How to talk to others about your travels

The stark realization that often not many people care about where you were or what you did is a tough pill to swallow upon returning from a trip. I had never anticipated that all my friends and family members would be anything less than thrilled to hear about my experiences and see my photos.

I often broached the topic with others or mentioned it in passing to only receive general responses like ‘cool’ or minimal follow-up questions, and I would feel greatly disappointed. I assumed everyone would reciprocate the excitement I felt about my travels, but I learned the hard way they would not. I had just had incredible experiences, saw some amazing views and met the most interesting people. Why didn’t people want to talk about it? Why didn’t anyone care as much as I did?

I recently read a shared post online that talked about how people don’t care about your travel experiences when:

  1. They are envious of your travel
  2. They themselves have never had these experiences and simply cannot relate

Although these are not the only explanations, they cleared up lots of the confusion I had surrounding my conversations (or lack therefore of) with anyone from family members to strangers after I had traveled. Since then, I have come up with some advice on how to talk to others about your travels and experience.

Never brag or boast

Although it is easy to describe with grandeur all that you did and make others envious, this can quickly sour a conversation and prevent future ones from taking place. Instead, reflect on the moments when your experience humbled you, and try to describe it from that point of view.

Keep things relatable

Giving specific names of beaches, mountains and streets can be helpful for someone who has been or is going to travel where you did, but often people are not familiar with the specifics, so there’s no need to include extensive details.

Avoid clichés

Naturally, you may be drawn to describing the places in your photos with phrases like, “The camera doesn’t do it justice,” or ending stories with, “You had to be there.” Speaking in this way can alienate the person you’re talking to, as they are aware they didn’t visit this place, so avoid reminding them.

Find commonalities

If you are speaking with someone you know well, mention things that pique their interest. If your friend loves art, be sure to mention some museums you visited and show them pictures so you can both be excited about the topic.

Don’t forget to ask about their lives and experiences

While this advice covers how to tell others about your experiences, no one wants to spend all the time spotlighting your life. Remember that while you were away, your friends or family members still had their own lives going on. If you want people to take interest in your travels and life in the future, never forget to ask about theirs as well.

Photo by Laura McGlynn.