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Old 07-22-2011, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,166 posts, read 4,193,974 times
Reputation: 2707

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The thing that I found when I got back from traveling, was that nobody asked me anything about where I had been. Literally Nobody.. I guess they were just too embarrassed to ask question like "Just where IS Africa, anyway?" Or else, Americans are so comfortable in their abject ignorance and malinformation about the rest of the world, they don't want any facts or reality to disturb their slumber. Every once in a while, somebody will hear about something outside the USA that fascinates them, and they will ask me "Did you see the Great Wall of China?" No. End of conversation, change the subject. Unless it occurs to them to add "You mean you went all the way to China, and didn't see the Great Wall?" These are the same people that, if they knew you had been all over the USA, would ask if you if you've ever been to the Mall of America.

That's how Lonely Planet has destroyed my cultural and intellectual and spiritual link with Americans.
This really rings true in many ways. Earlier this summer I went to Greece and Albania--it was an incredible experience, yet few people I know have really shown much interest. Last week, when dining with a couple of friends, they said the token "Tell me about Greece," and then pretty much talked about themselves, their annual trip to Jamaica, and local street festivals. At the end of the dinner, when I mentioned Albania, one of the other friends said, "Albania? You went there?"

Um, yeah.

Not that I need to blather about my experiences to people, and not that I don't enjoy hearing about what other people are doing, but it isn't like I sat around Greece and Albania twiddling my thumbs.... At the end, they did ask about the food in Albania, but other snippets of info were pretty much ignored. Oh well. I guess I need to make friends with more people who love and appreciate travel.

Last edited by Empidonax; 07-23-2011 at 12:19 AM..
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,166 posts, read 4,193,974 times
Reputation: 2707
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHwboy View Post
I completely disagree with you here - and I really dislike that attitude. Why should they care/ask about something that has no connection to their daily lives?
If the people involved are friends or relatives, why shouldn't they care or ask? I can't speak for the OP, but in my world I hear about other peoples' babies, their marital problems, the kinds of beer or wine they like, the sofa they just bought, their trip to California to see the relatives, and all manner of things that have no direct connection to my life. Still, it amazes me that some people I know tiptoe around the travel issue.

Quote:
I'd far prefer to hang out with a bunch of people who've never gone on vacation, than a bunch of self-described 'travelers' (that is, tourists) who expect me to hear all about their vacations at great length.

chwboy
How about tourists or travelers (take your pick) who don't expect much of anything in that regard, but who wouldn't mind sharing an anecdote or two? Or who wouldn't mind it if other people showed interest in that part of their life? Not all tourists/travelers are pontificating boors.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:50 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,909,074 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by quijote View Post
they said the token "Tell me about Greece," and then pretty much talked about themselves, their annual trip to Jamaica, and local street festivals.
I've had similar experiences. I've developed a lot of patience with certain relatives, who have already made their minds up about places and are not really interested in my perspective.
Quote:
I guess I need to make friends with more people who love and appreciate travel.
The internet is good for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by quijote View Post
If the people involved are friends or relatives, why shouldn't they care or ask? I can't speak for the OP, but in my world I hear about other peoples' babies, their marital problems, the kinds of beer or wine they like, the sofa they just bought, their trip to California to see the relatives, and all manner of things that have no direct connection to my life. Still, it amazes me that some people I know tiptoe around the travel issue.
The importance of travel for-the-sake-of-travel is subjective.
It's not interchangeable with a new baby or visiting family.
Travel has indeed become a commodity. However, as a topic discussion, a person's latest journey a bit less approachable, carries with it more baggage, than the mundane purchase of a new sofa, or the finer qualities of a favorite beer.
I'm not excusing the behavior of your disinterested friends and relatives, only trying to explain it.
Quote:
How about tourists or travelers (take your pick) who don't expect much of anything in that regard, but who wouldn't mind sharing an anecdote or two? Or who wouldn't mind it if other people showed interest in that part of their life? Not all tourists/travelers are pontificating boors.
Indeed.
I think it is a matter of having or finding a need, and meeting it.
I have a friend who is very familiar with cool destinations around here where we live. She is my go-to person for local exploration.
If anyone wants to know about the places I've been to, they are welcome to ask, and sometimes I'll share.
But I'm not really seeking an audience. That's not, for me, what my travel is about. As I said before, I very much enjoy certain travel writers, and there are people who speak engagingly about their journeys.

Um, excuse me, I think I just did some pontificating.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:54 AM
 
472 posts, read 793,458 times
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The thing is, I think people in most areas of life 'wait to talk' rather than really 'listening' (Pulp Fiction was right about this). People don't really want to hear your travel stories, but they also don't really want to hear your college stories. I don't think there's anything particular about travel here.

I don't think everyone who travels is a pontificating boor (or bore), but it does seem to attract/produce that type. As someone with a foreign accent who lives in America, I seem to be a magnet for people's travel anecdotes. And let me tell you, they get pretty old pretty quick.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,445 posts, read 4,431,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ez Mode Pls View Post
One part that particularly rang true, and is an attitude I hate from travelers:

"After three month you come back and realize that nothing has changed. Your friends are talking about the same things they have talked about three months ago. But it seems to be so unimportant: Someone got an internship in a company, somebody had especially good sex the last weekend or someone has problems with his girlfriend. That canít be true. In three months you have experienced as much as others in three years. "
Whoop te do. It sounds like 3 months was enough time to give the author just enough of a step ladder to climb his way onto a high horse and proclaim how much more cultured he his now, versus his friends.

"In three months you have experienced as much as others in three years." Give me a break. That's almost as bad as the guy who minors in psych during undergrad and suddenly knows exactly what's wrong with everyone around him, or the person who has a couple of philosophy 100 level classes and now won't shut up about how much more deeply he appreciates the world around him.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:08 AM
 
472 posts, read 793,458 times
Reputation: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober View Post
Whoop te do. It sounds like 3 months was enough time to give the author just enough of a step ladder to climb his way onto a high horse and proclaim how much more cultured he his now, versus his friends.

"In three months you have experienced as much as others in three years." Give me a break. That's almost as bad as the guy who minors in psych during undergrad and suddenly knows exactly what's wrong with everyone around him, or the person who has a couple of philosophy 100 level classes and now won't shut up about how much more deeply he appreciates the world around him.
I agree. I think it might be Dunning-Kruger in action.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:22 AM
 
2,065 posts, read 4,177,362 times
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If we are talking the kind of traveling that is not step-into-a-bus-and-see-a-country-through-the-window-and-the-super-artificially-touristy-places-there (), yes, imo traveling enlightens a person.

In a nutshell, it makes one see that others live differently and that the world is a huge place, and that there are good and bad aspects in lifestyles everywhere.

What annoys me a lot is not people with a big ego due to their trips, but those who travel and - in the country they are visiting! - say other cultures are "weird" and "different". What did they expect, everyone doing everything to accommodate the visitor's needs?!
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:27 AM
 
1,096 posts, read 4,092,090 times
Reputation: 1095
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The thing that I found when I got back from traveling, was that nobody asked me anything about where I had been. Literally Nobody.. I guess they were just too embarrassed to ask question like "Just where IS Africa, anyway?" Or else, Americans are so comfortable in their abject ignorance and malinformation about the rest of the world, they don't want any facts or reality to disturb their slumber. Every once in a while, somebody will hear about something outside the USA that fascinates them, and they will ask me "Did you see the Great Wall of China?" No. End of conversation, change the subject. Unless it occurs to them to add "You mean you went all the way to China, and didn't see the Great Wall?" These are the same people that, if they knew you had been all over the USA, would ask if you if you've ever been to the Mall of America.

That's how Lonely Planet has destroyed my cultural and intellectual and spiritual link with Americans.
Did you ever think maybe people just don't care about China or your experience there?

I work in the travel industry sort of and always hear that the chinese are filthy people there's no hygene, the food is a bunch of carp that tastes terrible so bring a jar of peanut butter. After the china stories I've heard I wouldn't ask about China.

Personally I don't find looking at someone else's vacation pictures to be all that interesting, I do it to be police. I normally don't ramble on about my own travels either unless someone asks because I know I would care less about their travels unless it's some location I actually plan on going and want to know more.

Last edited by rfr69; 07-24-2011 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:27 AM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,569,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfr69 View Post
Did you ever think maybe people just don't care about China or your experience there?

I work in the travel industry sort of and always hear that the chinese are filthy people there's no hygene, the food is a bunch of carp that tastes terrible so bring a jar of peanut butter. After the china stories I've heard I wouldn't ask about China.

Personally I don't find looking at someone else's vacation pictures to be all that interesting, I do it to be police. I normally don't ramble on about my own travels either unless someone asks because I know I would care less about their travels unless it's some location I actually plan on going and want to know more.
Mostly what I find is people are never as interested in your personal interests as you are.

I've taken some big trips and I don't recall anyone ever asking to see the photos or really want to hear about it. I probably bring up myself if it ever comes up. People might be like "how did it go"? But 99 times out of 100 they don't want a 3 hour presentation.

But I find the same too when someone forces hours of video on me or a 1000 photos of their trip, often I don't have that enthusiasm to sit through all that unless it is a personal interest of mine in terms of the subject matter or destination.

Just the way it is.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:22 AM
 
472 posts, read 793,458 times
Reputation: 416
Let's put some perspective on this. You are interested in travel. Their are lots of things you're not interested in, perhaps backcountry hiking, cosplay, fine wines, video games or impressionist art.

Suppose a friend of yours had a big experience with one of these things for a few weeks (a visit to a few museums, a new games console comes out, they get a case of wine, or they go on a 3 day hike in the grand canyon). You're happy for them, but you don't particularly share their interest.

So what would be wrong with you just asking a few vague questions like, 'how did it go'? You don't want to hear the details of every fire they made at the campsite, or how the different riojas compared to one another, or whether call of duty 7 or 8 has a more immersive action experience. You just want to know that they had a good time.

See why people might not care about all the petty details of your latest vacation?
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