Losing Patience

Posted: 25th May 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

I’ve been travelling in Europe with my cousins. You may have noticed I’m a TCK. My cousins are very much not. They’ve lived in Texas for pretty much all their lives, and this trip over here is their second in their lives overall, and their first backpacking without family around (except me.)

Up until now it’s been fine, but it was in London that our interests start to diverge. I have many friends in London from various times in my life. Some I haven’t seen in 5-6 years, and therefore it meant a lot to me to see them again. It was their first time in London, and therefore they wanted to sightsee. They’re also both students and therefore on a tighter budget since I’m working and have my own savings. They’re also American and nervous about public transportation.

So we diverged on what we want to do and how we want to do it. They preferred to walk and save money, I preferred the Tube to save time. They were alright meeting my friends, but today… well today I admit to snapping after they asked me for the fifth time where they were going.

I had always had a bit of trouble with these cousins. They’re nice kids, but they’re not only so American, but there are a few personal issues that they have I just can’t reconcile myself with. Not to go into personal detail, but they always ground on my patience in a way wholly unrecognized by my mother, who wanted to encourage me to take them out and around in Europe. I liked the idea of starting to internationalise them. Just a start, as I knew it would be, but we hoped that a great experience would encourage them to strike out on their own more.

I guess I failed a bit at that today. I can make excuses about how important my friends from my past are to me. They were brief and intense friendships which were buried somewhat in the past as the road of my life progressed ever onwards but those I still valued and those I find personally and emotionally important to revisit. At the same time… I’m responsible for them. In a way I wish I weren’t and could simply do what I like but I did accept that responsibility.

I wonder how patient others on this site are, when they get frustrated with non-TCKs. At what point is it too much? I wonder if I set that limit too low.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing a great story!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Adding to Paul’s comment, it works better if you and your travel partner share similar traveling style, regardless of TCK/non-TCK. If people whom you are traveling with are all unafriad of trying out new things, fan of outdoor activities, shoppaholic, night life fanatics, morning person, etc., it’s a cakewalk and the whole experience is wonderful. But if one of you are shoppaholic while rest of the group are for outdoor activities, there’s a higher possibility of having a shipwreck.

    I traveled Dominican Republic with non-TCK Korean friend and had almost no problem, mainly because she was “follwer” and I was the “planner,” not TCK vs non-TCK. But when I traveled New York city with another non-TCK Korean friend, that was different: I am totally fine with walking around with a map and venture the city, while my friend was someone whou would to things only when everythign is prepared and someone is there to lead/carry her. That was not the most fun trip.