It’s been four months since I returned from my solo around-the-world adventure and it has taken my poor mother to yell at me, “Will you PLEASE just shut up about Africa!!?” to realize that maybe, just MAYBE, I am starting to turn into one of those travel bores. I mean it’s difficult enough having to adjust to temporarily living under the same roof as your 30-year-old daughter again, let alone someone who is a travel bore.
So what is a travel bore?
A travel bore is either one (or all) of the following:
1. Someone who endlessly goes on and on about their travels or finds ways to drop it into everyday conversations, thus beginning to sound a lot like Michelle from American Pie. For example: “guys, guys…did you know…this one time in…?”
2. Someone who continuously tries to one-up people with their travel stories or drones on about how something is “so much better” in another country.
3. Someone whose social media accounts are filled with nostalgic updates, memories and travel-related articles showing they simply cannot come to terms with the fact their travels are over.
Does this sound familiar?
I for one am guilty as charged for some of the above.
I mean…I am even starting to bore myself saying the same things over and over again. I’ve lost track of what stories I’ve already shared and with whom I’ve shared them with. I’m pretty sure my friends and family can tell my anecdotes better than I can now.
So dearly beloved friends and family…I must apologie if I have become somewhat of a “travel bore.”
I think I am now (partially) ready to accept that yes that happened, yes it was amazing, and yes I have many great memories that will stay with me for a lifetime. But it’s old news and now it’s time to focus on the present.
So how does one become a “travel bore” no more after a long-term trip? Fear not…I have the answers…
1. Take a vow of travel storytelling silence.
Unless of course you are asked about said stories, then tell away! However, on those occasions where you’re having a normal conversation, remember not everyone wants to hear how your Thai takeaway isn’t a patch on the Pad Thai you sampled from the street vendors of Bangkok. Country name-dropping is irritating and remember not everyone is as interested in travel as you are.
2. Start a travel blog.
This can be your outlet to talk about travel AS MUCH as you like. With a little dedication, you can build up a following of people who have an active interest in travel and (hopefully) enjoy hearing you tell endless tales of your adventures. If writing isn’t your thing, find another creative outlet like creating photo albums. However you decide to document your travels, it’s a great way to keep hold of those memories and make you feel less like they’re going to get lost in a deep dark abyss of your brain if you don’t immediately vocalize EVERY detail of EVERY amazing experience with whoever walks through the door.
3. Reminisce with your travel buddies.
We live in the digital age, and it is now easier than ever to stay connected with the many friends that you made around the world. Save stories for when you next speak to them or reach out to them when a memory pops into your head. You’re much more likely to have your enthusiasm reciprocated if you share those special moments with people who were there experiencing it with you.
4. Be social media savvy.
Just like no one likes to see continuous updates about what someone is having for dinner that night, no one likes a bragger posting daily selfies of them on a deserted island…from 32 weeks ago. Social media is a wonderful tool for keeping friends and family updated, however old news is boring news. Keep personal accounts fresh, and if you have a blog, save nostalgic updates for your accounts associated with that blog, like Instagram for example. If your friends and family are interested, they will be following you on there anyway and can check in and out when they please.
5. Accept travel is a personal journey.
I’m sure anyone who has been away for a long period of time will say that travel has transformed their life in one way or another. It’s a personal journey and the only person who can truly know and understand what that journey meant to you…is you. All those life-changing moments or new-found morals don’t need to be forced onto others. They’ll probably end up begrudging you for it anyway. Those moments are for you and you alone to learn from and fit into your own life if you choose to do so.
6. Appreciate how lucky you are.
Not everyone is in a position to travel or maybe it’s not their main priority in life at the moment. But there are a lot of people who would kill to have the chance and won’t appreciate having it continuously rubbed in their face. So instead of sulking over the fact you’re no longer hopping your way around the world and that no-one wants to hear about it any more, take a moment to appreciate how fortunate you are to have experienced the things you have experienced. You have stories to tell that wouldn’t be worth telling if you were doing it all the time anyway.