Upon embarking on a trip, I left my friends and family with a promise to tell them all about my amazing adventures once I returned. As I traveled, I would see something and make a mental note to tell everyone about it. How green the trees were in Finland, how friendly the people were in Thailand, and how annoying my roommates were in Prague.
After I got back, however, I found it very difficult to tell them anything. It’s not that I didn’t want to share with them the details of my trip. I wanted them to know how beautiful it is to look out at the ocean from Bondi Beach. I wanted them to know how the Arabian Desert left me in complete and utter awe.
I just couldn’t find the right words.
Of course, I told them the highlights; scuba diving in the great barrier reef, visiting Auschwitz, and the floating markets in Thailand, but there are so many other memorable moments I look back with fondness that I can’t seem to get across.
I would be asked about how my trip was, what my favorite country was, etc. and I just answered with the basic “it was fantastic” and left the conversation flat and awkward. I’m not trying to be rude. I’m not trying to keep secrets. I just don’t know where to start, and with such broad and vague questions, I’m more likely to be at a loss.
This problem might seem strange from someone who writes about their travels but writing and talking are two completely different things. I may like to write a lot but that doesn’t mean that I am a talker in real life. In fact, I’m often the listener in groups, taking in what’s said and not contributing.
Perhaps I will someday become a better storyteller. Perhaps I will be able to convey what I really felt watching the sunsets in Poland, soaking in the golden sun and freedom. But that day has not come and instead my travels will be a secret only for me. They will be memories not tarnished by anyone’s opinions and untouched from others minds. Perfectly perfect in their innocence, their meaning, only for me to know, to feel, to see.