It's been four months since I returned from my solo, around-the-world adventure (not that I'm counting or anything). It's taken my poor mother yelling, "Will you please just shut up about Africa?” to realize that 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.
To clarify, a travel bore is either one (or all) of the following:
1. Someone who endlessly brags on and on about their travels, or finds ways to drop it into everyday conversations. This person begins to sound a lot like Michelle from "American Pie."
2. Someone who continuously tries to one-up people with 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, which show the person simply cannot come to terms with the fact the travels are over.
Does this sound familiar? I, for one, am guilty as charged for some of the above. I'm even starting to bore myself by 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 at this point.
But, dearly beloved friends and family, I must apologize if I have become somewhat of a “travel bore.” I think (partially) I'm 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.
Here are six tips to help you ensure you don't become the ultimate travel bore:
1. Take a vow of storytelling silence.
Unless you're asked about said stories, keep quiet. Remember not everyone wants to hear how your Thai takeout doesn't compare to the Pad Thai you sampled from the street vendors of Bangkok.
Country namedropping is irritating. Remember not everyone is as interested in travel as you are. Yes, it may be frustrating that none of your nearest and dearest seem interested in your life-changing experiences any more, but c'est la vie.
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, such as creating photo albums.
However you decide to document your travels, it's a great way to keep hold of those memories. You won't feel 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 whomever walks through the door.
3. Reminisce with your travel buddies.
We live in a digital age, and it's now easier than ever to stay connected with the many friends you made around the world. Save stories for when you speak to them next, 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 that were taken several months ago on a deserted island. Social media is a wonderful tool for keeping friends and family updated, however, old news is boring news.
Keep personal accounts fresh. If you have a blog, save nostalgic updates for your accounts associated with that blog. If your friends and family are interested, they will be following you on there anyway, and they 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 lives 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 newfound morals don't need to be forced onto others. They'll probably end up resenting you for it. Those moments are for 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. For some, it's not even their main priority in life at the moment. But, there are a lot of people who would kill to have the chance, and they won't appreciate having your stories continuously rubbed in their faces.
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 anymore, take a moment to appreciate how fortunate you are to have experienced those things. You have stories to tell that wouldn't be worth telling if you were doing it all the time, anyway.
And if none of that works and you're still labelled a travel bore, oh well. Who needs friends who can't be happy for your happiness? By the way, did I mention that one time I went to Africa?
This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.
You can also follow Nikki's adventures on Twitter @_whereisnoodles.