Monday, May 10, 2010

Cross-cultural vacation planning

Oh wow. It's been more than a month since my last post. Want a piece of advice from me? If you are thinking about starting a second blog: DON'T. It's hard enough to keep one up. Anyways.

The K-G clan is in the midst of planning our summer pilgrimage to the Motherland. As any self-respecting Bulgarian will tell you, in the summer one MUST go to the beach. Kyle is fully on board, of course, the non-questionability (ha!) of beach vacations is one of his favorite things about Bulgaria.

What has been causing some anguish in me is serving as mediator between husband, mother, father and sister. I really want to make sure that everybody gets exactly the vacation that they'd like, by god, we all deserve it! But the questions are endless: where are we going? when are we going? how are we getting there? what are we hoping our days would be like once we are there?

So far we have been able to agree that we are vacationing some place in Halkidiki. The Bulgarian side of the negotiations team is somewhat terrified that we are going at the BEGINNING of July (But it will be COLD?!). Also, Mom is worried that Dad would be too tired from all the driving (6 hours!!!). Sister wants to do NOTHING (no trips, no stops, just beaching all day long!) and Husband wants to make sure that we don't spend all our time just lying on the beach, getting skin-cancer. He is serious about that one, he wants to DO stuff and I know he means it. A couple of years ago, we went on a short weekend trip with a bunch of friends. I had a blast and he did too. But he did mention that "Bulgarians on vacation" seemed to mean "killing time while figuring out where to eat next". The man has energy and he likes activities!

I am sort of torn. I don't mind lazing around for a week. Especially if we are doing so in close proximity to salty water. But I do feel there should be more to vacationing that that. Especially when we are spending our time in the Land of the Gods.

Am I projecting cultural differences in this dilemma or is this just what family vacations are always like? I am giggling as I type.

Photo by Kirilov-Grady


  1. I would be tempted to say it's the whole family vacation thing rather than cultural differences, but the latter might also have a part to play for some things. I find the best course of action for a family vacation is to make everyone feel like they aren't being trapped in someone else's idea of a vacation, e.g. that if everyone is going to the beach, the one who doesn't want to go either can do what he/she wants during that time with no ill feelings from the others, or that the next day is spent with everyone else doing something other than going to the beach. Just my two cents, but hope it helps :-)

  2. "killing time while figuring out where to eat next".
    Painfully true!

  3. I have to say that is probably a family vacation thing! As for your parents...don't worry about the drving with might give you a chance to stop at some cool places along the way! Your sister will get exactly what she wants while you and Kyle go off and do things...I think it will all work out, but I know it can be stressful being the trip coordinator!
    Hope you are well Petya!

  4. same experience when i went with john - it was too much about the eating and blabbering for him and not enough of the 'doing stuff'
    good luck. jealous.

  5. Being the trip organizer is a hard thing, especially when you try to make happy more than 2 people at the same time :) But I am sure it will be a great trip :)

    This reminds me about a story a friend of mine told me. She is a great Bulgarian girl, married to a great Australian guy and they have 2 wonderful kids. So they went on a trip to Bulgaria and decided to meet another couple with their kids on the playground at 10 am. Everything went well until the moment when the Bulgarian guy said he's going for "coffee" and came back with 4 beers at 10 am on the playground when the kids play :) No one was surprised, but our Australian friend, GIVE ME A BREAK, beer at 10 am on the playground???

    Cultural differences are sometimes fun :) Which reminds me again that I just bought a ticket and I'll be going to Varna at the end of August. I am so excited :)

    You have a lot of fun!