Travel Stories.

First Published 24 June 2017 & a Top Post Ever.

Upon return from travel, people say to me, “I want to hear all about your trip.”

I have found this is not actually the case.

suitcase

The Travel Story

What they want is a distilled answer. One or two experiences in 10 words or less. Just the name of the towns; no detail.

“How was it?” might require a, “wonderful,” maybe, “amazing, I loved it.”

They give you a nice smile. Their job is done.

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

album

The Travel Pictures

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

photos

We quickly move back to their lives, sometimes for hours. Their cat’s cough, the frustrations of their job, and all in far more detail and occupying greater lengths of time than they afforded your trip.

This pattern has got me to thinking.

What Is a Returning Traveller Seeking From their Significant Others?

Is what I am requiring 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 a travel listener even more rare & niche?

psychs couch

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

In two short questions, this stranger gave me more than nearly every one of my loved ones. He acknowledged the feat of the undertaking and he demonstrated his understanding of the process required to go back to my life now that I have changed.

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 through twelve hundred 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 is experienced 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.

2 thoughts on “Travel Stories.

  1. This is a very interesting post. I found myself right there with you. As a matter of fact, as I was reading it, I realized that the disinterested/zero type of reaction that you describe is often why I don’t talk about many things. I’ve found that there’s the rare listener who wants to venture outside his own world. It’s rough, and I can really understand how you must have felt when you had the physical challenge of the Camino added to your travel experience. Thank you to all the Hugos out there.

    Liked by 1 person

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