One of the most real pieces of advice I’ve gotten about traveling is from my program director in Brisbane, Australia. The first few weeks we were there she told us to truncate the most important parts of our trips into three minute descriptions or less; anything more than that you’ll be able to see people’s eyes glaze over. It’s something like asking an acquaintance at work how they are doing before getting down to the nitty gritty of the discussion you’re looking to have; something society insists that you talk about just for the sake of feigning interest in other’s lives.
When discussing my semester abroad, I could tell most of the time when people started tuning out. At that point I could have probably started making up fantasy stories about how I wrangled unicorns and they would continue nodding along politely (obviously not forever). And don’t get me wrong, I’m not faulting people at all for this. I’m sure I do the same thing. Because there is a point where people stop being able to relate to what you’re saying. It doesn’t meant that they care about you any less, or that they aren’t any less excited to hear about your life events that happened without them. But that’s the thing. The exciting life events that I experienced in Australia are completely separated from most of the people I love and care about. That’s one of the challenging parts about going on a trip somewhere, coming back and not being able to have a full dialogue with those you love. They ask the stereotypical questions about it but they just wouldn’t care about the fact that sometimes when I didn’t have class and had no plans, I would take the ferry into the city and explore by myself; or that when we held koalas the one they were about to give me pooped on my shirt and I had to throw said shirt away.
So. That is part of the reason I’m going to write about this trip on here (hopefully I’ll do a good job of keeping up with it). That way all of you out there will be able to follow along in your own three minute intervals as you choose to.