Jealous people

Hi all, My question is how do you handle people who are jealous because you can afford to travel and they can't? We have a family member who is always making negative comments about our upcoming travel i.e sending us travel alerts about current terrorist threat and emails about recent balloon accidents in Cappadocia prior to our balloon adventure in Cappadocia. Perhaps some of this is genuine concern but I suspect that most of it is jealousy because this person refuses to adjust her lifestyle so she can afford to travel as we can. Do you get this kind of reaction to your upcoming travels. I just laugh it off but it is annoying? Your thoughts.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
9472 posts

Mary thats jealousy and fear. I disregard them , they usually are people I am not that close to anyways.People who are fraidy cats justify not choosing to travel by saying its too expensive or dangerous, basically they are full of baloney and are secretly envious. Thats my theory and I am sticking to it! lol

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2832 posts

Well, I tend to point out that Travel is a priority for me, and I save just for that. I also point out that some people buy boats, campers, maybe put a pool in the yard, I have not, I just save for travel. To take it further, I drive an older car, I have what I think is a nice house, but older, well below what a bank might indicate I can afford, why? To save for an early retirement and travel now. Basically, I live moderately so I can afford to travel. In rare cases, I have to counter with something specific (like a new car they just bought, etc.), maybe the most extreme was pointing out to a two pack a day smoker that if they were to quit, what they saved in a year, would pay for a really nice trip to Europe...they never made a comment again.

Posted by Janet
Lakewood, WA
103 posts

I generally just ignore the person or ask them to stop emailing/talking about dangers in travel. I point out I know the risks and I am ok with them. If they keep getting in my face about travel I usually throw their bad attitude back at them and if I can, I will never talk to them again. I also point them to websites like this one if they need to get educated about travel.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14100 posts

Only you can allow it to be annoying. My first reaction is to ignore any comments like that. We have friends that sends us those kinds of alerts. We thank them for their concern. Appreciate the information. And read nothing else in to it. The fact that you are allowing it be annoying might suggestion that you do have some guilty feelings about your travel. And you are being just as judgmental when you say she refuses to adjust her lifestyle so she can travel. Who are you to make that determination? If you are comfortable with what you are doing, then it should not make any differences which someone says about it. Or are your secretly wanting everyone to approve of what you do?

Posted by Brad
Charlotte, NC, USA
221 posts

You could stop telling them where you are going. If they absolutely need to know (in case of emergency), leave them an itinerary as you are walking out the door. As others have said, you don't have to be rich to travel. I'm not. I know someone with a BMW and a Mercedes who always complains about never going anywhere. It's all a matter of priorities and having the discipline and drive to do it.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24152 posts

Mary, I sometimes get the feeling that a few people I know resent the fact that I'm able to travel, although no one has ever done things like you've described. For the last few years, I've tried to be a bit selektive about which people I talk to about my travels. I have fairly good idea which ones are interested and which ones might be resentful. If I had a family member that insisted on making negative comments and sending warnings about terrorist attacks and balloon crashes, I'd simply reply "Well then, isn't it great that you're not going there". Cheers!

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11066 posts

First step, ignore. Second step, ignore some more. And if they persist, pull out this statistic- the most dangerous thing, by far, that the majority of people in North America will ever do is to get in their car and drive. This is generally why I don't talk about my travels unless people ask. And even then, I keep the information to a minimum unless the other person demonstrates a genuine interest.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
5296 posts

Tom has the right idea. Only talk about your travels, both before and after trips, to those who are like-minded. Let the jealous family member hear of your plans from others, not from you, and do not respond to messages with bad-news alerts. As well, you could bring interesting & conversation-starting little gifts ONLY for the sympathetic family members.

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
766 posts

I think the advice of keeping your travel detail-sharing to a minimum is a great one. I've come to realize that for the exception of maybe one or two other people in my life, most folks do not really want to know more than the most cursory of information regarding my trip. Sometimes excitement regarding an upcoming trip may come across as boasting to others. Would it be worthwhile to have a conversation with your family member: "Just want to make sure everything is okay because we gets lots of negative comments when we share about our trips".
And, Randy from MN is a lady?

Posted by Mme Eli
1170 posts

James, you must be the "James" who lived in Germany. I don't tell everyone about my trips. We were in Europe late May/June, and I am going back end of this month. It's weird, but I haven't told too many people about my second trip, because some make such stupid remarks/comments, and become distant until the trip wears off.

Posted by Nancy
London, UK
170 posts

I am an expat living in London for a few years. We are doing a lot of travel while we are here - that was the main reason to come here. Who are the people most interested in my travels?? My fellow expats here as we share our travel experiences. We have a closed Facebook group where we can post questions for one another like 'Who has the book on Germany I can borrow?' A terrific resource!

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
5055 posts

Hi, They may be jealous, but I think they are more afraid...afraid of all sorts of things, regardless of the odds/chances, such as crime, theft, language, unfamiliar food, customs, taking the trains, or public transportation, committing a faux pas, looking silly, getting lost, etc., etc.

Posted by Jesse
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
190 posts

I always say, my husband and I worked so hard to get a good education and we work hard at our jobs, so we can afford to travel. About the danger I always so well if I die while I am on vacation at least you will know I was happy when I died. That usually shuts them up.

Posted by Barry
San Diego, CA
625 posts

I've never looked or thought of it as jealousy, to me it comes across more like other people just don't care. For example after walking the Camino de Santiago I asked a friend if he wanted to to some of my photos, he flat out told me no, he had no interest, I guess one can appreciate the honesty. I recently returned from visiting relatives back east, twice people asked me about my trip, once I started talking about it both conversations immediately turned to what they've been doing, granted I would have liked to know but why ask if reality you really want to tell me about your escapades.

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1605 posts

I agree with ignoring some comments. We get this comment from relatives of a relative : Why on earth do you want to travel in Europe when there is so much to see in the U.S. ? For some people, I think, it is just too complicated to plan a trip abroad. And there are those that are afraid of crime, the hassle of flying, dealing with foreign currency, creating a travel budget, etc.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1620 posts

After I went on my first trip to Europe (I traveled in Germany and Austria), I mentioned it to my neighbor, who had not traveled to Europe. He was very interested in Europe, especially the ancient history, but he did not wish to go to Europe, ever. He was not interested in Germany. A few months later, when I said to him : "When I was in Germany ..." he gave me an expression of intense and fierce hate to me. I knew it was because he was envious of me. I had traveled to Germany, and he had not traveled to Germany. Affording to travel to Europe would have been easier for him than for me, because his annual income was higher than my annual income, and he did not own a motor vehicle for many years. (I was spending much money for operating expenses for my motor vehicle : insurance, gasoline, maintenance, and replacement of mechanical and electrical parts, ...). He did not travel. He had no children, he had never been married. And that person did not buy many of the kinds of things that I did buy. He bought used clothes at a Salvation Army thrift store. Three years later, I went to Italy for ten days. I decided to not inform my neighbor that I was going to Italy. He was interested in places in Italy, but he said he did not desire to go to Italy. Soon after I returned to my home from Italy, I talked, via Telephone, to my neighbor. He had tried to talk to me via Telephone, while I was away from my home. He asked : "Did you travel ?". I said : "Yes, I went to Italy". He said : "wow !!!!". This neighbor man, said to me, at various times, repeatedly, that he is my friend. The next time I saw him, before I said any words, I could see that he hated me intensely, because he was envious of me, because I went to Italy. His attitude of hate toward me was extremely intense, his face was tense, I saw smoke pouring out of his ears (LOL).

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1525 posts

I'll have to disagree. There certainly is awkwardness surrounding sharing travel talk with others, but I don't think it's often strictly a matter of jealousy. It's just something many people who don't leave the country have difficulty identifying with. And travel talk awkwardness isn't limited to those who don't travel. I have on many occasion expressed genuine enthusiasm over other people's travels to exotic places - even to the point of asking if they had any photos to share - and more often than not get something less than my level of enthusiasm in return. People are different. But I would certainly agree that unsolicited negative comments from others about your travel are unwelcome and reflect poorly on the person making them.

Posted by Rebecca
Nashville, TN, USA
1290 posts

Mary, your relative that you mention may not be jealous, but genuinely concerned for your well being. Try to separate those friends into two groups; the ones who are genuinely concerned but are just overly scared of overseas travel get a pass; the other friends who seem motivated by jealousy get the boot. People that are jealous of you for any reason should not be called friends. Their jealousy proves they are not faithful friends. A good friend loves you at all times, and is happy to see you take the trip of your dreams, or to see you get a job promotion. Cut people out of your life that are jealous before they do you real harm. The neighbor that Ron spoke of is a prime example. A person who seethes with resentment toward you is an enemy, not a friend. Like Frank says, the comments can only bother you if you let them. So, don't let the comments bother you. But be warned of those who show resentment and jealousy toward you. How do I handle people who are jealous because I can travel and they cannot? I unfriended them a long time ago.

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2786 posts

Ever asked this person why she doesn't travel? You suspect she's jealous because "she refuses to adjust her lifestyle so she can afford to travel as we can."
Not defending this family member by any means but have you engaged in a sit down conversation about her lack of travel experience. Is it cost? Fear? Does she even care about seeing places around the world or does she truly enjoy the way she lives her life. Not everyone has a wanderlust. Bottom line, if her comments about your trips really bother you then quit laughing them off. Tell her you appreciate the concern but not the negativity.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

I always thought it was best to grab all the Gusto you can the first time around. Because you might not get a chance later. It's not that so many people are jealous or don't have the money to travel. They are just stuck in a rut in their little world. They just don't get around to getting around. We have made it a priority to take two major trips per year. One will usually be out of the country.
While we are young retired, we may not have the mobility to continue so much travel in latter years. There are so many places we've not seen yet.

Posted by Lo
1680 posts

I'm a firm believer that people do what they want to do. I think you can deduce what's important to a person by what they spend their money and time on. Until our health and/or money runs out, that will be racing (which requires U.S. travel) for my husband, and overseas travel for me. He pays for the former and I pay for the latter. Our month-long annual trips to Europe usually cost less than his racing each year. I'm sure there are people in our inner circles that think we are nuts to do those things, but I've always believed that all we really have is time. You can do something or nothing with it as you choose. He is 65 and I'm 67 and we do our best to live each day to the fullest. If someone wants to criticize us for that, it's all about them and not about us. And to those who express their "concern" that we might die doing any of the things we do, our response is a.) if that happens, we'll die doing something we love instead of wasting away, and b.) we'd learned as much and taught as much as we were supposed to do and it was our time to go.

Posted by Ann
Staten Island, New York,USA
471 posts

You will always find people to be jealous of what you are doing. Since this is a family member, you will find it harder to avoid this person. I find it best to say the least and not talk about your travels. As others have said, only talk to people that are generally interested. If that person is sending travel alerts, then don't open them, or do so but delete quickly so it will not annoy you. Also, if they ask did you get my emails, thank them and don't say anything else. If you don't give them any feed back, they don't get their joy. They will continue, you can't stop them, but the less you say, and don't show your annoyance, the less they will get their kicks out of annoying you. They are doing this to get a rise out of you, don't show any reaction, that is what they want! I say agree with them, then they can't go on and on and then do what you are doing and travel. Yes, it is annoying nd you can't stop it, you can't convince them to travel, to change, to not be jealous. Don't try to, just agree, nod, and they can't contiune or will just do so the next time they see you. Keep on traveling!

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
164 posts

Hi Mary!
I could not believe it when I read your comments. I have encountered this with both family and friends and can so relate to what you are saying. Some of our family now think we are "rich" because we travel to Europe. We save save save for two to three years for these trips and sacrifice other things. I was so excited about an upcoming trip last year and said something on facebook. Boy, was I shot down and accused of bragging. Anyone who knows me would know that's not true. It is so sad when people are like this. Why can't they just be happy for and with you?! I have learned to look for travel clubs and friends who share the passion so I can talk with them instead. Nothing I love more than discussing travel, both mine and others equally. To sum it up, I so sgree with you that it is annoying and sad. I am choosing to just ignore the comments and let it roll off; life is too short to do otherwise. Thanks for bringing this up, it made me realize that I am not alone dealing with it. Good luck to you and happy travels!

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2395 posts

I encountered a couple relatives and friends that were not exactly jealous of the ability to travel on a financial way, but showing an attitude of "I know better, if I didn't do it, you shouldn't either". They don't want you to have experiences they refrained or trade for other options. There is this person who traveled to Europe, rented a car and was totally frightened by narrow mountain roads to the point he and his wife redrawn their itinerary on the fly to avoid narrow mountain passes. Fair enough, their trip, their driving thrills (or lack thereof). Problem is this person was trying to subsequently dissuade any other traveled from their social circle from ever attempting to drive in the Alps. It was not a "I'm worried about your safety" thing, but something on the lines of "If I couldn't do it without being worried, nobody else should do it as well". It was like if other person drove on narrow Alpine roads and came back, his narrative or "extremely dangerous and prone to fatalities" mountain driving fair tale would be dismantled by other first-hand account.

Posted by kat
291 posts

I welcome any information regarding my safety abroad. It wouldn't cross my mind that the information was delivered with a spoonful of resentment. Regardless of their motives, forewarned is forearmed. Everyone has a different comfort level about safety. Before I went to Madrid last fall, I was warned about the unrest there. There were tens of thousands peacefully protesting the government, including teachers carrying 4 foot long pencils! It had no affect on our travels, but I appreciated the information. I would give her the benefit of the doubt and conclude that her motivation is for your safety.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

This is a tough nut since we don't know you or your passive-aggressive relative. How do you know your relative has some deep desire to travel like you but refuses to adjust her lifestyle to make it possible? Are you sure she's jealous of you? If everything is as you presented, then ignore her and be done with it. Don't ever talk with her about your trips again. If, however, there's more to your story than what you're sharing, then you may need to first look in the mirror. Who knows, perhaps you can get a 2 for 1 deal on therapy. Regardless, my advice is to ignore her...pretty simple. And I agree with everyone else that you should only discuss travel (or any other topic) with those who share your passion and enthusiasm in the same way. Otherwise, treat it like politics and religion (personally, I'll debate those two with anyone, but it always makes for really bad family gatherings).

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1605 posts

I no longer discuss a trip with anyone unless they ask about the trip. There are people who cannot leave their comfort zone and fall into the homebody category. Some cannot leave their pets for the length of time an overseas trip would require.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

I have decided to stop mentioning it much beyond announcing I'm planning it on FB, plus some people there like to see pictures after. Then I won't talk about it much except with one friend, who loves travel as much as I do, or if i am asked. I don't think people are jealous per se, but a lot of my friends are at a time of life of finishing up grad school and/or having kids, so they can't get away like we can (we have no kids and plan on none). But the people who have heard about my upcoming safari do sound excited for me. I am just afraid that I will get tiresome talking about it, so I try to monitor myself.

Posted by Dawn
St Paul, MN, USA
122 posts

I simply tell them that my priorities are different and that I give up a lot to be able to travel. One night in a hotel is what they pay for a purse or shoes. I'll wear mine out instead. And, I have to agree Randy is a pretty darned good guy but that's probably because of where he's from. ;o)

Posted by gone
2081 posts

some of the people i talk to "wish" they could travel. to me its a matter of choices. some people choose to create a family and so that may tie them down. Im not married or have any kids so i can choose to come and go as i please, but the flip side is no "family". there are always trade off so its up to the person(s) to make that choice. I tell co-workers that they can travel too, but it will take more planning due to the additional "luggage" and $$$ involved. in any case, keep on traveling and i wouldnt let the negative comments or emails bother you. happy trails.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1525 posts

Gee Dawn, thanks! We have to keep up the "Minnesota Nice" act as much as possible, right? :)

Posted by christa
alameda, ca, usa
585 posts

I have also found that there's a vast difference between the people who take trips to Europe and the other continents and those who will only consider travelling to Hawaii or Mexico on a regualr basis. I find I have little in common with those who want to laze around a beach for a week, I'm the type who's up and going all day every day of my trip because I don't want to miss a thing. People who express concern about me as a woman travelling to Europe alone are truly worried in a caring way, even though I am quite capable and have done this before. I have some friends who lack the mental ability (fear,etc) or desire to travel the world, and others who can't afford it and I tend to keep my travelogues with them to a minimum. With others who travel frequently we can easily discuss the whys and wherefores for hours.

Posted by Tara
148 posts

I get this a lot, as in my industry (higher education) jobs are scarce, and jobs where you can travel are even more scarce. I'm lucky, I guess, because I have a great job where I can travel while teaching online. So many people asked me, "How do you do it?" that I created a blog about traveling while teaching online. Even still, there are folks who just get green with jealousy so I just maintain a low profile. On our last trip this summer, I told almost no one. I'm blogging about it now, after the fact, but no talking about it before hand. I just kept it between family members and close friends. But yeah, it's a priority, right? I mean, I don't have the certain things others may have, and that's by choice. I'd rather spend my money traveling!