one of my own leeching or's one of ideological conflict. He comes from a hardworking immigrant family that places no value on "worldly learning". I come from the "worldly learner" camp. It's swiftly becoming apparent to me, at this point, that we have some major differences.
"It's not down in any map. True places never are."
-Herman Mellville, "Moby Dick"


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Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: November 9th, 2008
It sounds like so far you are fairly conventional but wanting to be more unconventional. You also happen to be married to a conventional type guy who doesn't seem to share your enthusiasm for the unconventional. You two don't need to have identical priorities in order to make things work, but they do need to be compatible, and you each have to be willing to compromise. You need to have a serious talk with your husband. Find a solution that will work for both of you and commit to it.

Regarding Your In-laws:
If your in-laws give you crap, don't fight them and don't let it get you down. Just ignore them and realize that taking crap comes with your choice to lead an unconventional life. And remember that it's your life, not theirs. The thing with in-laws (and parents for that matter) is that you can keep making compromises in your life to try to please them, but as soon as you cave on one issue, they will have a new demand (they will call it a "concern" btw). Once you start, you will never stop, and before you know it, you'll be living a life you don't recognize. They will come around over time as long as your husband is happy, because in the end, his happiness is what they care about (that and grandkids).

Regarding Your Husband's Umbilical Cord:
Realize that your husband's family does not necessarily define who he is. Despite how it feels sometimes, he is not a clone of your father-in-law. At some point he found your urge to travel intriguing, and even agreed to join you. That's a good start. Just because he's expressing anxiety or reluctance now doesn't mean he'll back out. You need to start encouraging him to think independently of his family's opinion. Start with small things so he realizes that displeasing his parents doesn't signal the end of the world.

Regarding Your Trip:
When you talk about your RTW trip, stop framing it with a question mark and start using an exclamation mark instead. If he notices and objects, gently remind him that this is a definite plan that you two both agreed on. Negotiate a tentative date and start making plans. Start a budget and chart your progress towards your savings goal. Start planning a route and talking about destinations. It will all change a hundred more times, but that's not the point. Propose stops and activities that you know he'll love. Get him excited. If he makes a suggestion, accept it enthusiastically with no questions asked, no matter how stupid you think it is. The idea is to get him excited and onboard. Send him books that he can read during his downtime. If he's not a reader, e-mail him excerpts from whatever you're reading.

Regarding Your Relationship:
Whatever you do, don't sacrifice who you are or what you love in order to be with someone. It's not worth it. If you feel in your gut that this is not going to work long-term, get out now while you are still young and independent. Don't waste years of your life (and his) trying to be noble and "work it out" if you already know it's not going to work. And don't have kids until you are SURE it's the right thing.

My two cents. I hope it all works out for you.

The Road Forks

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Lost in Place
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  • Added on: December 2nd, 2008
My husband at first was unsure about the RTW, not because he was worried about traveling or because he didn't want to do it, but he wasn't sure if we could save enough money, manage our career expectations, take care of our dogs, etc. if we went away for a year. My husband was concerned about the practicalities while I was caught up in the dream --- which sounds a bit to me like the difference between you and your husband (though it sounds like your husband is more opposed to traveling in general).
So, we talked . . . and talked . . . and talked. I did a lot of research and mapped out exactly how much money it would cost and how we could save that much, figured out a way to take care of our dogs, and thought a lot about logistics, which made me focus more on the practicalities and allowed him to focus on dreaming.
We love talking about our dream destinations and we're trying to fit in both of our desires. My husband really wants to go to World Cup 2010 so we're going to try to make that happen. In the end, I'm glad that my husband is a bit more cautious than me because it keeps me grounded. Obviously, some of that caution must be why you are married to your husband so you might try thinking of it as a positive that keeps you both moving forward in the right direction.
Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, eat, and cook our way around the world:


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: April 10th, 2008

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  • Added on: December 2nd, 2008
I invested 10 years of my life in a relationship with someone, that despite all our talk, that turned out to ultimately be a "stay at home girl". A comfortable career soon ensued and dreams of travelling were put on a back shelf.

Only when I (finally) was single again, did these dreams resurface, even then it took me three years to get the courage to go.

Only regret (big, huge one) was I wish I done it all sooner.

Moral of the story OP, is that it sounds like you and your husband are heading for a impasse and something is goanna have to give.

Not to sure what to say, other than echo the good advice given by Liforce and suggest the following places for a "hunting and fishing" type of guy!

Catch giant exotic fish in Thailand’s "Monster Lake"

Hunt trophy deer in New Zealand

Blow up a cow with a grenade launcher in Cambodia!

OK - I think this is a travellers myth, but hey money talks!

Don't forget your history
Know your destiny
In the abundance of water
The fool is thirsty

"Rat race" - Bob Marley


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Joined: March 29th, 2007
Location: Los Angeles

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  • Added on: July 10th, 2009
***Update for those interested***

I ended up leaving. We'd had issues in the past with him putting his hands on me. He'd stopped for a long time (years), but some time after that post was made, he started doing it again. I promised him that would be the end of things if he ever did it again. This time, I held to my word. He was really bitter that I had gone traveling, and my trip opened my eyes to the fact that I am too young and the world is too wide to invest my precious life in someone who is like that towards me.
We basically grew up together- we met at 15, so it was easy to ignore how different we became as we grew up. My advice to anyone who is young (or old) facing this debacle is to not hold back from what you truly want in your one precious life, even if it means cutting the ties that bind... as you only have one life.
Today, I am living in Los Angeles, working, and finishing my degree. I've met someone really excellent (who DOES desire to travel, more than anything), and I'm rebuilding my life. This time, my dreams are on the forefront, and I'm sharing them with someone who dreams the same things. Travel, which is something we all glorify on this site- really does help you see.


"It's not down in any map. True places never are."
-Herman Mellville, "Moby Dick"


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Location: Austin, TX

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  • Added on: August 12th, 2009
I understand how you feel about wanting a partner who also desires to travel around the world. Hope things continue working out for you there.


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Location: San Diego, CA, for now.

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  • Added on: August 24th, 2009
Good for you. It sounds like you are happy now. I'm sure it took a lot of strength to do what you did. Congrats and enjoy your travels and new life.


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Armchair Traveler
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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
Good for you. Sounds like you're happy now. Some thoughts that came to mind when reading your original post:

-It's YOUR life. You definitely are right to want to live it the way you want, and not your parents.
-Everybody's different. We each have our own sources of joy. That's just life.

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