Travelling experience with seniors

A top activity among seniors is travelling. Many of us love to go JB, further to China, and further still on a cruise from HK. Of course, it costs money, but for many we want to see the world at 60, 65 and 70.

Many seniors prefer to go with a friend or a group. So, we join a group, but sometimes, our travel partners become enemies. And the rest of the trip becomes sour, and we never want to see the other person again. Why?

Teenagers, young adults handle social communication better. But seniors and retirees fare badly on many issues when travelling together, despite a good 50 to 60 years living experience on earth.

“I just can’t stand why she spends such a long time making up in the toilet”.

“This lady is a bitch, real bloody bitch. I will never go out with her again.”

“Who does she think she is? She thinks she is still young. I don’t want to be associated with such people”.

“This guy is very stingy. He waits and waits and won’t offer to buy you a drink. So kiam siap. I can pay myself. No need him to pay for me”.

How do we go out travelling together and still come back as friends? Better still as closer friends. Are we the perfect travelling friend?

Let’s chat without hinting at who’s the person. Let’s discuss how we can be better travelling companies.

Terence Seah

37 thoughts on “Travelling experience with seniors

  1. discuss how can be better travelling companies :
    1. Never insist other to treat/payment for each other – Rule 1 to avoid the word kiam siap.

    2. To be considerate and less expectation from other so that we won’t spoilt our holiday mood. Example, wake up for breakfast issue.

    3. Stop nagging to tell other what to do while the other may just smile but no comment.

    4. Learn to be gracious and politely – when you start to be nice to somebody, the other may feel it with in return gesture unless is selfish personality then can’t help it.

    Chemistry can be built up with less expectation, less judgement and less black face expression.

    Ps : We will never be able to please everyone for sure but use the word “GST” – Greeting, smile and say thank you to overcome the obstacle. Hope that will help.

  2. Nice piece, Terence. A good “study” for the new year. Let me venture to comment on your statements, that are so real.

    “I just can’t stand why she spends such a long time making up in the toilet”.
    I am sure there are chairs. If not sit on the bed if you must – and wait.

    “This lady is a bitch, real bloody bitch. I will never go out with her again.”
    Feelings are mutual.

    “Who does she think she is? She thinks she is still young. I don’t want to be associated with such people”.
    Again, feelings are mutual.

    “This guy is very stingy. He waits and waits and won’t offer to buy you a drink. So kiam siap. I can pay myself. No need him to pay for me”.
    BUT I saw this guy jostling thru the crowd, braving the queue to buy a drink for someone else. Wonder why?

    ALL said, in theory, when in a group, it is a crowd mixing and mingling happily, accommodating and assisting each other . But in practice, it is always “My Way”, like it or not. Without doubt, sharing a room is the best way to find out more about each other – often to the detriment of friendship.

    DC

  3. Hi DanielC, HowardY,

    From time to time, I get requests to help to find a room mate for a trip. Even though I maybe the trip organiser, and even if I know the signed-on participants, I have not tried to pair room mates, because of possible competibilty concerns.

    I recently tested an idea to help travel individuals find a room mate. At the same, I also thought this idea may be workable for the entire trip. I call this a “Changing partners” trip.

    It goes like this. Assuming we are out on a driving trip from Bangkok to Phuket. There are 24 participants. We put everybody’s names in a fish bowl, and draw lots.

    The first two drawn names take room 1. The next two take room 2, and we carry on same to room 3, etc. In this way, we have changing partners every day. If two room mates do not suit one another, at least there is a chance to change the next day. We won’t be unhappy throughout the whole trip.

    Of course, some thought this is a crazy idea. Never heard of such ideas. But I do see merits in ensuring a peaceful trip. Very often, I see room mates tolerate one another, and at the end of the trip, they sing sayonara.

    There are complications with drawing lots. But for the purpose of discussion, let’s chat open-mindedly.

    Terence Seah

  4. Hi DanielC, HowardY,

    From time to time, I get requests to help to find a room mate for a trip. Even though I maybe the trip organiser, and even if I know the signed-on participants, I have not tried to pair room mates, because of possible competibilty concerns.

    I recently tested an idea to help travel individuals find a room mate. At the same time, I also thought this idea may be workable for the entire trip. I call this a “Changing partners” trip.

    It goes like this. Assuming we are out on a driving trip from Bangkok to Phuket. There are 24 participants. We put everybody’s names in a fish bowl, and draw lots.

    The first two drawn names take room 1. The next two take room 2, and we carry on same to room 3, etc. In this way, we have changing partners every day. If two room mates do not suit one another, at least there is a chance to change the next day. We won’t be unhappy throughout the whole trip.

    Of course, some thought this is a crazy idea. Never heard of such ideas. But I do see merits in ensuring a peaceful trip. Very often, I see room mates tolerate one another, and at the end of the trip, they sing sayonara.

    There are complications with drawing lots. But for the purpose of discussion, let’s chat open-mindedly.

    Terence Seah

  5. It takes two to tango. I know it sounds cliche. However, before we judge and comment, we must check ourselves too.

    • So if a lady spends a long time in the bathroom to do her make up, you should just relax and wait for your turn to use it or you could wake up earlier to use the bathroom before her so that she can do what she needs to do at her own pace;
    • You think she is a bitch – maybe she thinks you are a moron;
    • You say you would never travel with her again – she may think likewise about you; and
    • You assume she thinks she is still young and behaved the way she did – maybe that’s her style, so you can either take it or leave it;

    I guess when we are out on a trip, its wise to choose your room mate. However, if circumstances do not allow it, then pray hard. Just kidding.
    We have to play our part to be a good room mate or travel mate too and not expect for only your room mate to be good.

    We have to look out for each other, share your packet of sng buay if the road gets bumpy.

    Its ok to share your bag of chips too. But don’t you dare put your chips, together with your fingers into your mouth and try to put your hands in again to my bag of chips with your saliva filled fingers – ewwww!

    Don’t always be on the lookout for freebies without sharing what you have. It becomes annoying.

    I can tolerate snoring. But I cant stand messy and unhygienic people. Someone who doesn’t like to shower or bathe. And if he/she does, the whole bathroom floor, including the bedroom is wet with water dripping from his/her wet hair or legs.

    Or coming into the room with smoke filled breath after his/her lung exercise.
    People taking my things without asking – it doesn’t mean my things are yours when we share a room.

    I don’t like people pinching food from my plate when I am having my meal. I would rather buy you a plate of what I have then to share.

    Because of my travelling habits, I have high expectations of my room mates.
    I always make it a point to wake up way before my room mate to do what I need to do in the bathroom so as not to cause any inconvenience.
    After I take my shower, I make sure the floor is not wet and messy after I am done.
    I will wipe the vanity counter dry after brushing my teeth and washing my face, and not leave any scraps in the sink.
    I always pack what I need so I rarely take anything from my room mates.
    I will share my snacks, beverages, etc.
    I do not drink alcoholic drinks and do not smoke – so you wont get a drunk or a chimney in the room. But I do have a joke or two to share.

    At the end of the day, its about being mindful of other people’s feelings and not do to others, what you do not want others to do unto you.
    Basic courtesy, kindness, mindfulness and grace can make a lot of difference to your holidays. And we don’t feel we owe each other any thing.

    Maybe that’s why I prefer to travel free and easy with my choice of room mate, just the two of us.

    Cheers
    Carly

  6. By sharing twin accommodation, you’ll save costs but that’s not the only advantage. Over the years we’ve seen many women gain a new friend and even a long-time ‘travel companion’. Like any shared experience, compromise is essential to the success of the roommate experience.

    Here are a few top tips we’ve learned for successfully sharing a room while on tour.

    1 Bring and wear earplugs. Buy a few types and try them out before your trip. Some are more comfortable than others.

    2 Keep your belongings contained to your side of the room . Bring a mini reading light or glasses with built in lights…The Dollar stores now sell them.

    3 Before your first night, talk with your roommate asking each other’s preferences:

    a : Are you a ‘night person’, or ‘morning person’?

     b Do you have to have a window open at night?c Do you prefer to sleep beside the window or   near the door?

    d Do you snore, have nightmares, sleepwalk?

    e Do you enjoy reading before bed, and for how long every night before turning out the light?

    F Do you use a nightlight in the bathroom, the bedroom?

    g Are you allergic to air-conditioning? Do you dislike air conditioning?

    Consider setting parameters like:

    You shower first one day, then I’ll shower first the next day.

    Let’s agree to lights out at 11:00

    I’ll sleep closest to the washroom since I’m up a few times during the night

    Agree to be honest with each other about pet peeves

    Offer each other time alone in the room

    Remember, just because you are sharing accommodation doesn’t automatically mean that you will do things together. It is quite usual for the person who gets the shower first to go ahead to breakfast while the other is getting ready for the day’s activities. It is quite usual for one of the two sharing to spend their daytime, mealtime, and or free-time with other passengers or even on their own.

    This are all my suggestion.

    Cheer !

    Stella

  7. Well some more input :

    i realize sharing room with new stranger also enlighten the difference, it may be uncomfortable and invasion of personal boundary for the first night but what the heck since holiday mood – take it with a pints of salt to explore of the unknown of the mystery person.

    As for guy like us, whom sharing room of 40 pax during army day for 3 month – sort of get use to it or immune and who know sort of lucky to share with 1 stranger instead of 39 different personality. I should say blessing in disguise to me lor.

    I learn first my experience when holiday with my best friend, from best friend to hardly contact anymore after our holiday.

    • To put it in a direct way – we see our difference when staying together, unlike when in school.

      Toilet manner
      Sleep mode
      Shopping style
      Eating choice

      It really kill our friendship instantly when difference start to evolve – we were young so lack of logical mindset but react impulsive childishness.

      So staying together to live in the same room is not easy as ABC – we must applause those married couple for their selfless adjustment.

      Ops , i lost track liao……..in short, i alway remind myself :

      1.Never judge a person by it cover – it take time to communicate.

      2.Alway be considerate – i always start to be nice first so that the other will reciprocate instead of the other way round.

      3. Less expectation and demand from other will easy for ownself frustration.

      4. Be happy – after all is holiday ! Don’t need to fret for trivial issue – don’t hold grudge because Anger do take away our energy too. Safe your energy for sightseeing and food tasting.

      5. My personal secret formula : if someone you dislike just distance yourself away,

      simple smile gesture – not fake one hor – because can tell by it if bum into each other.

      stop sharing with others about your unhappiness because it become gossip and bring out your bad mood to talk about it. Just let it go like a breeze.

      Lastly, if you know that you are not able to compromise – book a single room to solve the above issue.

  8. Hmmmm….

    One of the many things to look forward to when going for tour is getting a roommate!  There are pros and cons to both, but whether you’re living with a stranger or your bestie it’s important to know how to be a good roommate. So let’s talk about qualities that will make you the best roomie ever!

    1. Communication. We’ve all heard that this is the key to making any relationship work,  telling each other your schedules, talking about what upsets you, apologizing when you mess up.

    2. Adaptability. Sharing with someone else means being flexible, and maybe not having everything go your way.

    3. Consideration. Remember to be considerate of their time, space, and sleep.

    4. Consistency. Whether you are present in the room or not, let your roommate know that you are for them and there for them. Let the room be a safe place where you can come and be yourselves.

    5. Cleanliness. Cleanliness  habits bring peace to your roommate’s life and do them joyfully!

    6. Respect. Respect for each other will bring much peace and less eggshells into your roommate-ship. Respect their sleep by quietly coming into the room at night. Respect their time by cleaning up your mess so they don’t have to.

    7. No judgement. Your room should be a safe place, not a place of tension or hurt and selflessly resolve conflict. Show your roommate that you accept them for who they are, and you don’t judge them for their quirks.

    Happy Sharing Room

    Stella

  9. Is there will be an event like “for room sharing” tour upcoming ?

    let incorporate into trainning cum tour concept –

    1. How to behave when in sharing room
    2. How to improve relationship while room sharing
    3. How to read a person profile
    4. How to match your roommate horsoscope and fengshui.

    Yes , i m talking nonsense now – forgot to take medicine…..i still think workable – let try traveling with class room concept to learn a skill while on holiday.

  10. Hi Howard,

    I am glad you are learning how to use WordPress, which forms the basis of SilverHairsClub website and blog. I will organise an event to learn from you.

    Terence Seah

  11. Back to travel experience. I read all your feedback. Let’s me listen to your experience when eating together as a group.

    When on overseas travel, we know we have to eat lunch and dinner. Group is new to the city, but finally after searching the Web or getting friends’ recommendation, we settled at a nice cosy restaurant, with many locals eating at the place.

    Immediately after the food arrives, someone will say, “this food is very salty. This people (the cook) very inconsistent. Maybe they don’t have a regular cook. I won’t come here again”.

    Sadly the person who suggested the place feels so down hearted, and the rest of the diners feel uncomfortable as the person criticises on and on.

    I notice many Singaporeans have this unconscious habit. I like to hear from you. What would you do?

    Terence Seah

  12. on second thought :

    We can’t stop other from their comment, except to tone down their harsh word to soften it.

    If the critc too mean – use your magic word ” SHUT UP”

    If true, the food is salty – use your magic word “thank you” and “sorry not my taste”

  13. I’M NOT A LAWYER. READ THIS ADVICE AS ENTERTAINMENT, NOT INSTRUCTION. It  is Mutual Combat. If you’re in a state that allows mutual combat, you’re good to go or keep your mouth shut.Then it’s your word against theirs. Additionally, Same goes for your enemy. Best bet is to make sure you’re both sober & record all of it (from you agreeing to fight to the end of the fight).

    Why not ?

    Stella

  14. Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. Why must anyone pretend the food is nice when it is salty? The organiser, or whoever, who recommends the place or the food should take comments (or criticisms) with a pinch of salt. The restaurant is a public place. Every diner who pays for food has the right to give his/her feedback and opinion. It is not against anybody in the group. It is directed at the cook. It could also be a hygiene issue or service inadequacy.

    Of course, if the critic chooses to be personal (owing to grudges accumulated) and to accuse or blame the organiser instead of the restaurant, it is another matter. The group shall then tell this “outspoken” participant to call the shot for the next meal, and let him/her be at the receiving end of the barrage.

    DC

  15. It is a common practice to “settle outside” after a meal with a group of friends. Not nice to have money changing hands inside the restaurant. Perhaps the disgruntled individual may want a discount.

    DC

    • Irene quote “settle outside” is another version….more garang like those during the old day, got dispute go backyard to “combat”…Got power one so dun play play.

      I always Siam Liao…the best survival skills.

      • during old day, dispute go backyard, back lane or kitchen to negotiate the difference – hokkien call ” hou puay con”.

        Black society alway like to quote this :

        While my mum will scream “hou pauy con” with me to go our kitchen behind with her canned, whip to her heart contend. Dun say combat for survival hor…..Before Cat women ever appear in TV, my lao pu secret weapon is canned – i throw away so many time but the pasar alway refurnish unlimited.

        Dun ever “settle outside” after my childhood memories. Run fast dun look back…. head of no return.

  16. My thoughts on it:
    I think mutual fighting is better than average fights. As long as bystanders are unharmed and no damages were made in the proces, I see no problem. I think about it in a way of survival of the fittest. When two (or more) people want to fight, for whatever reason, let them fight it out. After that, they’ve proven their points or whatever the reason may be to fight.

    Still, fighting is wrong and more important: it is dangerous. Not only for you health, but also for your freedom. You can get nasty claims resulting from a fight you engaged in. So think twice before swinging the fences.

  17. It is interesting to read the different views on how to handle dinning issues as a group.

    Not only, “Salty” which I noticed most Singaporeans complain of nowadays.

    This next one is good. Some seniors eat little at mealtimes. But they enjoy the company of bigger groups. But others love the joy of eating. I may be sensitive, but I like to learn how to handle such situations.

    A group finally got a table for 4 pax. They ordered 5 dishes, excluding rice. Finally, food arrived. Then, one of the 4 pax commented, “We ordered too much. The dishes are meant for 6 pax”. Then, she moved aside one dish, and said, “Let’s keep this dish aside and pack for tomorrow”. And she strongly insisted the dish be untouched and packed.

    Well, I was that person who wanted to eat that dish. Throughout dinner, my stomach got annoyed. I also didn’t feel like eating an overnight dish.

    Again, that person was a lady.

    What would you do?

    Terence Seah

    • My mind says no but my fingers are already all over the keyboard. Cannot resist responding to a question. I am not teaching anybody to handle “such situations”, as every situation is unique. Unless and until we are part of the scene (or sham if you like), no one is in a position to recommend a “solution”. Factors affecting are plenty and varied. However, for the sake of making this conversation lively, I share my personal opinion, based on whatever is articulated here. I stand corrected if more information are revealed.

      Quote : “Again, that person was a lady”. This sounds sexist, if not sinister. But not surprising. Food and feeding has always been – and will always be – the nature of mothers, bestowed by Mother Nature, like it or not. Women – from grandma to mother to wife and girlfriends, even daughters if any – will always tell us what to eat and how to eat. Some women may behave more “motherly” than others in a group, so they take control of the food distribution, consciously or otherwise. See it from a positive angle – annoying it may seem but they are doing that fine balance between making sure you are well-fed and not wasting food. And she is right in ensuring nobody touches the food. That fine balance includes hygiene and health for all concerned. If the lady keeps the food for her own consumption, she is being selfish. Certainly she will not be in the list for the next outing. But if she keeps it for the benefit of everybody at a later time, she is simply performing that fine balance as a woman and a mother. The least we could do is to appreciate and respect her initiative.

      DC

    • Her views should not represent the group. “Who made her King?” 🙂

      If she wants to set aside the dish, I would ask her to set aside her own portion and she can eat it anytime even next year if she wants, and the rest just eat their own share.

  18. being nice always got some little sacrifice to swallow it except no fish to eat lor.

    if i were you, fish is my favorite dish – i will ask to swap other dish for it or say “never mind i will consume all to avoid leftover”

    i think say it out is a direct communication.

    the best solution – strike off the makan kaki name for next meal.

  19. As they say, food brings people together and dining with the right group of friends just makes the food taste extra good.

    Don’t store up negative emotions and jump into a heated argument. Practice some self-rehearsal .

     “Why did that upset you?” or “How are you seeing this situation?”

    Don’t act like there is only one view of the problem at hand. “You need to own your perception or approach that you’re disagreeing with.

    The focus shouldn’t be on blaming the person but airing your feelings and trying to get to a resolution:

     I thought it was better to clear the air, rather than stewing about it. Would you agree?”

    Hahaha !
    Empty vessels make the most noise.

    Stella

  20. I find it this lady RIDICULOUS and too PETTY over 1 extra dish . Remember herd we have 5 Adults with good appetites and 6 dishes are NOT too many to ask for.

    And to pack.till next day to eat is no longer as tasty as before and also unhygienic if the hotel fridge is not cold enougb.

    The best solution is to leave this particular lady out of the makan group and let her eat by herself for the next meal. Then she
    will ” wake ” up but alas not too late to realise how SELFISH she has been.

    Whoever,you are remember you are traveling in a group and respect the group’s decision.

    My point of view whether you choose to agree or disgree.

  21. Hi Steven…appreciate your illustration (if you were part of the group in discussion) and your imagination (if you were not). Maybe it did happen but I hate to believe two senior adults literally fighting over a dish, one wanting to keep it and the other saying no. As I have said earlier, ” I stand corrected if more information are revealed”.

    A common scenario in group gatherings – travelling, eating, singing, dancing etc – a person does not voice his/her objection to another on any matter he/she is not happy about, to keep the peace perhaps. But after the incident, whimpering and whispering go to people who have had no connection with the event. Based on one side of the story, people who are “good friends” give their “noble verdict”. The results then propagates far and wide, with added momentum and venom. Such is the cause of unhappiness, misunderstandings, hatred and even violence. This can happen to any us.

    Just shrug it off when dirt and filth are thrown at you. Have a friendly and fruitful year of the PIG.

    DC

  22. Hi Daniel
    I totally agree Daniel . I also think we have to realize that a lot of the perceived rejection from others lives only in our head.
    Rejections are the most common emotional wound we sustain in daily life.
    Whether the rejection we experience is large or small, one thing remains constant — it always hurts, and it usually hurts more than we expect it to.
    As social animals, we need to feel wanted and valued by the various social groups with which we are affiliated. Rejection destabilizes our need to belong, leaving us feeling unsettled and socially untethered. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves that we’re appreciated and loved so we can feel more connected and grounded

Leave a Reply