Anyone else dread their honeymoon?


#1

My husband was born in Peru, but he had dual citizenship with Italy because all of his grandparents are from Italy and they passed the citizenship to his parents who passed it on to him. So, naturally it's always been his dream to go to Italy.
When it came time to start planning the honeymoon, the topic of going to Italy of course came up. I honestly wasn't too excited for a lot of reasons. One them is that I'm really nervous about leaving the United States to go to a country where I don't speak the language, and especially after hearing about scary close calls with criminals in Italy from friends and family who have been there. I also despise Italian food, and I have no emotional connection to Italy. It's just another country among many to me. I wanted to keep an open mind so I bought two travel books and tried to plan a fun trip. Even though the Vatican is there, I just couldn't get excited about going. My dream vacation has always been to go on a roadtrip out west, seeing all the amazing sights of America like the grand canyon. Seeing Canada has always been a dream of mine too. There are about a million other things I want to see besides Italy. A big, fancy, two-week trip to Europe has just never been my style. I am too low-key for that.
After my husband saw me struggle for a long tim to get excited about going to Italy, we talked about it and decided that now is probably not the best time to go. I would like to go some day, but I want to make sure that it's at the right time when I've had time to really learn about and understand the country and be really excited to go. So, we started looking into other honeymoon options. I even made a detailed itinerary for my dream road-trip across America in case we chose it! I was finally actually happy to go on a honeymoon.
Then, we visited his parents. They gave us a letter from his grandparents saying they were going to give us $2,000 because they wanted us to take a honeymoon to Italy and visit the town where they were born. I was incredibly grateful for the gift, but I was honestly really crushed. :( Since I had just graduated from college and he spent his 20s paying down debt, that $2,000 was basically our entire life savings. I really would have rather had the option to save it than wipe it all out going to Italy.
So now we basically have to go to Italy. We used up all his vacation days visiting his parents 4 states away so we can't go until his vacation days roll over in April 2011, which will be 10 months after our wedding. I know it is his dream to go and I totally want to support him going, but I just really wish our honeymoon could be something we both plan and both wanted to do. I feel like something as important as our honeymoon shouldn't be decided by just one spouse, much less by one spouse's grandparents. I know I should be grateful to even have the opportunity to see a foreign country, but I'm still pretty upset about it. I am sure once I get there I will have fun, but I think I will always wonder what it would have been like to have had a honeymoon somewhere else. It's especially upsetting that since I've known him, ALL of our vacations have been spent with his family, with the exception of a weekend camping trip with our friends and an overnight trip to my great aunt's 88th birthday party. I have had no say in any vacations so far and it looks like I won't for at least another year or two because he also wants to go visit his grandparents in Peru after we get back from Italy. :( I know in the grand scheme of things it's probably a silly thing to be upset about, but I really am not looking forward to going.
Thoughts?


#2

I’m trying to decide where to start because I have SO many things I want to comment on.

First, let me ask a question. Is it just that you’re scared to go to a country that speaks a foreign language? I notice you’re not scared of Canada, but you are a bit scared of Italy. I also notice that you have some background in Spanish. That would make it MUCH easier to get around in Italy, because despite the differences, the languages are close enough that you’ll be able to guess a lot of the signage.

Second, as someone who travels a lot, I can tell you that Italy is just as safe as the United States. YES, there ARE pickpockets. But there are in New York, DC, and LA as well. You just have to use common sense! Don’t carry a purse or wallet. Wear a money belt. I’ve been to Europe. I’ve seen pickpockets in action. If you don’t give them an opportunity, you won’t be robbed. A good site to prepare to travel overseas is RickSteves.com. He hosts the show Travels in Europe on PBS. While he is personally a bit liberal politically, his travel advice is VERY VERY good. I’ve appeared on his radio show a number of times, and he never fails to help give good advice on how to prepare for a foreign trip.

Third, you seem to be the type of person that likes scenic wonders. Well, Italy has some of the best. The rolling hills of Tuscany, the Alps, the Lake Region, Venice, the Cinque Terra coast, awesome beaches, a couple of good volcanoes… you’d be hard pressed to find as many natural wonders in another country as small as Italy.

Fourth, there’s more to Italian food than pasta! There’s beef, fresh seafood, delicious dishes of all kinds and styles that you’ve probably never had at any Italian restaurant in the US. If that fails you, you’ll be in big cities. Just like in the US, you can get all kinds of different cuisine. They’ll have all of the major ethnic foods, plus most of the American chains, if you MUST eat American. Part of the fun of a new culture is trying new things, so go in with an open attitude.

Fifth, and most important, I wasn’t lucky enough to have any honeymoon at all, besides a one-night stay in the hotel where our reception was at. If I were receiving a wonderful trip of a lifetime as a gift from a family member, I would accept it with open arms. You’re complaining because you are receiving a FREE trip to one of the most desirable destinations in the world? Come on! There are a MILLION things to do in Italy (and Vatican City) that you would enjoy. The money that you WOULD have spent on a trip across the US can still be saved, and you can plan that as a trip after Peru. (BTW… Peru has some wonderful things to see as well. I’m a Latin American expert.) A trip to Europe isn’t necessarily “big and fancy”, and its for “low key” people just as much as jet-setters. It’s just a trip to a place that’s a bit farther than normal and happens to cost a little bit more to get to. I doubt you’ll be staying at the Ritz-Carlton, in any case. In any case, this is NOT your husband’s trip… it’s a trip for BOTH of you. It will also help you bond, and you’ll learn a lot more about him in the process.

My roommate from college was from Turkey, and he was a good friend of mine. He invited my family and I to come visit him in Turkey one year. I had NO desire to go to the country (although I was happy enough to visit my friend), but since my parents were paying, we all went. It was the best thing I ever did. It was arguably the best three weeks of my life, and set me down the career path I have today (college history professor).

If it would help you enjoy it more, I’ll personally teach you the history of Italy through PM if you want. It’s really fascinating, and you’ll have months to plan precisely what you want to see so that you can BOTH enjoy your trip and understand what you’re seeing.

Feel free to ask me any questions about Italy or foreign travel you want (or domestic travel, for that matter). I have plenty of experience.


#3

I don't think that not wanting to go to Italy is your real problem. ;)

How long is his family going to make your decisions for you two? How long are you going to be happy knowing that your husband puts the wants of his parents above the wants of his wife? How many years of only having vacations with his family? How about when the kids come along, and he is going to agree with his mom over you? Are you going to have to put up with them coming to stay with you, even if its not what you want?

I personally think you and your fiancée need to have a long talk about the role his family is going to be allowed to play in your life. Your honeymoon needs to be about the two of you. It should be something you both agree on, not what only one of you wants. If he doesn't want to take a road trip out west, then find something else you can both agree on.

If you let his family make this decision for you, they will keep making decisions for you.

FWIW, I would love to go to Italy!! But then again, I did the road trip out west and had an absolutely amazing time!!!


#4

One other question. Where do your relatives live, and where do his relatives live? I get the feeling that most of his family lives well out-of-state, whereas yours lives much closer. If that’s true (as it is in the situation I have with my wife), you’re going to have to understand that he’s gonna get a bigger proportion of trips, just because his family lives far away, and visiting family for most people is a bigger priority than a vacation alone. If you have limited resources, this may not even out very nicely in your favor some years. Now that said, I think that would entitle you to a LOT of say in any and all big non-family trips that aren’t gifts, and I would CERTAINLY speak to him about it and tell him how you feel.


#5

As someone who has travelled in a fair few parts of Europe, I have to say I absolutely adored Italy even though I didn't speak the language. As I did Germany, where I spent a MONTH without knowing the language and survived just fine.

Put it this way - Italy is not outer Mongolia or anything, a goodly percentage of people there do know and speak English. Just remember the phrase 'parla inglese?' (which means 'do you speak English?') and if the person you say it to can't help you, they'll soon fetch someone who can.

And as a previous poster said, EVERY country has areas that are unsafe, it's a matter of just being a bit savvy about personal and property security.


#6

Everyone has good points here, and I think the honeymoon should always be somewhere you both really want to go:thumbsup:

But let me assure you about Italy. I took my family there this past Easter. I studied the language and became comfortable conversing, made all the arrangements down to evey minor detail. It was a lifelong dream of mine to. Well I'll tell you. Italy is a wonderful country!!! I had no problem getting around anywhere and anyway I needed to And I didn't HAVE to speak Italian the entire time, most everybody speaks English, and most of the signs and reading materials are in English. I never had any fear of crime, like prior posts said Rome is like any other BIG City here in America, so you are cautious. So what I'm telling you is, don't be afraid to go there, it is really a great place!:)


#7

Your husband and his family actually sound like my kinda o peeps!! :cool:

Your not realizing this now but will later on in your marriage how truely fabulous it is that his family actually wants to help out for this trip and that they have family gatherings. They sound like a wonderful family and this will really be appreciated once the kiddo's come along. Nothing like a big old family hugging all the kids!;)

I plan on going to Italy next year with a bunch of my cousins and my sisters and a few friends. We will have an absolute blast. So, Rolltide expect communications from me for my trip! :)

The family is giving you a most generous gift of $2000, they WANT to give this to you and you are not thrilled? Wow, I hope they don't feel insulted.

Anyway, whatever decision that is made I hope hard feelings are not the result.

Your husband sounds like a great guy.


#8

If they want to give you $2k to go to Italy… by all means, do it!

It may not be your dream trip, but how many chances like this does one get? Besides, the Vatican and other Holy sites ARE there.

The North American destiantions will always be there for you 2 to go to. Overseas travel is not equally easy or economical every year.

AIUI, Italian cities are no more unsafe than ours. And, I’ve been across the Atlantic several times, and except in Paris (which is not in Italy:)) I’ve never ahd a problem finding someone who would speak English (or Spanish!) to me.

Arrivederci:):slight_smile:


#9

Oh no, someone is paying for me to take a trip to Italy. My wallet won't hold all of my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!! :D

I travel a lot but I have to settle with the beautiful beaches of Angola or the rolling hills of lovely Kazakhstan. If I had the opportunity to travel anywhere outside of dirty, corrupt, third world countries I would jump on it immediately. You have no idea how lucky you really are.


#10

Thanks for all the reponses. I mentioned several times that I do feel guilty not wanting to go because some of the trip is paid for. Not all of it, the money will not cover everything, so yes we are going to have to spend thousands of our own going somewhere only he and his family want us to go. Even with the help it is going to be hard to afford. I’m not just brushing off a gift. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and I’m keeping an open mind, but I just wish I could have helped pick where my own honeymoon is. Especially coming a year after the wedding, it’s really not a honeymoon at that point. It’s just an expensive trip, and we may even have to bring a baby along depending on the result of a certain test I’m going to take next week…

How long is his family going to make your decisions for you two? How long are you going to be happy knowing that your husband puts the wants of his parents above the wants of his wife? How many years of only having vacations with his family? How about when the kids come along, and he is going to agree with his mom over you? Are you going to have to put up with them coming to stay with you, even if its not what you want?

We’ve talked about this a lot, and although he assures me he will put me above his family, in practice it hasn’t really worked out that way. He doesn’t see it that way though. He’s a people pleaser, so saying no to anyone, especially his parents, feels like he’s rejecting and abandoning them.


#11

I have no emotional connection to most of the placed I’ve gone, but I’ve loved every one. Especially Greece and Japan where I not only didn’t speak the language but also couldn’t read any of the signs. Even if signs are in Italian, at least you know the letters to find it on a map.

In Italy, most people in the major cities and tourist destinations speak English. The only time you’ll be in trouble is if you go off the beaten path to a very little town. But even then, you can communicate using guidebooks and hand gestures. It’s really not that bad. Also, if you say things in Spanish, that’s usually close enough to make it somewhat understood. Many of the nouns are very close.

Crime in Italy really isn’t that bad at all. Most people that are pick pocketed anywhere are the old tourists that get lost and are too trusting and naive. Just be smart, keep your wallet in your front pocket, and you’ll be fine. Violent crime against tourists is very, very low. It’s almost always just pick pocketing or purse snatching.

There are about a million other things I want to see besides Italy.

It’s not one or the other. You can do this then take a road trip next year.

A big, fancy, two-week trip to Europe has just never been my style. I am too low-key for that.

It’s not like you’ll have paparazzi following you around. A trip to Europe can be very low key. Just walk the city, see the ancient ruins, go out and see Tuscany and Umbria (which are amazing), go to the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre and relax by the sea. Take a gondola ride through Venice. Lots of low-key alone time.

Then, we visited his parents. They gave us a letter from his grandparents saying they were going to give us $2,000 because they wanted us to take a honeymoon to Italy and visit the town where they were born. I was incredibly grateful for the gift, but I was honestly really crushed. :frowning: Since I had just graduated from college and he spent his 20s paying down debt, that $2,000 was basically our entire life savings. I really would have rather had the option to save it than wipe it all out going to Italy.

You weren’t give $2000. You were given a coupon towards an Italian vacation. So don’t look at it as spending your life’s savings, look at it as using the coupon, because if you didn’t go to Italy you should give that money back.

I am sure once I get there I will have fun, but I think I will always wonder what it would have been like to have had a honeymoon somewhere else.

A honeymoon is just a vacation. You can go on a different vacation next year.

But it sounds like your problem isn’t the honeymoon but the lack of control you have over it. That’s something you need to talk through with him. Communication is a very important part of a marriage.


#12

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:11, topic:208848"]

You weren't give $2000. You were given a coupon towards an Italian vacation. So don't look at it as spending your life's savings, look at it as using the coupon, because if you didn't go to Italy you should give that money back.

.

[/quote]

I think that she means that she has to use that money to cover the rest of expenses (missed work, plane tickets) usually those tickets are around $500 pp and hotels are $100 a night plus train travel around the country, etc, means ALOT more than the given $2000.


#13

The letter his grandparents sent with the money said they wanted us to use it to start our new life together. It was his parents who told us that what they really meant was that it was their dream for us to honeymoon in Italy and see the little town where they were born and that that they are so happy to see us honeymoon there before they die (they are in their 90s). etc.


#14

[quote="purplesunshine, post:12, topic:208848"]
I think that she means that she has to use that money to cover the rest of expenses (missed work, plane tickets) usually those tickets are around $500 pp and hotels are $100 a night plus train travel around the country, etc, means ALOT more than the given $2000.

[/quote]

Trust me, I know how much it costs to go to Italy. But if it's a $4000 trip, and you get $2000 to go, that makes it about the same as an RV rental and drive across the western US / Canada. You can make the decision to go RV'ing and return the $2000 or keep it and go to Italy.

But does this really have anything to do with Italy? If the husband booked a trip to the Rockies entirely on his own and his family pressured her to go there, she'd probably be posting about how she wanted to go to Hawaii or the Dominican Republic.


#15

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:10, topic:208848"]
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and I'm keeping an open mind, but I just wish I could have helped pick where my own honeymoon is.

[/quote]

I'm totally not trying to be rude in any way... but I forsee some power struggles in your future. :o
YOU want to be a "decision maker", and your DH has family with strong opinions... either someone is going to have to give, or there is going to be some clashing.

You can't control how *others *act, but you *can *control what you say and do.

I guarantee you... you WILL get to take your big southwest roadtrip at some point in your life.
Let it go... ENJOY your trip to Italy... FOCUS on your HUSBAND and your love for him! Just let it go and enjoy what God has given you!
Let it go... smile... love your husband... and have fun.
Start your marriage out with your first act of "submission"...

For what it's worth... I had no IDEA where I was going on my honeymoon! DH made me get my passport (never had it before), and I didn't even know whether I should be packing a swim suit or a snow parka (my sister packed for me!)...
All that and he didn't even take me out of the country :rolleyes: - we went to Washington DC and NY and had a BLAST because it really didn't matter WHERE we were going, just so that we could be together and celebrate the moment! :D...
BTW - 9 1/2 years later, my only "international traveling" has been crossing the boarder into Canada a couple times :cool:... I'd LOVE to actually go overseas, so enjoy it while you have the opportunity! :)


#16

I vote Go to Italy.

My DH and I are both Italian Americans. And since we've been married we haven't had one opportunity to go. First because it was too expensive (we were newly weds) then the kids came...5 airline tickets are a lot of money.

As for the food...lots of yummy things to eat (not just Pasta with red sauce) Actually the food varies from region to region.

And you'll be able to find things you are used to, like pollo alla griglia (grilled chicken) con insalata, (salad).

And if by chance you stay with family...they'll feed you very well...you might come to like Italian food.


#17

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:10, topic:208848"]
We've talked about this a lot, and although he assures me he will put me above his family, in practice it hasn't really worked out that way. He doesn't see it that way though. He's a people pleaser, so saying no to anyone, especially his parents, feels like he's rejecting and abandoning them.

[/quote]

Charlotte. He was this way before you married him. You **knew **he was this way because he demonstrated this to you consistently during your dating relationship.

This is the way he is, this is the way he will be. It's not going to change. It's that simple.


#18

[quote="mommamia, post:3, topic:208848"]
I don't think that not wanting to go to Italy is your real problem. ;)

...]

Your honeymoon needs to be about the two of you. It should be something you both agree on, not what only one of you wants.

[/quote]

Agreed.

When my husband and I were engaged, his folks offered us a full-expenses-paid honeymoon at their favorite hotel in San Diego, The Del, for a week. Problem was, I really didn't want to be told where to go on our honeymoon, even though I realized what a generous offer they were making. Every time we had talked about the honeymoon prior to my in-laws' offer, we discussed taking a train ride, not going to the beach for a week. My husband was much more excited about the Del than I was, even though he was the one who came up with the train idea. We ultimately decided to do the train ride. The dream was a Canadian Rail vacation from Victoria to Banff/Calgary, but we couldn't afford it, so we did the Grand Canyon Rail instead, going from Williams, AZ to the Canyon. We even had to save up for a year after the wedding before we could take the honeymoon (we paid for the wedding ourselves, so we had to postpone the honeymoon).

And you know what? That was the only train ride we've been able to do, and we drive over to Cali once a year for vacation. We look back on that, and we are so happy that we took that train ride. Our honeymoon was something really and totally special, instead of just one more trip to the beach.


#19

I am wanting to take my 3 sons to Italy for a Mediterranean cruise next summer. None of us speak Italian (although one will have completed 6 years of Latin by then!). GO TO ITALY! I am so jealous…you will never regret visiting Italy.


#20

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:13, topic:208848"]
The letter his grandparents sent with the money said they wanted us to use it to start our new life together. It was his parents who told us that what they really meant was that it was their dream for us to honeymoon in Italy and see the little town where they were born and that that they are so happy to see us honeymoon there before they die (they are in their 90s). etc.

[/quote]

I would suggest having your future husband talk directly to his grandparents to find out what the intent of the money was. It could very well be that his parents are making an interpretation of their own about what they think your grandparents meant by giving you the money. It could be his grandparents really don't care.

Also - why is it so important that you honeymoon there? Why couldn't you use the money for a trip in the future for just a visit? Are they afraid that at their age they may not last another year? Would you be able to swing a second vacation in six or so months?

You also mentioned your future husband wanting to go to Peru to see family after the Italy trip. Why not compromise? Take the money and go to Italy for a honeymoon then go cross country across America then go to Peru. It doesn't seem fair that he gets his two trips before you get one of yours.


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