One of the best things about travelling (just quietly) is the moment when you can yell out, “I’ve been there!”. You may have visited some random country many moons ago but when a scene comes on tv or film or whatever, you still have boasting rights. Cos you’ve walked on that soil you’ve breathed that air and no amount of time can take that away.

For the untravelled, this can be quite annoying. But for the seasoned globe trotter, this is a moment of triumph. And then it’s gone.

When you are in the throes of travelling, it’s really no big deal. You may be whacking the side of the great pyramid with your foot, or rolling down the green, green hills of Ireland without a care in the world. Or you could be trudging through Canadian snow on the top of a grand mountain. Wherever you are in the world, life goes on. The sun still rises and sets, the moon sometimes shines and occasionally it rains (unless you’re in Ireland and it rains all the time!).

It is only when you are home and you go through all those photos, all that video footage that the importance of your trip rears its beautiful head. Reminiscing is easy because you don’t have rooms to book or maps to follow. You’ve done it. You’ve walked those ancient paths into the bowels of history. And the reward is to sit back in the comfort of your own house (with your own bathroom, no less) and remember those happy moments.

Gone is the fear of pickpockets and accommodation closing hours. Yep, you’re home free. You lived, you survived and then there’s that glow. The annoying flush of the recently returned. Friends may dread the compulsory ‘slide’ night, even if there’s snacks. If you dwell on one photo or story for too long, you are bound to lose your audience. But for you, it’s simply a way of sharing what you’ve learnt with people who love you enough to listen, ever swallowing their yawns!

As the years fly by and you dig deeper into ordinary life, you may once again pull out those yellowing photos of yore. Those daggy clothes (what was I thinking?) and the self-serviced haircuts (with a pair of nail scissors). Oh how you will laugh and sigh and hope that soon, very soon, you’ll be off on another adventure. Then you can again host another post-trip night and annoy your friends once again. In the meantime, you may find that you have to return the ‘slide’ night favour and listen to stories of distant lands from your more recently travelled buddies with shining eyes and season inappropriate tans. For, that’s what friends are for…

 

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