Need the OzBargain 2 Cents - Entitled Person Wants to Travel, Family Disapproves.

Update: Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the suggestions and the feedback - especially the VoIP suggestion for Gam Gam! Thank you for answering the questions I had. There were some angles I didn't consider but can appreciate better because of this. Some of your suggestions also confirmed the sentiments I harbor deep inside and while I appreciate parents should feel protective of their children, I'm ready to accept the consequences of my actions/decisions. Based on the current situation of COVID, I'm re-assessing the risk. As some readers have suggested, the reciprocal health arrangement is important to consider; and having purchased health insurance, I feel a little bit safer. That said, should it get worse in either Australia or Norway within next 10 or so days, I'll call it off. 🙏


To preface this, I've booked an overseas visit to an overseas country (Edit: Norway) with limited exposure to COVID around five or so months ago. The past year has been brutal on my body and my mind and it serves as an opportunity to de-stress, finally visit the country. (I've been wanting to visit since I was 7 years old and watched a documentary.) I'm keeping it vague because my relatives (bless them) do browse this awesome community.

As a millennial who has been called incredibly entitled, I'd like to get a few different perspectives from my favorite bargain hunting community. Also, I'm of the opinion that we all die someday, and we might as well live and be the best of ourselves.

My family is concerned about COVID and is under the assumption that there is a mass deep state conspiracy and it is incredibly prevalent in the community. Coming from a background focusing on peer reviewed articles, I pay a little bit more attention towards the scientific journals and WHO. Based on my age, 25 and absence of any debilitating health problems such as AIDs, HIV, Diabetes, Heart disease, I reason that the risk of morbidity and mortality is low i.e. 2 in every 1000.

Given the widespread panic, reported emptiness of airports and aeroplanes and having saved an emergency fund for medical costs, I made a risk calculation and decision that it is acceptable to travel. My family disagree and have insisted that I delay my flight and travels. That I am inconsiderate (to them, yes) and that they are suffering with worry and stress. They are also concerned that the medical bills (which I would never put on them and rely on my own to dig out of) will be excessive and put pressure onto the family.

They're insisting that my decision to continue travel instead of rescheduling is selfish and making them sick. (Accurate on both points though I contend that they're the ones who are worrying as is their parental instincts.) The last part - sickness is a reality and a guilt trip.

My position is that I have been burning the midnight oil, bringing my dream to reality and I NEED an escape. I love Australia and it's the best country in the world… but I need to visit somewhere different. Moreover, I'm at an age where I have responsibilities over my actions and I have my own values and individuality (as we all do.) It doesn't help that my overseas vacation is a reward for meeting pre-determined goals. Finally, if I cancel and wait the COVID out whenever that may be… 3 months… 12 months… 3 years etc. (SARS lasted almost 2) then I have set a precedent to not travel just because my parents worry about me. (I do plan to visit SEA later in the year to attend a couple of conferences)

So my problem and questions are these -

  1. Does this sound like it can be resolved by better communication?
  2. I don't want to feel responsible for something my parents have no/little control of. At the same time, I have my own life and want to reconcile with my own decisions. There's a deep internal conflict and honestly a great deal of resentment that will be bottled in if I cancel at their insistence.
  3. About setting bad precedents, can anyone who's been in a similar situation in the past share how they've handled it? Deflecting the issue hasn't helped in this instance.

Thank you in advance!

TLDR: Adult is conflicted about traveling to a traditionally low risk country because parents are worried. Seeks the community's help to understand and resolve deep deep issues.

closed Comments

  • +4 votes

    Do whatever you want, but don't expect a tax payer funded evacuation flight/s.

    You'd be transiting through airports which are no-doubt hot spots for transmission.

  • +1 vote

    Is this the first time you will be travelling alone. This would add to their worry. Maybe do something local for a few weeks interstate. Camping/ Road trip. Lots of areas that are bushfire affected that need help with tourists. Then maybe after that they might feel less worried. Its like owner separation syndrome for them. They need to be weaned off you. Slowly from the sounds of it.

  • +3 votes

    Man, you'll be fine. Even if your travel insurance doesn't cover it, Norway is part of the reciprocal Medicare arrangement, so your medical bills will be covered by Norway! Those 11 countries are the best ones to travel to if you're worried about costing money.
    Your parents need to stop trying to baby you. 25 years is plenty old enough to be living your own life.

  •  

    Explaining to others you've been through tough times and need a reward is unnecessary, and unlikely to garner you sympathy. Everyone has been through shit, most of us still go through it due to responsibilities and further goals.

    Be decisive, and be prepared as possible for the consequences should things go poorly.

    •  

      Oh no, I don't expect sympathy, self pity doesn't gel well with me ;). I'm in conflict and am seeking a solution or different perspective.

      To add context, I had a sales target back in October and decimated it. At the time if I did it, I told myself I'm buying a trip to Norway. So me cancelling it is a last resort, there's got to be a damn good reason.

      •  

        There's reciprocal medicare in Norway, so your potential medical expense, should the worst thing happen, should be manageable. Other travel related risks involve potential forced quarantine periods, flight cancellations, etc.

        Only you can gauge if this will permanently damage your relationship with your parents, and if it is worth doing so for the reason you provided.

  •  

    You need to grow up, tell them to mind their own business and be an adult. Maybe if you were in your late teens and living at home it would have some weight, but at 25 and independent not so much.

    •  

      Old people shouldn't get in the way of 'wise' young people. Bahahahahahhaa

      25 year olds don't know where they are going because they are so busy staring the fragmented snippets on instagram.

      • +1 vote

        Not what I’m saying at all, at 25 you can make a number of decisions independently without input from people panicking in fear no matter their age.

        At 25 I had two degrees, travelled extensively, married, purchased a house, started my career and had not debt beside a small mortgage. Maybe I’m the exception, rather than the rule, however age doesn’t equal maturity.

  •  

    Personally, I'd skip any leisure travel at this time of the year. I did book a two week holiday to Seychelles to go during Easter break but I am changing my dates to the year end. Going for leisure and to be worried about what if and buts is not my thing at least. When I go on a holiday I truly want to forget the real world me and relax and enjoy the holiday. In this way, I also don't cause any stress to the people I love although I disappointed the kids in my close family in Seychelles who have been expecting their uncle arriving with loads of their favourite books and gifts. :)

  •  

    Overseas trip… would be to an overseas country, per se

  • +5 votes

    Why don't you just go to NZ - will cost half the price and just as aesthetically beautiful. Plus if it all goes tits up, it will be far easier to get back home.

  •  

    DO IT! You are your own person. You're 25 and not beholden to family.

    PS you might be thinking "Easy for you to say". Well I'm taking my family to the UK in about 2 weeks time for a 3 week trip/wedding etc. So I can kind of relate.

  • +7 votes

    I'm going to go against the grain here and say that doing any sort of travel right now is stupid. This virus is more serious than its been made out to be and is not just 'the flu'.

    The numbers coming from WHO and countries are not accurate, that would require intense testing like South Korea where they are carrying out more than 15,000 tests per day (NSW's Total = ~8000). Take a look at the US for their response.. Australia isn't too dissimilar. In two/three weeks the rest of the world that are not prepared for this will be in a similar situation to Italy.

    This is also not just an 'old people' disease and is certainly affecting young people and their livelihood too. The hospitalisation rate is incredibly high.

    Have you experienced pneumonia and how does permanent lung damage sound?

  •  

    10am today- looks like your trip may have to be postponed!
    https://apple.news/ABE32742IT7mjShTVq7dEeg

    •  

      Failed Geography? :)

      •  

        Think he meant the uncertainty of things…

  • +20 votes

    I feel in this thread are a bunch of sympathetic ears. Keep in mind the sacrifices they've made over the years and how trivial a holiday is in the scheme of things.

    It is literally the worst time to travel - removing the actual health risks to yourself from it, as you say, you're young so will likely just have a sniffle.

    • The tourist areas will be dead, the mood will be somber - this is not the type of trip you want as your maiden voyage to Europe. In your 20s it should be an awesome time with like minded party goers. You are going to be in half empty bars that will quite possibly have a curfew. Further, the mood to travellers I can't imagine is very welcoming right now.

    • As above, tourist sites and interesting locations are likely to be closed anyway.

    • What does self isolation look like in a hotel or hostel? If its a hostel, you might be thrown out. In a hotel - well that's an interesting dilemma. Either way, it sounds pricey and incredibly boring. Do you have a social network there who will deliver food and entertainment if you can't get it yourself?

    • If shit hits the fan whilst you're over there (Italy took a few weeks from no biggie to f**cked), does that mean you can't actually easily get around? Will you just have to return home early anyway? Will returning home be overly expensive? Keeping in mind that travel insurance probably won't cover any of it as there is a Pandemic and you had opportunity to reschedule.

    Described above just sounds like an absolutely shit holiday. Sure, if you were going to a resort or beach location to relax, because its your xth trip over, not as big a deal, but if you're going as a cool adventure - it honestly sounds like a waste of money.

    This all assumes that you don't get unwell significantly enough to need medical care.

    Finally, when you return, I guarantee your friends and family will feel uneasy being around you for at least a week in case you are incubating. On top of all that, you've stressed out your parents because you traveled during a state that is akin to the cusp of a global war.

    •  

      This is an excellent post

  • -2 votes

    If I were you I would go. I just got back from a trip to Thailand and whilst I currently feel fine and probably am I still will be avoiding my parents and those I know with bad health just to be safe. I’d advise you do the same as even so much as going to an airport puts you at risk.

    When we arrived home In Melbourne at the airport I saw a paramedic in full body gear, goggles/mask loading a guy wearing a p2 mask into the ambulance.

  • +7 votes

    Australia now considering a travel ban on Europe. You can relax now. The decision might have just been made for you.

  • +4 votes

    I am flabbergasted.

    It's your life …why even bother asking strangers for advice when you dont listen to your parents.

    • +2 votes

      why even bother asking strangers for advice when you dont listen to your parents.

      haha

  •  

    I don't see a problem with it to be honest, especially since Norway would be just as safe as Australia. If you've got non-refundable tickets and no one else to consider (wife/kids), go for it.

    That said, if possible, it might be a good idea to postpone. With all the hysteria at the moment and places closing down etc, it probably won't be the most enjoyable holiday even if you stay perfectly healthy.

    Do something else for yourself in the short term and save your amazing holiday for a few months and you'll be able to enjoy it more.

    •  

      especially since Norway would be just as safe as Australia.

      No just no. Norway is one of the worst places to be in the world right now. Third highest infections per capita and growing rapidly +27% in just the last day.

      •  

        Very bad timing for my comment with the country basically closing right afterwards.

        So yeah, don't travel there now as you will have to be quarantined for 14 days.

  •  

    Based on your age and if you have no pre-existing medical conditions your risk from the virus is approaching 0.

    The symptoms are often so mild in young people they sometimes don't even realise they have a virus.

    •  

      True but not always. This story from someone who very much believes their 33 year old healthy partner has it (but were refused testing) describes his experience with it and his is considered mild.

      https://medium.com/@cdmj/a-colorado-covid-19-story-61466a568...

    •  

      This is a very selfish thinking…Yes, you may only have a mild symptom.
      However, this is not guarantee you will not infect the vulnerable people.
      e.g. "don't even realise they have a virus." Then, spread the virus to the whole town?

  •  

    You should consider your plans/itinerary once you're over there. More restrictions on travel will mean much nicer tourist spots with less people…. if those tourist spots haven't been closed.

  •  

    Do what you want, if you worry you will be a nervous wreck. The problem is other people who don’t know how sick they are carrying the virus around. WHO have no idea of how it is transmitted from person to person. Look at how stupid people are buying all the toilet paper pasted and rice. How shops are refused to buy back from those fool’s, so you can only blame others for not keeping hygienic. Wash your hands don’t touch your face don’t use public transport all those handles or rails have been used by people. People with the virus don’t know they have the virus until they become sick. Have a great holiday keep safe. Bali you won’t get the virus from motor bikes only the handles unless you travel from Europe with previous problems with lung. Covid-19 is a lung problem not a gastroenterologist problem.
    As I said travel safe use, what’s app or something similar to keep in contact with family here in oz don’t be surprised if on return, if you can travel you have to spend 14 days on Christmas Island.

  •  

    If I were you I will stay, for the sack of my family. It is indeed very selfish to travel under current circumstance… the virus is one thing. Apparently Europe is under huge pressure - all emergence services are indeed, that means your risk is not only from the virus, it can be anything else - it is just not the world suitable to enjoy holiday that is it. Norway will be there forever, you've waited since 7 so what's wrong waiting for maybe another 0.5 year? I got that you were suffering in the last year and wanted to use this to de-stress yourself, fair enough, but while you get less stress, you put stress on your parents. I am a father of 2 kids, no matter how they tell me don't worry and how confident I feel about them, I do get worries, that's just being parent!

  • +3 votes

    Denmark has followed Italy in locking down the country, rumours that France and Germany will soon follow. Norway has 630 cases, public events are banned and many flights cancelled, I don't see this ending well for you at all. USA just put out a travel ban on Europe, don't be surprised if Australia does the same when our own numbers start ballooning.

    •  

      Agreed, the situation has changed significantly in the past twenty four hours.

  •  

    A fjord reflecting the glowing green light of an aurora is one of the most wondrous things I've ever experienced. If this is the last thing you see before you die, it was a life well-lived. Throw caution to the wind and go Op!

  •  

    I'm currently in Sweden. As a rule Scandinavians are uncomfortable with social contact. I think it's the best place to be - nobody would go out of their way to be close to a stranger so infection would likely come from the travel to and from. Things aren't closed yet, schools may close soon but people will likely stay at home so you will be able to see the sights in peace.

    Big bonus they have plenty of toilet paper which I may have to bring home.

    If you have no pre existing conditions it's unlikely to have a big effect on you and the health system here is likely to be in better shape than Sydney, especially after a doctor in sydney went to a conference infected with coronavirus.

    •  

      Sweden had a 37% increase in infections in just the last day, so people are definitely having plenty of social contact…

  • +10 votes

    Just saw this on reddit

    Here is what Norway is currently doing:

    • All travelers from abroad are to stay in quarantine for 14 days, regardless of country

    • All schools, child care, museums, official buildings, etc are shut down

    • All hair dressers, massage studios, tattoo, etc are closed down

    • All swimming pools, training centers are closed down

    • All gatherings with 50+ people are banned

  • +2 votes

    Here is my 2 cents;
    It’s far too risky to travel now to europe. Also the risk of coming into contact with someone during air travel is greater as well.
    On top of that there are other things that can totally ruin your trip such as norway can introduce mandatory quarantine for overseas visitors; you can catch the virus during the trip and may be forced to stay in isolation; if you were to hospitalise the financial burden; on your return to australia we might have mandatory quarantine for everyone from europe; the cities you’re visiting may go into lockdown or worse a city you’re in may gp into lockdown you’ll be stuck indefinitely, the list goes on and on… The question is that all worth it?

  • +1 vote

    Don't go. All airports will likely be closed if this gets out of control, which is highly probable. The chance of quarantine ruining your holiday is almost certain. Becoming a source of infection at this early stage will result in thousands of deaths here in Australia in the cold and flu season when this is likely to get out of control. If you get Corona virus when you could have avoided it, it will impact your conscience even if it does not have more direct consequences for you or your family. You will still be young at 27.

    •  

      Shame the pollies don't think like that

    •  

      He will kill thousands if he gets infected? At this stage he obviously shouldn't go, but that's just crazy talk 🙂

  •  

    Reading this, I'm going to assume you have wog parents. To me, being a child in a wog family, it sounds so similar to things I've gone through.

    •  

      Or Asian of any kind.

  • -1 vote

    Recent studies call Corona virus infection can cause infertility

    •  

      Source?

  • +1 vote

    You can relax and destress during the upcoming national quarantine or during the societal collapse, for both youd be better off here than overseas

  •  

    "I certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during CNN’s coronavirus town hall. "My job is the public health. If it had to do with the public health and I needed to do something for the public health, I might do that because I'm quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun — no way I would do it."

  •  

    Norway already has the third highest infections per capita in the world, and infections there are increasing by 27% a day.

    Your family is correct - it would be incredibly reckless to travel there any time soon.

    •  

      yep been a surge because those that holidayed in Italy have now returned with it, and of course we allowed Italian travel because of the race, and the money involved. and apparently we still are..in special cases like tom shanks…

  •  

    We don't know what's going to happen in the next weeks and months.

    You are young and will probably survive if you get corona here or somewhere else.

    If you get to Norway (right now flights from Oz to (most) Europe are fine), you have to be prepared to not being able to return. Not a big issue if you can avoid/ignore the virus and travel around Europe.

    My big concern is around you sharing virus with your adult relatives when you are back. I wouldn't get close to anyone over 50 years old, or with history of medical issues, for at least two weeks after returning from (any other country).

    I have a flight booked to New Zealand in April. I am only keeping it, for nkw6, because it's New Zealand, but I'd cancel any other trip to Europe/Americas/Asia.

    My mother and parents in law live in another country with a small number of cases (still), but I am concerned that children might get the virus somewhere and transmit to the elderly.

  • -2 votes

    Doubt anyone who is proficient enough to use ozbargain is old enough to die from covid19

  • +4 votes

    Paranoia is hoarding toilet paper. Prudence is thinking this might not be the best time to travel. It is not the destination. It is the journey in a plane, in close proximity with people that is the main worry.

    Right now I think there is a bit of hysteria about COVID19 with people thinking contracting it is a death kneel. It is not. However it might be for someone else.

    Everyone should be thinking about how to prevent spreading it on a large scale. Even for those who are vulnerable, as long as they get the proper healthcare, they are likely to live. To get proper care, facilities must not be overloaded. To prevent overload, dont spread it.

    TL:DR
    Help to prevent widespead infection, so as to not overwhelm healthcare facilities so that we can all eventually be killed by climate change. Fair is fair

  •  

    Norway is so expensive, go for it, but prepare for it to cost a lot if you get stuck

  •  

    the issue is not you getting sick. the issue is another traveller increasing the risk for spread of the disease.
    (as a carrier bringing it into or out of Australia)

  •  

    OP, check the SmartTraveller website. https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/norway
    The status of Norway is currently "Reconsider your need to travel".

    Some of the insurances will not cover health expenses if government issues certain warning alert.
    I wish you can make a wise decision….

  •  

    I would wait at least 3 months for covid to go away & be controlled.
    Norway is not going anywhere. You can go there in 6m or 12 m.
    I have postponed my Europe trip from this year to next year due to the virus. Your parents are right. Imagine if you catch the virus, then you be in self quarantine for 14 days possibly in norway and again in Australia. If you pass it to your friends and family someone could die.

  •  

    High chance getting stuck somewhere.
    Just delay the trip, you will get your getaway,just at another time.

    At 25 you'd hope you could assessed the risk

  • +1 vote

    https://www.visitnorway.com/plan-your-trip/coronavirus-and-t...

    "Travellers from countries outside of the Nordic region should who are not residents of Norway will be returned to their home country as soon as possible."

    Even if you wanted to go, it now might not be possible…

    Keep safe!

    •  

      Thanks everyone. The irony is when I wrote the initial post, the Coronavirus hadn't become a Pandemic. Now, it's clear that the trip will be postponed. Keep safe in the meantime!

      OzCheapo