Traveling and Telling; Dealing with Envy and Negativity
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 but then after 3 minutes of story-telling, you felt 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 the F? Why? You just can’t believe it yourself. So you just stopped, went online… posted your pics in FB, got a few likes… A FEW LIKES! I was expecting like, 300 or 500! Ooh, maybe in Instagram there’ll be lots of double taps… Oh yes! Lots of it! From people I don’t know and who just wants you to follow them back and after that, they’ll immediately unfollow you! What douchebags! 😀
Hey, listen. Chill out. Don’t stress yourself. You’re way over-thinking and are expecting they would reciprocate the same feeling. Well what should I do, wise ass? You ask. Should I or should I not Tell about my travels? Well let’s see. Here are my takes in this issue. Read on.
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 especially if she isn’t a close friend. Well, sometimes even the closest of friends and members of the family are totally envious of you. They just don’t show it.
They might even perceive that you’re just showing off and flaunting your riches but in reality, you didn’t spend much because you backpacked your journey there. “*Sigh*, If they only knew my budget.”
Who to talk about your travels then? Easy. Talk to like minded individuals whose passion is travelling. Talk to your close friend or family who really knew 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 problems. Be sensitive enough to know this and know when to shut it up. Even if they do want to talk about it, maybe it’s just not the right time.
Ask yourself why.
Yeah, ask yourself why do they act like that? You’re bringing so much positive vibes about your travel but then they don’t seem even a little bit interested about your adrenaline packed hiking or that life changing stay in Africa.
Well, have you thought about maybe because you owe them a lot of money and you are splurging them on that trip you’re talking about? Or maybe your family needs a little bit of financial assistance but you didn’t give them because, well, you have to save for that amazing trip right? Or maybe they have other reasons that they hope you’d know by yourself.
As mentioned in point 1, a little bit of sensitivity helps.
Related: Travel but don’t get broke
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 would never come back. I guess they heard something uncool.
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 in the island and we made love while the sun is setting and we were drinking expensive wine and we got to befriend a local who took us to some unknown island…” This sounds perfect if it is true, but if it is not then it’s not cool. Some people can always tell if you’re lying. For all they know you’re just instagramming your pics all day long and snubbing boyfie who just wants to show his newest acrobatic cliff dive or to some, 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.
Don’t expect they would reciprocate what you’re feeling.
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 where everybody’s already sleeping right?
I’m telling you now, you’re awesome. That travel of yours, that’s awesome! It’s not the end of the world when you get few likes or comments. Don’t base your worth on ‘Likes’. This is one of the problems in Social Media nowadays. Some people base their worth on likes. Hey, you’re more than that! Try shutting down your phone and talk 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 tell 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 in telling your stories. Let them come to you first. 🙂
Don’t be envious yourself.
Back when I wasn’t a traveler, admittedly, I got envious of some of my friends and colleagues too. I always see them travelling, going to exotic places probably enjoying the time of their lives and some even goes 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, 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 travelling 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 and you’re just making it very hard for yourself. When you get envious, no one’s suffering but you.
You travel to make yourself happy, not them.
You travel to make yourself happy, not your next door neighbor, not your overly envious 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 them? Or ‘I can travel in luxury and you are not’? Or ‘I have gone to these several countries, and you?’ What are you trying to prove? Does that mean you are a better traveler than them?
People, travelling is not a competition. So what if your neighbor traveled in luxury to the U.S.? 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 and you feel you would really enjoy, not because you got envious of someone.
There are times that it’s better to not give a F*ck.
You have understood all the points above and applied it by heart 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 and 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 travelling.
Ok, you got the peace of mind you want, but just a suggestion in Social Media… don’t post your travel pics like, every minute and you begin to flood your FB friends’ newsfeed. That’s seriously annoying. No wonder some people hate you… oops!
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!”, “Travelling made me smarter. How about you take a loan and jump aboard that 10 days 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 in the internet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to inspire others to travel… but to push others to travel is different. Especially in the internet, you just don’t tell someone to give up his job and travel. What if he is the bread winner of a family and even has loads of debts? Some people, even though they really would love to travel, just can’t afford it at the moment (even if you say they go on backpacking –you still would 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 a 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.
If you like, create a blog or an online diary or whatever.
This is a bonus tip and something light. If you really would like to share something for all people to know about your travels, help them to travel or just document it, 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 asked 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 up one, an FB page is I think one of the easiest.
That’s it! Good luck with your endeavors and I really hope you learned a lesson or two here.