|Going places! Marrakech train station.|
After a trip to an exotic place, you are obliged to talk about it. Friends ask you about Your Trip (especially in New Zealand, where every country except Australia and home is considered exotic). Or you have an urge to talk about it anyway.
But how? Travel talk can be such a pleasure, but it can also go seriously wrong. Half your audience has already been to the same destination, and the other half has been there in spirit thanks to TripAdvisor and Facebook.
Is there a taxonomy of travel talk? I have been watching how others do it, and I hope to learn from their triumphs and mistakes.
A. Travel talk that I enjoy hearing
- Personal experiences combined with insights into broader topics.
- The person who respects your knowledge and adds to it.
- A story steeped in joy or excitement or delight or drama or fear: strong frank personal feelings.
- People who travel with a specific purpose: how did things pan out?
- A story about people.
- An amazing fact that I have never heard before.
- Stories that grow and grow in response to the listener's questions.
B. Travel talkers who drive me nuts
I wish you all the best, but I do not want to be you.
- The bore who tells you 1,000 (dubious, random, context-less) "facts" about a place.
- The know-it-all who believes spending 5 minutes in a place gives their every opinion the ring of authority.
- The full-time cruise traveller who compares tours, not places.
- The relentless super-generaliser.
- Mr and Mrs Cost-a-Lot, Mr and Mrs They-Can't-Make-Chips, and their friends.
And by the way: jotting down morning thoughts is more demanding than I expected. On a train and planes, I did not jot. Now I'm home, there's a little problem of time. Well, that's just for the record: it's all good.