An earlier version of this story first appeared on Jayson’s blog.
You just got back from an epic trip and you are very excited to tell your friends, family, and colleagues back home how awesome it was. After 3 minutes of story-telling, though, you feel that there’s awkwardness and dead air looming above your heads.
Why aren’t they interested? You even saw someone raising an eyebrow and rolling their eyes in disgust. What? Why? You just can’t believe it. So you just stop telling your stories, go online, post your pictures in Facebook, get a few likes… A FEW LIKES! You were expecting 300 or 500!
Ooh, maybe on Instagram there will be a lot of double taps… Oh yes! Lots of it! From people you don’t know and who just want you to follow them back, and then immediately unfollow you after you do!
Hey, listen. Chill out. Don’t stress yourself out. You’re overthinking and are expecting them to reciprocate the same feelings about your trip. Well what should I do, wise-ss? You ask. Should I or should I not talk about my travels? Well let’s see. Here are my points in this issue. Read on.
1. They might not be the best ones to tell about your trip.
You know that overly envious, gossip queen colleague of yours? She might not be the best one to tell your story to, especially if she isn’t a close friend. Well, sometimes even the closest of friends and members of the family can be totally envious of you. They just don’t show it.
They might even think that you’re just showing off and flaunting your riches even though really, you didn’t spend much because you backpacked your way over there (sigh, if they only knew your budget).
Who to talk about your travels then? Easy. Talk to like-minded individuals whose passion is traveling. Talk to your close friend or family member who knows you inside-out and wouldn’t mind hours of travel stories (I wouldn’t mind too, but man… I wouldn’t last an hour listening haha! I guess 30 minutes tops). If you don’t have a buddy like that, there’s always the world wide web to talk to.
But before talking to your family and real-life friends, know if they are going through some sort of problem. Be sensitive enough to know this and know when to shut up. Even if they do want to talk about it, maybe it’s just not the right time.
2. Ask yourself why.
Yeah, ask yourself why do they act like that? You’re bringing so much positive vibes talking about your travels, but then they don’t seem even a little bit interested about your adrenaline-packed hiking trip or that life changing stay in Africa.
Well, have you thought that maybe it’s because you owe them a lot of money and you are splurging on that trip you’re talking about? Or maybe your family needs a little bit of financial assistance but you didn’t give them any because, well, you have to save for that amazing trip right? Or maybe they have other reasons that they hope you’d know for yourself.
As mentioned in point 1, a little bit of sensitivity helps.
3. Try not to exaggerate.
Ok, your peeps are interested. They really love to hear about your travel stories and maybe even ask for tips on how to explore the place. But suddenly you see face palms, raising eyebrows, and others making excuses, like going to the bathroom to pee but never coming back. I guess they saw something that wasn’t cool.
Exaggeration is not cool. Like, “You know what guys, it’s sooo romantic there! My boyfriend and I are sooo sweet together, like, we were the only people on the island and we made love while the sun was setting and we were drinking expensive wine and we got to befriend a local who took us to some unknown island…” This would sound perfect if it were true, but if it isn’t, then it’s not cool. Some people can always tell if you’re lying. For all they know, you were just Instagramming your photos all day long and snubbing your boyfriend who just wants to show you his newest acrobatic cliff dive or who just wants your attention.
Try to keep it cool, modest, humble when telling your story. You also don’t need to talk loudly like ‘you-want-the-whole-office-to-hear-it’ loud. You can start with a simple ‘Yeah, it’s really rad there. Great food, awesome beaches… you should try give it a visit’. Then just let them start asking questions and go on from there.
4. Don’t expect they would reciprocate what you’re feelings (social media) – wait for them to ask.
When you give something, expect nothing in return. That’s also true when sharing your experiences. Don’t wait for someone to say ‘Wow! You’re really awesome! You’re the best backpacker in the world!’ Don’t get sad or empty when no one ‘liked’ or ‘reacted’ positively on your FB album entitled ‘My Travel Calendar: Swimsuit edition.’ Hey, maybe they’re just busy or you posted it in the wee hours of the morning when everybody’s already sleeping, right?
I’m telling you now, you’re awesome. That trip of yours, that’s awesome! It’s not the end of the world when you get only a few likes or comments. Don’t base your worth on ‘likes.’ This is one of the problems with social media nowadays. Some people base their worth on likes. Hey, you’re more than that! Try shutting down your phone and talking to people personally. I’m sure you’ll get more engagement and a deeper connection.
You want to know how they would reciprocate? Here’s a tip. Wait for them to ask about it. Cool right? No effort, just wait for them to ask ‘Hey, how was the trip?’. You don’t have to talk about it all at once, you can answer one question at a time and add side stories from there. That’d show that you’re not feeling needy when it comes to telling your stories. Let them come to you first.
5. Don’t be envious yourself.
Back when I wasn’t a traveller, admittedly, I got envious of some of my friends and colleagues too. I always see them traveling, going to exotic places, probably having the time of their lives, and some even go on luxury travels. I even asked my friend, ‘Why do you travel so much? Aren’t there things more important than that?’ He just answered ‘We love the experience more than anything.’
I was taken aback and though I didn’t fully understand him that time, but he taught me a valuable lesson. I was just envious and being envious doesn’t make you happy. So I stopped all those thoughts and eventually traveling became my passion too. It’s weird how life works sometimes but as they say, life is constant change.
It’s never good to be envious. It just stresses you out and you’re just making it very hard for yourself. When you get envious, no one’s suffering but you.
6. You travel to make yourself happy, not them.
You travel to make yourself happy, not your next door neighbor, not your overly jealous FB friend, not your “nega” officemate… only you, my friend. But I don’t get it, why are you shoving it to their face that you are a better traveler than they are? Or ‘I can travel in luxury and you can not?’ Or ‘I have gone to several of these countries, and you?’ What are you trying to prove? Does that mean you are a better traveler than they are?
People, traveling is not a competition. So what if your neighbor traveled in luxury to the US? Do you have to take a loan to travel there too just to prove a point that you’re also well off and better than them? This kind of mentality must stop. Appreciate, don’t hate, and be happy for them. Travel at your own pace and means. You don’t have to travel the world in 80 days right? No one’s racing with you. Travel to a place you really want to see and you feel you would really enjoy, not because you got jealous of someone.
7. There are times that it’s better to not give a f*ck. (But don’t post like, every minute)
You have understood all the points above and apply them but still, others hate. They seem to enjoy hating you. No worries, here is a tip: Just don’t give a flying f*ck. They can hate all they want, but just remember, it’s them that are suffering, not you. Don’t mind them, just think about all the happy thoughts before, during, and after your travels.
Okay, you got the peace of mind you want, but just a suggestion for social media… don’t post your travel pictures every minute that you begin to flood your FB friends’ newsfeed. That’s seriously annoying. No wonder some people hate you… oops!
8. Don’t push someone to travel. Let them discover it themselves.
“What are you doing with your life? Quit your job and travel! Don’t live in a cube!”
“Traveling made me smarter. How about you take a loan and jump aboard that 10-day luxury cruise around Asia? It’s worth it!”
”Don’t mind being broke. Spend it all on travel!”
Well, those are just some of the things I read in some articles on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to inspire others to travel… but to push others to travel is different. Especially in the internet, you don’t just tell someone to give up his job and travel. What if he is the bread winner of a family and even has loads of debt? Some people, even though they really would love to travel, just can’t afford it at the moment (even if you advise them to go backpacking – they would still have to spend money).
For me, let them discover the passion themselves. If they need time, let them be. I know you’re concerned – he is working too hard… no more time for himself… all work, no play… But maybe he has a reason for that. Maybe he knows he needs to take time off too but he just needs to get things straight first before taking the leap. Don’t push travel like it’s a piece of pie he must eat to survive a zombie invasion. For others, it takes time.
9. If you like, create a blog or an online diary.
This is a bonus tip and something light. If you really would like to share for everyone to know about your travels, help them travel, or just document your trip, then consider creating an online blog or diary just like this blog. My blog’s aim is to help people and document our travels. That’s it. And when someone asks me how we did it, I just point them to my blog, easy as that. No more lengthy talk, just a note like, ‘Let me know if you have any questions and I would love to answer it.’ If you find it difficult to set one up, an FB page, I think is one of the easiest ways.
That’s it! Good luck with your endeavors and I really hope you learned a lesson or two here. – Rappler.com
Jayson Concepcion is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of traveling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens, and indulge in his occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why. Visit his blog: thetraveldebugger.com or follow him on Facebook and Instagram