friends sharing stories
Instead of thinking you’ll do better next time only to repeat the same cycle over and over with each experience, consider these tips for telling people about your trip before you head out on your next adventure.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / javi_indy

How to Tell the Story of Your Travels

Do Your Amazing Travels Justice

You’ve been there before — you just returned from an incredible travel adventure, and you’re excited to tell your friends and family all about it. But after your bags are unpacked and everyone starts asking how your trip was, all you can say is, “It was amazing.”

You want to tell more, but the same phrase keeps popping in your head — trying to describe your travels, is like trying to describe a dream. The words just aren’t there.

Instead of thinking you’ll do better next time only to repeat the same cycle over and over with each experience, consider these storytelling tips for talking to people about your trip before you head out on your next adventure.

Bring a Journal

It’s important to capture as much of your experience as you can in writing so that all of those little moments don’t become one big blur. The point isn’t to write something publishable, but to make notes about the details that will help you tell your story later.

Make an effort to remember things that people say, the smell of that fabulous meal you ate, the storm clouds on the horizon. The more you write, the better story you’ll have when it comes time to talk about your trip.

Choose the Most Entertaining Stories

Once you’re home, choose the most entertaining, relevant stories. Besides mom, no one really wants to hear about your entire trip.

Consider who you’re telling the stories to as well. While mom wants to hear it all, she may not be the best person to tell about a particular experience, like that night you had a little too much tequila, but it might be perfect for the ears of your best friend, for example.

And when it comes to co-workers or your boss, you probably want to keep it more professional without sounding like a braggart.

Unless something eventful happened at the airport, move on to the good stuff. Keeping the story short and sweet will help ensure that your listeners are engaged through the end.

No good story? Think about your answers to a few basic questions:

  • Did anything go wrong that seems funny now? Usually when looking back you’ll find it’s the things that go wrong that make the best memories.
  • What was your favorite moment during your travels?
  • Is there anything interesting about the place you visited that most people aren’t aware of?
  • Who did you meet? Was there anyone that stood out?
  • What was the most difficult part of your trip?
  • Did you learn anything about yourself along the way?
  • Now that you’ve crossed that destination off your bucket list, where will you go next?

Engage Your Listener

If you ramble on and on, eventually your listener is going to begin to tune out. Try to stop and ask that person a question that will make him or her feel like an equal in the conversation.

Perhaps they have a relatable moment or story of their own.

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Share Something Personal

When talking to co-workers who don’t know you as well as your good friends, sharing something personal, but not too personal, can help show your vulnerability so they can relate better to you. It can also lead to more dialogue and rapport building.

For example, maybe you missed your dog or cat while you were away, and your listener has had the same experience. Or perhaps you can share the nervousness you felt being in a totally new place without knowing the language with someone who hasn’t traveled a lot, or is often anxious about things.

Go Online

If you’re the type of person who likes to share everything online and you’re serious about sharing your travel adventures, you might want to consider signing up for a travel blog. While you’ll still want to keep all of the above in mind, starting a blog will allow you to easily share your trip stories and experiences, along with those great photos.

Visitors can view the entire course of your trip, or just a particular portion of it. Another great reason to blog as you travel is so you yourself can go back and reflect on your past journeys and the thoughts you had along the way.

Of course, there’s an app for that too: Travel Diaries allows users to capture and share travel experiences through stories, photos and travel routes. You can add to the digital diary as you go, and then decide later which chapters you’d like to share with family and friends.

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