You’ve just returned home from an amazing trip abroad. You’ve tried new foods and learned new things about a foreign culture. But now what are you going to do with all of that knowledge and experience? How can you effectively tell everyone about all the new things you have learned?
Luckily for you, I’ve come up with some common life scenarios and how to use those scenarios to impress your friends with your recent trip. Follow this advice and you’ll surely be surrounded by admirers and people jealous of your awesome time in another country.
At a restaurant
When choosing a restaurant for you and your friends, you should insist to go somewhere that has the same cuisine as the country you just came from. It would make perfect since because now that you have acquired first hand knowledge about the local cuisine, you should share that knowledge freely with others.
When you are at the restaurant, it is perfectly appropriate to make suggestions to your meal companions. In fact, as the expert you should state emphatically which dishes everyone should try. Others may think that they know what they want to eat, but they’re probably wrong; you know more about this than they do, so you should inform them.
Once the food has arrived, make sure to try a little bite of everything that everyone has ordered. Of course, don’t do it out of gluttony – that would be rude. Instead, treat it as a scientific observation: you are there to accurately assess whether the chosen restaurant has authentic ethnic cuisine that matches up to your newly acquired tastes. After thoughtfully comparing the tastes, make sure to declare that the food ordered is not completely authentic and let everyone know that it is much better when eaten in its country of origin.
When the meal is done, you should of course pay your fare share of the bill. However, you will notice that the price you are now paying is significantly higher than what you paid on your trip. This is an appropriate time to say “This was much better and cheaper when I was on my trip!” Note: use this phrase liberally. It’s guaranteed to impress your friends.
Any kind of shopping, whether it be shopping for groceries or clothing is a great opportunity to bring up your recent trip. At the grocery store, you can explain that the fruits and vegetables you ate while abroad were way better and fresher than anything you could possibly buy in this crappy grocery store. For extra points, you may also start naming and describing the fruits and vegetables that you can’t possibly find here.
Clothes shopping is a little harder to find ways to bring up your recent trip. But with some clever maneuvering, you can work it into this situation as well. The first thing you should note to others is that the fashion is way better and more creative in other parts of the world. Using a phrase like “Everything was just so much more trendy and cooler.” comes in handy in this situation. You may also note that the style of shopping was vastly different on your trip. There you could bargain with anyone for anything. Now, everything has a non-negotiable price, which makes shopping less fun for you.
If you’ve invited friends to your house, keeping them entertained should always be your first priority. Fortunately, you’ve just taken thousands of pictures on your trip which should keep your guests entertained for hours.
One technique that can be particularly powerful is to show your pictures before you’ve had a chance to look at them. This way, other people can see everything that you did while you were away. Another benefit is that when you see them for the first time, this will trigger endless amounts of stories and anecdotes that will last the entire night. Sure, a lot of the stories might seem trivial and mundane, but if you don’t tell them now, they might never know. If guests seem underwhelmed by your pictures, make sure to comment that “it it much better in person.” Sometimes people forget this, so it’s OK to remind them thoroughly.
The home is also an excellent place to show any souvenirs that you bought. You should note item by item where you bought it and how much it you paid for it. Let each guest hold each item, but do warn them to be careful when they are holding it. It may look like tacky souvenir stuff to them, but that’s because they have an untrained eye for real cultural treasures. This may also be a good time to note that “you can’t find things like this around here.”
Share the love
The saying is true: you learned everything you need to know in Kindergarten and your recent trip is no exception to that. This is why you should share: It’s your obligation to make sure that everyone has the same experience as you. “You just have to go there” and “Next time I go, you should come with me” are two phrases that signal to your friends that you care about them and you want them to relive everything you just did. After all, if it was an amazing experience for you, it must be just as amazing for everyone else!
With these tips, I hope that you, too, can win friends and influence people with your recent trip abroad. Remember, your trip doesn’t end when you get home, it ends when you cease to talk about it!
Filip Rabuzin says
I think the major problem here is the actual structure/writing of the article within the context of the website. Perhaps a little disclaimer at the beginning or more colourful language to make it more obvious to the reader of its sarcastic tone. I think people don’t like to be misled and some of those who do (as i’m sure you would have assumed) have a VERY negative reaction (i have to admit i “fell for it” in the first few sentences). Don’t get me me wrong the article is great, makes some good points (albeit in an abstract sense) and would be perfectly placed on the front page of The Onion, however when placing it on a site such as this, extra obviousness might be required. Guess something to take into account for the future.
Peter Sanchez says
Actually I enjoyed this article. It made me stop and think and remember that yeh sometimes when I go back home I find myself so full of recent experiences that have been really important to me that I just start telling all my friends about it. And sometimes I remember to stop and think for a lot of people this kind of thing is a dream which may never happen, and like someone else mentioned, they have also been living their life fully, just not on an international level. I always try to understate travel experiences, or at least chuck in a few ‘hooks’ to try and tempt the folk out and about, just to not be seen as putting down their own lifestyle choice. And at the end of the day, I know what I just did, not what they’ve been doing, and I reckon I make more use of my time listening to what has been happening to them that rehashing my own stories.
Ok so there was some heavy sarcasm here, which I guess is more natural to take on for some than others. Personally I like a good dose of it, it helps to question my own motives and feelings. Yes, it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to read in every article, but I reckon if there were only positive stories it could get kind of slurpy slurpy fairly fast.
Wasn’t it Levi-Strauss who after spending a few years (months?) with some semi-lost tribes in south america on an ethnographical mission, said he would have worked out the same things if he’d stayed in his local Paris park. I guess the reason that he didn’t regret the trip is why most of us try to explain to mates back home our latest trips, but I think it’s important to remember not to lose respect for their non-travel lifestyle. I just remembered another related story, I think it was in ‘So I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’ or something like that, by Laurie Lee. He tells the true story of a guy from his village who goes off travelling for a few years, comes back all cashed up and telling everyone about it all night, and is subsequently found dead in a ditch. Whilst I wouldn’t compare the two writing styles, I think the aim is the same. Also good to remember Freud “We only accuse in others what we fear most in ourselves”!
Interesting discussion here folks, thanks.
Kyle Crum says
I assumed that this would receive some mixed feedback, so I guess I was correct on that accord; I didn’t think the negative feedback would be so strong, though, which was a bit surprising.
Here’s my point, and it goes especially to mobile lifestyle people: we’re not that great. Really we aren’t. You know what is great? Other people. Let’s stop talking about ourselves and listen to what other people have to say. I still find that I have more to learn from other people than I have to teach. Travelers, in particular, love to talk about their travels but I think we can learn more by being humble and being interested in other people.
Ok, so maybe I made my point in an inappropriate way, but so be it. I thought I would get a little chuckle out of people; if you took offense, no offense was intended.
I will admit that sarcasm on the internet rarely works. But unlike many people I DID see the humor in your article Kyle. I think we’ve all had the friends that have come back and continually say “Back in Spain I…” and “You know, this reminds me of….” It drives me crazy!
And I do think that everyone needs to be reminded that others aren’t as fortunate as you and could resent you. When I was stuck at home I downright hated my friends who got to do cool and exciting things (It wasn’t their fault–it was me being totally petty) and now that I’m doing cool things I am very conscious of the fact to not rub it in anyones face!
That Kind Of Girl says
I don’t agree that people don’t like hearing about the food and sights of their friends’ abroad experiences, but to each his own. One other slick little move I definitely would have incorporated into a travel guide of this tone, though: “Don’t forget to liberally pepper your speech with phrases in the language of the country you just left then, when friends ask for translations, muse, ‘Oh, was I speaking [language]? I fell so into the habit when I was in The Old Country that I don’t even notice myself doing it anymore…”
Sounds like an exaggeration, but I’ve heard many a friend do it. It bums me out when people struggle so hard to sound like they “mastered” the place they visited that their stories lose the sense of wonder that draws us to travel in the first place!
Kyle Crum says
Ha, ha! I’m totally guilty of putting foreign languages in my speaking. I wonder how many people I put off from going to Mexico 🙂
David Crandall says
Wow! It appears you’ve poked a stick at something near and dear to the heart of this site’s readers. While I have to think this was all a bit of fun, I wonder if even a single paragraph at the end stating that “travel is great, don’t be like this, etc” would have turned the tide of these comments.
I’m beginning to see that the culture around lifestyle design and leaving the template life is more of a belief system than just a bunch of information. Like any religion, there are different denominations and leaders, but the core beliefs are there. And like any religion, you can’t poke a stick at the most sacred beliefs without a swift response! No one walks in to a church and spits on a cross without expecting negative results. I’d say the same thing applies when you post a jab about travel on a site that extols the benefits of it.
Perhaps a part 2 to this article on what is the REAL way to relive your experience with your friends back home might be a good response.
Just some thoughts.
Cody McKibben says
Great points you make, David. This is by far the most constructive feedback in these comments, thank you.
Um….. This isn’t exactly something I hope anybody reads and takes seriously, else we’re going to have some “well traveled” jerks on our hands.
I don’t care if you go and travel and have a wonderful time, throw it in my face and I’m just going to quit talking to you. (Not everyone who wants to travel is LUCKY enough to be able to go.)
That’s an amazing article, Kyle! Don’t mind fanatics, they don’t have a sense of humor whatsoever 🙂 I think if all those people who grumbled about this article would’ve spent a little bit more time living their lives instead of talking about it, they’d be much happier. Keep up the spirit! 🙂
Chris Mower says
Sorry, but this article was rather disappointing. If anything it made me NOT want to travel, especially with friends. I’d like to see this rewritten with a more positive spin and ingrained with some voice and personality. This article could have a lot of potential to educate, but instead it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth against traveling, Kyle, and Untemplater. 🙁
Martijn Reintjes says
Sarcasm never helped anyone Kyle …
Kyle Crum says
I grew up in a house full of sarcasm and find it quite funny. The reason I can write about it so well is that I’ve done all of these things myself.
Martijn Reintjes says
The thing about sarcasm is that it is never constructive. I’ve used to be very sarcastic too but decided to change since I noticed it made a lot of people uncomfortable. I now still see this happening when my friends are sarcastic, but I’m glad I’m not anymore.
Kyle Crum says
Depends on how you look at it. I thought it was a funny tounge-in-cheek post and I tried to make it more entertaining by putting it in this format.
I mean, I’ve done ALL of these things but I can look in the mirror and laugh about it. We’re all susceptible to letting the ego running amok and the best way to get over that is accept it, laugh at its ridiculousness, and keep on truckin’.
I have to agree Cody, this article is quite a disappointment. Consider the fact that Untemplater is supposed to be a website for very busy people, working hard to make positive professional and lifestyle changes. If this is truly the purpose of the site, then why publish a cynical article, full of negativity, which serves no purpose other than to waste time and pump up the authors self-inflated opinion of himself? To make matters worse, all this time and effort was wasted when a topic such as this could have offered some truly helpful advice for the more adventurous and successful lifestyle design readers amongst us. Returning home from an extended or extravagant trip can be a truly difficult time. Learning how to share your newly learned knowledge and experience with less fortunate (and often times bitter) friends can be a tricky undertaking. It’s a shame this “blogger” and website would forgo the opportunity to educate its readers in the finesse of handling these situations without isolating or offending old acquaintances.
“Learning how to share your newly learned knowledge and experience with less fortunate (and often times bitter) friends can be a tricky undertaking.”
Don … dude …
The point the author is trying to make is that there IS NO RIGHT WAY to “share your newly learned knowledge and experience with less fortunate (and oftentimes bitter) friends.”
As I am one who is perpetually the less fortunate (and oftentimes bitter) friend, your response tells me that you’re one of those “generous” travelers who we would love to tell, please for the love of all things holy, to just STFU.
honeybee, I’m not sure why you’ve chosen to attack me personally. I am well aware of the point the author is trying to make here, as evidenced clearly by my initial response. My point, which you’ve failed to comprehend, is that WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY. Precisely the reason for an article which explores the best options instead of just pointing out the problems and being negative. Furthermore, you couldn’t be further from the truth about my lifestyle. I desperately would like to travel all the time and have tons of stories, but unfortunately I was only able to travel during school on some backpacking trips, in between semesters. However I was very shocked to learn that when I returned home, most people didn’t care where I’d been and what I’d learned because they had….gone on living their own lives with their own problems. Therefore I am able to relate to the situation, and put myself in someone else’s shoes. You may be interested in learning that I live in a normal home, with a mortgage, and I work 72hrs a week. I listen to these types of stories as much as you! Perhaps the reason you are perpetually less fortunate, is because you attack the readers and consumers of your product, and fail to moderate the content of your site in an effective manner, as to encourage more readers as opposed to isolating and offending them. Best of luck to you.
and not to ramble…but for the record, I thought Kyle’s other article was very well written, constructive and helpful.
Cody McKibben says
Don, as far as I know, “honeybee” is not anyone on our team here at Untemplater. I agree with you that this is an instance where we failed to uphold a certain level of quality content on the site, and that’s why I was the first one to speak out, but please don’t feel personally attacked by the team here.
And to honeybee, if you want to attack someone, you should attack me. I’m the one who started off the negative criticism of Kyle’s article. I’m the one who lives and advocates the permanent traveler lifestyle. But then, so does Kyle from what I can tell.
I may have been harsh in my initial criticism, but I guess I don’t see the point. We all know there are douchebags out there with annoying stories that no one wants to hear. And we all know Kyle’s article is written sarcastically. But, it doesn’t really add anything to the community—this is not a comedy site—it doesn’t offer any specific solutions or value to people, and that’s why it doesn’t make me proud to offer it up to our community here at Untemplater. (I also agree with Don’s comment below, Kyle’s first article was great and this is a 180 degree change from it).
Wow, it seems quite extreme that a member of the Untemplater managing team should speak out so harshly and apologize on behalf of the whole site for an article that was posted. If Mr. McKibben’s opinion is truly representative of that of Untemplater as a whole, it would have been significantly more tactful and professional to have discussed this issue with the writer BEFORE publishing the article. Distressing to see a content-driven blog so quick to turn on one of its own writers.
Carlos Miceli says
honeybee is entitled to his own opinion, but he or she is not a member of the Untemplater team.
Cody McKibben says
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and when I express mine, it’s not necessarily indicative of the entire Untemplater team’s position on anything. I’m not one for those legalese PC disclaimers, but it goes without saying that anything I say is MY OWN opinion.
To Kyle: please take my criticism constructively and not personally. I was just very surprised by this article.
I think the point you made in your response below is a GREAT one, and I just would have enjoyed reading a post about this much more than a sarcastic one. THIS IS GOLD: “Let’s stop talking about ourselves and listen to what other people have to say. I still find that I have more to learn from other people than I have to teach. Travelers, in particular, love to talk about their travels but I think we can learn more by being humble and being interested in other people.”
Also what you said is true: different strokes for different folks. I don’t think living at home is worse or better than traveling or vice versa, and I hope nobody gets that from what I write. But Untemplater is targeted specifically towards a community of people who want something other than the white picket fence “American dream”, and I personally feel that we owe it to our readers to publish material that is more helpful to that community and respectful of their time.
Thanks for your responses Kyle.
Kyle Crum says
Laura, I don’t think that Cody has that kind of editorial control, so he’s not to blame for any perceived bad content.
As for my point, I think the mobile lifestyle people need to take things a lot less seriously. We’re just the same as everyone else, we just happen to move around more. I don’t think there’s a great need to espouse a lot of virtues about it when I think that living a life in the suburbs is somehow worse than living a mobile life. It’s just different strokes for different folks.
Cody McKibben says
Wow Kyle, thanks for spitting in the face of my community mate. I read the headline and thought this was going to be a serious article, but no you’re a facetious jerk taking the piss out of travelers everywhere. Yes, there certainly are annoying storytellers out there, but travel is an incredible thing for people to do, and meanwhile you’ve got nothing substantial, interesting, or helpful here.
Kyle Crum says
Life’s too short to take everything seriously. I would be the first to say that I am guilty of all of these, but I can still laugh about it.