Travel Stories

Upon return from travel, people say to me, “I want to hear all about your trip sometime”. I have found this is not actually the case.

suitcase

The Travel Story

What they want is a distilled answer. Top one or two experiences in 10 words or less. Just the name of the towns; not much detail needed.

“How was it?” might require a “wonderful”, maybe “amazing, I loved it”. At this, they give you a nice smile. Job done.

“Fine thanks”, obviously too little; “I particularly loved…” too much.

album

The Travel Pictures

In this era of Facebook they’ve already seen a couple of snaps before you’ve even got home so no further pictures are needed.

photos

We quickly move on to long explanations about the detail of their lives, sometimes for hours. Their cat’s cough, the frustrations of their job, all in far more detail and occupying great lengths of time they didn’t afford your trip.

This pattern has got me to thinking.

What Is a Returning Traveller Seeking From their Significant Others?

Is what I am seeking overly taxing?

Can we only really listen when we are genuinely interested in or knowledgeable about the place visited?

How rare is a listener?

Is being a travel listener even more rare & niche?

psychs couch

I got a message today out of the blue. A man I never actually met but conversed with in a Facebook Camino group asked how my Camino went and how I was settling back into life after.

This stranger in 2 short sentences gave me more than nearly every one of my loved ones. He acknowledged the feat of the undertaking of travel and he recognised that there is a process to go through in going back to our lives now that we have changed.

He understands. What a gift.

gift

And it wasn’t a burden for him. I didn’t need for him to listen to hours and hours of talk and look at 1200 photos. I just wanted the acknowledgment.

The truth is, we are not the same after travel, we are never quite the same. Especially travel undertaken alone. The depth of challenge and absorption in what I experience is so profound I couldn’t possibly remain the same.

So I carry on, settling back into my job and home life as though I am the me that went away and I hold my journey within. But I know I am like an insect that has become too big for my exoskeletin and the sides are splitting.

Green_grocer_cicada_molting

Molto grazie Hugo for your thoughtful message. I am grateful.

8 thoughts on “Travel Stories

  1. We hear you! I think you’ve put into words what I’ve always felt about my community of bloggers…a group of people that have shared some of what you’re going through, and want to hear about it, as opposed to the people in our everyday lives we expect this from. Our loved ones have so many mixed, strange, and unanticipated notions about our traveling ways. Similar to what you’re saying, I’m often shocked at how some of the people I respect most react to what I’m up to. There are even some crowds of people that I would almost say lightly harassed me out of immaturity and their own ignorance. Super frustrating. I guess we live and learn…who we can talk to, or even, who we should be giving our time to. But stick with us…your experiences and stories are wanted here. 🙂 I think the online communities have so much to offer. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. My blog is where I share. It has my stories and my secrets, really, it has my development as a person. I am always surprised that people read it but am grateful that they do. And I learn so much from other’s posts. I am relieved to see others like me out in the world. You’re right. Blogging fulfills some of what we don’t get from those we would most like to get it from.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brava! The one thing people will want, when they are interested, is your free trip planning services. Then they pretend to listen and fail to do what you tell them to. Or fail to do further research.

    We have a slide show of past travel photos running on our TV whenever we have people over for dinner. We don’t narrate it, but it is a conversation starter on occasion. Kind of a sneaky way to get people to look at our travel pics. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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