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Old 07-17-2019, 08:13 PM
 
526 posts, read 215,420 times
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Every summer, I make an effort to visit relatives who are 3+ hours away. My brother is always invited to go with me but he tends to be so crazy-busy that it's a long shot that his schedule will align with theirs. Twice I've gone on my own, and last year he came along but we had to leave at noon due to his having a morning commitment. Frankly, I found the trip more enjoyable on my own.

We established weeks ago that he would not be able to make it this year. Since then, I mapped out a new route for myself and made some plans to stop along the way. This plan includes leaving as soon as I get up in the morning. I was also looking forward to having some one-on-one time with relatives I don't see often.

You probably see where this is going. Tonight my brother informed me that his schedule cleared and he can now go with me. Oh, and he can't leave until 11:30. I agreed, but inside I was seething. What was I supposed to say? I can't very well deny him a chance to see his family just because it interferes with my road trip plans, or my own family bonding time. I feel very selfish even thinking that way, but there it is. I can't seem to turn it off.

The problem here really has little to do with him. We get along very well, and have traveled together countless times. But I had plans for the road trip that I now won't have time for, and even if I had time he wouldn't be interested in them. I only made these plans once I thought I'd be alone. I sort of pictured this as a little escape weekend, and now it almost feels like a burden to be dealt with.

I don't see an easy way out of this, other than simply accepting reality for what it is. Sure I could have said no, but on what grounds? And then I'd have felt guilty the entire trip.

Why is everything always so complicated?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:28 PM
 
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Aww, man, that kind of bites. I'm sorry your plans were screwed up. I get what you're saying. Sometimes it's really nice to just have your own time to do what you want. You're right, though, I don't see a way out without hurting feelings. I guess you could insist on leaving earlier and still doing the things you were planning to do. He can join you or not. You can tell him that you had planned this out when you learned he wasn't joining you and now you're looking forward to doing those things. It's not your problem if he isn't interested in them. You are interested in doing them, and that's important, too. Maybe if you did at least one of the things you planned, you'd feel less burdened?

After you get back from this trip, try to take a weekend for yourself to do something you really want to do. It will give you something to look forward to.

I hope it goes well and better than you anticipate. Safe travels.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
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If he's already cleared his schedule tell him what time you're leaving and be done with it. He can go with you or find another way to get there.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,913 posts, read 42,279,014 times
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Tell him you're leaving early, and if he wants to ride with you, he needs to be ready then. If he can't leave till later, he can drive himself. Just tell him you already made plans that necessitate an earlier start time. He should understand that, as he has plans, himself.

Maybe it's my personal perspective, since trips to see my family are more of the eight-hour drive variety, but a 3-hour trip seems like something he could easily do solo, no real need for a carpool situation.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,288 posts, read 14,638,280 times
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I think OP has already agreed to travel with brother.

OP, chalk this up to experience. In future simply make your plans and execute them. Don’t involve your brother. He is a big boy. He can get himself to his destination.

The thing is, you have accommodated his needs before, by accepting when he could not travel with you. He probably sees himself accommodating you now. Try to use the trip to just be with him. Be there, in the moment, even if this is not your first choice. I don’t think you will regret this, if you do.

But in future, choose to please yourself.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:43 AM
 
10,659 posts, read 4,292,460 times
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I feel your pain.

I really like to travel alone, for just the reasons you stated.

Not always, of course, often I travel with others. But the ability to stop and read a historical marker, or take a little side trip on the way, is such a pleasure.

I think this year, you have your brother. Next year maybe you can be firm about what the plans are?

(I also have this problem with neighborhood walks. I walk often, and friends who have seen me say oh next time you go call me I'd love to walk together. um, no.)
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,633 posts, read 36,699,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I think OP has already agreed to travel with brother.

OP, chalk this up to experience. In future simply make your plans and execute them. Don’t involve your brother. He is a big boy. He can get himself to his destination.

The thing is, you have accommodated his needs before, by accepting when he could not travel with you. He probably sees himself accommodating you now. Try to use the trip to just be with him. Be there, in the moment, even if this is not your first choice. I don’t think you will regret this, if you do.

But in future, choose to please yourself.
I agree with this. Here's what I'd do.

I'd gently and kindly tell your brother about the plans you have made, maybe on the way there with him. I mean, he probably DOES see himself as accommodating family, including but not limited to you, by clearing his schedule. But he does need to realize that you count too - that you had made other plans that you had to cancel.

And you aren't allowed to act like a victim or act like you made some sort of huge sacrifice, making him feel guilty about it. Couch it in terms like "I realize you had no way of knowing this, and it wasn't a big deal to me this time, BUT..." then explain what happened and say, "So in the future, please realize that I will probably be making other plans when I realize we can't coordinate, and after those plans are made, well, they're made. So I'm sure everyone will love seeing you - me included - but you'll need to drive on your own if I've made other plans."

I agree - I don't think you'll regret this time together.

Another thing I would suggest is that you go on this little trip, yourself, maybe in a few weeks. It can't be a very long trip any way you cut it, right?

But I'm in Texas, where it's two to six hours between cities so the idea of a three hours' away destination just sounds like a day trip to me!

Back to your OP - you already agreed so that ship has sailed. But I want to point out that you are not "denying him a chance to see his family." Family is three hours away, not three days' away. He can go any weekend to see them. He can see you anytime as well, if it's that important to him. He's clearly not helpless without you. But this time - you've already agreed so I feel like you're obligated.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:39 PM
 
526 posts, read 215,420 times
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I'm going to, at the very least, speak out when I see him tomorrow about the departure time factor. It won't fix everything, but it'll be a start. Depending on how that works out, I may be able to work in some of my original plans after all. We'll see. It's just so much easier deciding what to do and doing it, rather than trying to convince a disinterested second party to play along.

Regarding the idea that we could visit the relatives at separate times, that's not really a viable option. These relatives have people visit pretty much every weekend throughout the summer, so there ends up being one weekend reserved for "us." Plus, how do you tell a close relative you'd rather go without them, especially when it's someone you actually do travel well with and your reasons are rather self-involved?

What it really boils down to is, I don't deal well with sudden change, especially regarding something I've been looking forward to for weeks. If the current plan had been the original plan, I wouldn't be here now talking about it. It wouldn't be an issue at all. But because of the "you expected X, you're getting Y" factor, I'm struggling.

But as with everything else, this too shall pass.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:46 PM
 
2,963 posts, read 3,087,542 times
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You caused your own aggravation, you should have stood your ground and said that you were leaving early and leave it up to him to either conform or find his own way. I'll bet this isn't the only time he's changed your plans. Get a backbone !!
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,288 posts, read 14,638,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael917 View Post
I'm going to, at the very least, speak out when I see him tomorrow about the departure time factor. It won't fix everything, but it'll be a start. Depending on how that works out, I may be able to work in some of my original plans after all. We'll see. It's just so much easier deciding what to do and doing it, rather than trying to convince a disinterested second party to play along.

Regarding the idea that we could visit the relatives at separate times, that's not really a viable option. These relatives have people visit pretty much every weekend throughout the summer, so there ends up being one weekend reserved for "us." Plus, how do you tell a close relative you'd rather go without them, especially when it's someone you actually do travel well with and your reasons are rather self-involved?

What it really boils down to is, I don't deal well with sudden change, especially regarding something I've been looking forward to for weeks. If the current plan had been the original plan, I wouldn't be here now talking about it. It wouldn't be an issue at all. But because of the "you expected X, you're getting Y" factor, I'm struggling.

But as with everything else, this too shall pass.
Good! You have a plan. You recognize that this is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. And I understand why you would be disappointed about plans for something you looked forward to.

Good luck however it goes, and have a nice trip.
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