5 Ways to Deal with the ‘How Was Your Trip’ Question

plane When you return home from travels abroad, you are often faced with challenges to your mental state. Life beckons you to settle back into the mundane but you try to retain the spirit and outlook which have carried you throughout your journey. You scour through photographs you’ve taken, sort out restaurant receipts, leave some memorabilia lying around your desk and replay memories on your computer screen. In short, you want to prolong the experience as much as possible and welcome the chance to replay the best moments.

At some point, your friends, family and colleagues will ask you that long-anticipated question, “How was your trip?” Before you get too excited about sharing your memories, take note of the different type of people and how to handle what seems on the surface like a harmless question.

1. The ADHD Sufferer
“How was your trip” is immediately followed by “Did you know that…” This person veers the conversation away from your response by telling you about something that happened to them during your absence, like the dog being sick or a frivolous story about their child and their nappies. They usually speak at one hundred miles an hour, flipping from one inanity to the next, lost in the belief that they have heard your story and not theirs.

What to do: As this person doesn’t come up for air, barge in on their tale and remind them, “Hey, you asked about my holiday!” and watch them apologise. Then hit them with the longest story possible, chaining a series of unrelated events because that’s all their minds are capable of digesting.

2. The Skinny Soy Latte Drinker
“How was your trip” is immediately followed by “Tell me the highlight”. This person is after a précis and doesn’t want to be bothered with any detail you have to offer. And let’s face it, you’ve come back with a lot of detailed stories. They may be in a senior management role or just an all round skinny or soy milk drinker, skimming through life swallowed up in their self-importance.

What to do: Respond by saying that there was no singular highlight but several key moments and proceed to tell them stories in minutia. Remember not to smile too much as you watch their facial features contort.

3. The Procrastinator
“How was your trip” is immediately followed by “We should catch up properly sometime so I can hear all about it”. Heed my words, you may catch up with this person at some point but your trip will be the furthest thing from their mind.

What to do: Don’t let them get away too easily. Make a date and time on the spot. Offer them teasers about your trip which you know are of interest to them to draw them back quickly to you. If you manage to catch up soon, dive in with your travel tales immediately. These people are chronic clock watchers.

4. The Delusional Hijacker
“How was your trip” is immediately followed by “Only four weeks till we go to  <insert destination>”. This person hijacks your account of the trip by talking of their upcoming holiday in excruciating detail as if it has already happened.

What to do: There is only one way to silence them. Pick a destination you know they’re not visiting and say, “You’re not going to <location>? But you must! Or you’ll miss out on the best experience of your life!” If they steer the conversation back to their plans, hit them with facts that prove they’re talking theory, or better still, tell them, “Just wait till you get there…”

5. The Clam
“How was your trip” is followed with dead silence. This person clams up the minute you provide details of a place you’ve visited, a food you’ve eaten and enjoyed, a drink you’ve discovered or a hotel you recommend as their facial features take on a sudden green hue.

What to do: Take advantage of their silence and keep relating your travel tales, stringing the conversation from one city or experience to another. Watch out for the precise moment when the green on their face turns to red. It might be time to call it quits.

Disclaimer
If you encounter someone who is willing to listen to the many highlights of your trip, look at the odd photograph, or even better, visit your website to read about your travel, food and restaurant review articles, count your blessings. They’re as rare as that bargain you’ve picked up in Venice from a souvenir merchant on the Rialto Bridge.

Which type of person are you?

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5 Ways to Deal with the ‘How Was Your Trip’ Question was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.

14 Comments:

  1. We find that nobody really wants to hear about our trip. Seriously.  we love our friends and family, but they just don’t want to hear about it, so we started a travel blog instead. Now the people that really do want to hear about our trip read about it, and our friends and family can pretend that they actually followed what we did.  Although, we know that they never do:)

    • Dave and Deb: In many cases, I’d agree that they don’t want to hear about other people’s trips. However, they are often the type who talk endlessly about their holidays and expect you to listen. If someone isn’t interested in travel or about a particular destination, I’d understand. But when they frequently jet around the globe and rave about their journey, well, there are ways of dealing with that ;)

  2. Funny and true. I’ve had the Hijacker before and in turn hijacked the conversation after their next holiday.  Sad thing is people are often clueless.

    • Chris: Must have been fun getting back at that person! I concur on people being clueless, well most of the time.

  3. i agree with dave and dev… for some with reasons, it seems that nobody wants to hear about it for real.. dunno why though…
     
     

    • Flip: Hi and welcome :)
      I’m interested to know if the people who don’t want to hear about it aren’t interested in travel, or they’re not interested in travel stories but their own.

  4. I find that when you are telling people who aren’t widely travelled, they listen with intent.  Everyone else is ho-hum, been there done that bought the T-shirt.  The best thing though is recounting with lots of detail, long after your trip has finished, moments of your trip in conversation.  For example, someone may say “I’ve never eaten Foie Gras”  (after feeling very sorry for them, you can then give them the whole story of when you bought a duo-bloc at Galleries Lafayette or the time you ate it at Fouquet’s in paris with a glass of Sancerre).  One trip can last a lifetime of story telling.

    Personally, I never get bored telling the same story, i just have to remember who I’ve told it to ; )

  5. oop, my bad. I meant a glass of Sauternes!!!!!

  6. oops my bad, I meant Sauternes!!!

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