Going on a family vacation is overwhelming enough. Going to someone else’s family vacation without knowing them, the language, and dealing with food restrictions? Unthinkable.
Redditor MizWhatsit encountered this very issue with their cousin. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not wanting to travel with a vegan?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My mother’s family owns a beach house in a beautiful part of Mexico. Right now, my sister, brother and sister-in-law, and two female cousins are planning on flying down there for the week around New Year’s.”
“It’s cold and snowing at home, so escaping to a warmer climate sounds great. My siblings, my brother’s wife, and our cousins are all in our twenties.”
“Problem is, my cousin (F21) wants to include her best friend, who I’ve met once or twice. This girl is a nice person, and a strict plant based vegan, as in no meat, no fish, no dairy, no honey, no eggs. Even most wine is off limits until she finds out whether egg whites or gelatin was used to filter it.”
“Usually we buy food at the local markets, then take turns cooking Mexican dishes, and frequently going to local restaurants. Everyone there speaks Spanish, which my sister, brother, and sister in law speak fluently.”
“I know enough Spanish to shop and order in restaurants. My cousins and cousin’s friend don’t speak Spanish.”
OP spent some time with her cousin’s friend.
“We threw a birthday party for our cousin, ‘Sally’ this year (everyone is vaccinated) and she invited her vegan friend, ‘Trish.’”
“As hosts, my sister and I had to figure out what a vegan could eat and drink amongst our party food. We spent a good part of the evening Googling ingredients ‘Is seven layer dip vegan?’ (No.) ‘Is X brand of tortilla chips fried in all vegan oil?’ (No.)”
“Many of our family’s homemade dishes like tamales and refried beans contain lard, and our Mexican rice has chicken stock. Tequila and beer are vegan, but she doesn’t like those.”
“She couldn’t eat the tres leches birthday cake. I made a special pot of Mexican rice for her, but catering to her dietary restrictions turned into an unexpected chore that cut into my time enjoying the party.”
“If she came with us to Mexico, ‘Trish’, who doesn’t speak Spanish and would be staying in our house in an unfamiliar place, would be relying on us and restaurants for food.”
“I don’t want to serve as vegan spa chef for this girl. Also explaining in Spanish to restaurant staff in this sleepy little beach town that one guest needs an all-vegan meal also looks like a chore.”
“Her dietary restrictions would become the focus of every mealtime.”
OP wanted the trip to be strictly family.
“So, I’ve pointed out that the house sleeps six and nobody else asked to bring a friend, so I voted to keep the trip family only, to which my sister and brother agreed.”
“‘Sally’ then complained that my brother is bringing his wife, but our sister in law is family in our eyes.”
“‘Sally” is now saying she might not come on the trip. I did some research and there’s a vegan friendly resort hotel about an hour away, but it costs $200+ per night, so we’re sticking to the line that the trip is family only.”
“I am wondering if I might be the a**hole because 1) I’ve decided I don’t want to travel with my cousin’s friend due to the need to accommodate her complicated dietary preferences, and I’ve gotten my brother and sister to agree with me. 2) This action might make me the a**hole because my cousin is really upset and I’m worried I might be guilty of discriminating against vegans somehow.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA it’d be one thing if she were self sufficient, but I don’t want to be responsible for every bite that goes into another adult’s mouth on vacation.” ~ Nyankh
“Yeah, vegan myself and I wouldn’t want to go on a trip where I had to depend on other people to communicate my dietary needs. Maybe I’d be okay with it if it was someone I was close to, trusted, and knew they wouldn’t have a problem with being my liaison, but definitely not people I barely know. Frankly, I’d be unhappy if I had a friend trying to impose me on their family like this.” ~ fakefakeronie7654
“The cousin’s nuts if she thinks it’s either ‘discrimination against vegans’ or fair on anyone (including her friend) to demand others uphold her friends principles, too.”
“I really admire vegans for the work they put into making food choices they’re comfortable with, but it can be very hard work, and expecting others to coordinate someone’s complex dietary needs, overseas, while on holiday, is a ridiculous expectation on the cousin’s part.”
“Especially for $200 a night.” ~ enigmasaurus-
Redditors were wondering why the friend would want to be a part of the trip.
“It’s one thing to expect accommodation if you’ve been invited to a party but another thing entirely to expect other people to provide you with food for a week-long vacation.”
“Especially when of the 6 people going you are friends with only 1, and that person can’t actually help you because of a language barrier so the people who don’t know you will have to be the ones to look after you. That’s ridiculous.” ~ thistleandpeony
“Being the only person bringing a friend on a family vacation is already a big ask. You are the only person who knows them among a group that is already close, that is already a big recipe for awkward, and will most likely result in the two of them breaking off and ignoring the larger group.”
“Someone who has already been unpleasant to someone going on the trip (showing up and demanding speciality food without notice is unpleasant) is an automatic disqualification.” ~ Music_withRocks_In
OP needs to talk to their cousin about vacation rules and boundaries.