Managing Reactions From People At Home When You Get Back From Traveling
When you go on a trip you get to experience so many amazing things that are hard to relive afterwards. It's even harder when you get back home and people ask you how your trip was, and depending on where you went those questions can come in many different forms with just as many different tones. Some people want to know every detail, some people only want to know details of specific parts of the trip, others just ask to be polite and probably don't really want to know much at all! It's hard to gauge just how much to share with people!
When we got back from our most recent trip there were a lot of questions from people, some friends just wanted to talk about our flights, some were only interested in Australia, some in Beijing, and some in Israel. In an article I wrote on Medium, I talk about how no matter who we talked to though, there was always one question that was asked - did we feel safe in Israel? I talk about how it was a weird question to me, and how no one had ever asked us that before for anywhere else we traveled to. Honestly I was more uneasy about traveling to Beijing than to Israel, given the recent diplomatic spats between our countries, I was almost always on edge in Beijing, wondering if we would become the latest diplomatic and political football lobbied between China and Canada. Needless to say, we were fine in Beijing, and we were fine in Israel.
How do you know how much to share though? It depends on you of course, and on your relationship with whomever you're talking to. I'm the type who doesn't like to launch into a play by play of our entire trip, typically over the course of natural conversations I will bring up moments from our travels that are relevant to the current conversation. Daniel on the other hand loves to go over every detail of the trip! Some people love that, and I envy his ability to remember small details that made the trip incredible and to be able to share it with others so they too feel like they're a part of it in a small way. I use photos to tell my stories and often pull up pictures to show interested people the details of our trips. That doesn't mean I bombard people with slideshow after slideshow of all the thousands of pictures I take, I just like to show people some of the amazing places and sites we've seen, I like to take pictures of small details that make places unique and different from where we live. For instance in Bangkok, we were waiting in line for dinner (at supposedly the best Pad Thai restaurant in town) and I looked up and saw a ridiculous amount of cables hanging so haphazardly from the electrical posts that it looked like it could burst in flames any second.
It amazed me coming from North America where there is so much caution and government oversight on so called "public-safety" concerns that in Thailand there seemed to be no concern at all! Obviously I know that's not true, but it made me ponder the differences between our two countries, and what our individual societies place importance on. I thought about a lot, probably too much, Daniel just glanced and gave a chuckle, he was more interested in the giant flames and outdoor cooking show going on just outside the restaurant.
Even in this example my story of too-many-cables vs. Daniels story of the crazy cooking show going on are two very different take-aways from the same experience. So maybe it's no wonder people are more inclined to listen to Dan's tell-all tales from our travels instead of my randomly timed interjections of moments from the trip throughout conversations. We tell stories in different ways, just like people respond to our travel stories in different ways. Know who you're talking to before launching into your travel tales, the age old adage of "know your audience" applies especially appropriately when it comes to this topic of conversation.
Read my article on Medium called: