The five-step guide to dealing with arguments overseas

November 27, 2015
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Summer is the perfect time for a getaway. You’ve got three months to piss off out of Australia and explore locations you’ve only ever seen on your friends’ Instagrams while you sat at home suffering severe FOMO. So, needless to say, once the time comes for you to take that iconic photo in front of the ‘Departures’ sign and embark on your overseas adventure, you and your mates will probably not be thinking of the fact that arguments are bound to ensue. Here’s a simple guide to dealing with cabin fever abroad so you don’t ruin a good thing.

Space might be necessary

If the problem isn’t immediately sorted, then it might be necessary to just chill out. At the very least, spend an hour or so away from your mates and perhaps explore wherever you are solo for a little while. Nothing too drastic - just enough to make sure you can cool off before you tackle the problem. That means you’ll be able to articulate your thoughts properly and clearly. If you don’t give each other space, the issue will only get worse.

Voice the problem

No issue ever gets solved if everyone remains quiet. Due to the fact that you’re overseas, you guys don’t know many people and you probably have nowhere to chill out by yourself, you need to voice the issue first before anything gets solved. If you guys had an argument and the problem is still bothering you, speak up. Chances are, one party has probably forgotten about it while the other is letting it boil up inside of them. Simply having a discussion about the issue can prevent it from escalating into a problem it doesn’t need to be.

Side note: if an issue does arise, sort it out as early in the trip as possible. You shouldn’t be carrying around any baggage besides your suitcase.

Do not, under any circumstances, ignore the person

This is a really big no-no. We’re all too old now to be dealing with that petty nonsense – especially abroad. If someone is trying to reach out to you about something that went down, don’t dismiss him or her. Even if they pissed you off, the fact that they’re approaching you, presumably with peacemaking intentions, says a lot - and it’ll say a lot about you if you ignore it.

Sometimes you just have to let the argument happen

Despite everything I’ve just said, in rare cases it might be necessary to let an argument hit boiling point. The reason being that an argument might be a façade of sorts for an underlying issue that’s been festering for a while. In this way, letting the argument go down can be a good way air out all those issues - not just those created on the trip. After the argument is over, both parties will feel so liberated and incredibly relieved, meaning you can move on and really enjoy your trip.

Take a step back and look at the big picture

Having a heated exchange is all well and good, but sometimes you need to have some perspective on your situation before you let something bother you too much. You’re here in a beautiful, overseas location that you’ve heard so much about but never gotten a chance to visit. You’re here with one or more of your really good mates. Don’t take this opportunity for granted. Be present, be forgiving and move the hell on. 

Jackson Langford

Jackson is studying a Bachelor of Communication degree at the University of Newcastle and is the rightful heir to the throne.

Image: Gabriel Herrera, Flickr Creative Commons license