Most of us do not get everything we want. We have to adapt to situations, people, changing times, and more. But to what extent?
It comes back to the point of finding a balance between what is truly important to us and what options are available to us at a given point in time.
We need to have some boundaries and non-negotiables that we remind ourselves about, in every situation, if we need to decide on whether we shall be compromising on something or not.
I have travelled with strangers, with family and with friends and I can confirm there have been and will be plenty of moments of compromise for the sake of not ruining the mood of the holiday and even relationships.
Family holidays have been happening for us since I was two years old, so I have over three decades of experience in that field.
We argue about things like where we want to eat, my dad making a big deal about the lack of service at a restaurant; my mum walking into a shop in a random city and not picking up her phone. I am pretty sure they have a list of things that I do which are annoying to them too. But we still bear with it, purely because it is familiar territory and they are our family.
Travelling with friends is very much a learning curve for all parties involved, even if you thought you knew each other very well.
The main thing that I have learnt and would suggest when travelling with friends is that you communicate clearly from the start of the trip about what each of you want to do over the days or weeks, as well as during the trip.
There will be times where you need to improvise, compromise, but you will need to remember what your boundaries are as well.
Ideally, you do not want to go back home after the trip not having done or seen most of the things that you wanted to, or even blame anyone else for this. This could obviously affect your friendship. If there are misunderstandings, it is best to raise them then and clarify them on the spot or soon, or else it can get worse over time.
Try to be calm, adapt and compromise a bit on things that are not that important and try to have a good time.
Finally, travelling with strangers may involve an element of compromise, but hopefully not to the detriment of what you need to see and do on the trip. It is your trip.
Although there will be times when you may need to do what the majority of the group wants to do, sometimes for personal safety and perhaps on other times because you do not want to spend a whole day on your own.
I have had days during organised tours when I needed a break from everyone. The same people that I had spent the last week or so with, was starting to annoy me. This could just be me and my occasional anti-social streak, but I do think a bit of time and space never hurt anyone, once in a while.
So on one of the days in Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a. Saigon), Vietnam, I excused myself from the travel group and hopped onto a Cyclo, which is a one person rickshaw (imagine a wheelbarrow with a cycle at the back) and saw a bit of the city myself. It was a lot of fun and in the evening I caught up with the rest of the travel group. I was very pleased to see them and hear about their day too!
You can read my article on what to consider when travelling solo or in organised tours.
No one is perfect. Remember to apologise and forgive and raise things that are not working during the trip, even if it is uncomfortable. If you do not do these things and let these build up in your head, things may be blown out of proportion.
I could be sat in front of my laptop wondering whether I should compromise on the star ratings of the next hotel I book (for whenever my next holiday may be...) while someone somewhere is wondering if they should use money to have a meal or to repair their only pair of shoes.
People in many parts of the world still do not have basic needs or choice on things like education, consent for marriage, independence. They may have many more limitations when it comes to the types of jobs they could apply for and even be considered for, followed by being able to survive at them with the lack of acceptance in certain cultures around the world.
Such people have to compromise on many things on a daily basis than most of us have to. Some people can not afford childcare, so they may have to choose between bringing up their children and a job.
The reason I have brought this up is that, before we look at our compromises, based on our personal standards with magnifying glasses, we could all try to remember how fortunate we are to even have a choice.
Having said that, having standards, boundaries and non-negotiables are also important for us, in order to have an element of control in our lives.
Some may have overtly high standards for themselves and can come across as egoistic, proud, picky or even snobby. In many cases this could be true, especially when these individuals impose their views and standards upon the rest, without considering their personal situations, beliefs or preferences. Others may be very easy-going, to the point of forgoing many of their own desires, perhaps too often than is necessary.
If we try to understand others better and keep an open mind towards different people, we can experience life more fully, where we can learn, improve and face fewer difficulties, especially when travelling with others.
CAREER, PASSION AND RELATIONSHIPS
Say I was a talented dancer (sadly, I am not), and I decided to give up dancing for the sake of a relationship. It is very likely that at some point in my life I will feel regret that I gave up on something I loved, for something or someone else that I loved. As a result, I may blame the latter.
It is obviously not easy to say that I should have continued to be a dancer, no matter what, because perhaps at a certain point in time I did not have the choice, or I had to pick one thing over the other and I made an informed and practical decision then.
Dilemmas can be life-changing, especially when we need to make difficult decisions.
One way of dealing with these could be to think of a short and long term plan, with pros and cons of both, drawing non-negotiables for now and the future.
And in case we regret our past, there is always a way to see what good came out of that, and see how we could make changes in future to do more of what we are passionate about.
Obviously we need to take into account all the variables, such as our age, physical and mental abilities, dependents and more.
For instance, an aspiring footballer would struggle to fulfil his passion and dreams to play his best game if he starts playing at the age of 30. It could just be the harsh truth of life that we have to choose and we can not have everything, and so we have to compromise.
If you make choices because of someone else, be it family or societal pressures, you are quite likely to blame them down the line and feel angry about it.
Ultimately, the goal is to be as sure as possible that whatever choices we make, we will try not to hold anyone accountable for the compromises involved, but ourselves.
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
Whether this is at a fish market, a car dealership or for big business deals, we have all had to question how much we could let go of. What are the opportunity costs of one thing to another? What is at stake?
Our thought process is affected by many factors, such as our:
TOP 5 THINGS TO REMEMBER:
As a takeaway from this article, some things to consider when you are faced with a situation where you need to compromise: