The travel that lingers
Hi globetrotters and welcome to our latest musings. When it comes to travel, in reality, a trip can be as short as a couple of days and last up to in most cases a couple of years at max. Even so, something seems to change in our identities, where we come to call ourselves a traveller, but this can be a hard concept to define. This time around, your GTG tackled this complicated notion with a few specific ideas that can help us to understand how we are different and be proud of the choices we have made.
If you are anything like your GTG, your closest friends will be scattered from Canberra to Cairo, from Delhi to Dublin, from Wellington to Washington, you get the picture. Luckily IT lends a helpful hand in helping us all keep in touch these days. Your GTG puts this phenomenon down to the fact that when people travel, they are aware that their time is short, so they tend to spend less time on trivial topics and go straight to the meaning of life and other such philosophical meandering. This tends to sort out pretty quickly whose numbers we keep or whose Facebook friend requests we accept. We also at times seem to have more in common with other travellers than those we grew up with who stayed at home.
Languages and accents
The most noticeable change here is what you don’t notice but other people do. In many places, locals will comment if they hear a different accent, or words spoken in a different language. Travellers can become nostalgic when hearing accents or different languages, or alternatively self conscious that the same novelty noticed by their compatriots was lost on them. As an Australian born, your GTG feels most self conscious when attempting to pronounce things at home they way they are pronounced in their place of origin, to be corrected with the Austral-Anglicised version. The key here is picking the right time and place to strut your stuff.
There comes a point for most travellers when, surprisingly, or not surprisingly, you notice you can hold your own at the geography trivia table. The mere act of visiting an airport exposes you the names of scores of places that you may never have otherwise heard of. For those that use maps or read guidebooks, we again pore over the names and locations as they begin to sink in. Having said that, there are relatively few situations where this becomes a life skill (hence the trivia). Still, a bit of extra geography seems to help position things in context that we encounter in our daily lives.
All travellers remember that awkward moment when a food craze finally arrived in our hometowns, and some of us resisted the urge to exclaim “oh really? I tried that in the former Yugoslavia 10 years ago”. It seems that travellers bring themselves to the world, not waiting for the world to come to them. Culinary delights are of no exception to this trend. In actual fact, food styles or crazes seem to travel home with the travellers that have been enamoured by them, going on to begin small businesses recreating their travel memories. The good news is, there will always be new foods to enjoy that we haven’t tried yet. On top of that, food is one of the key factors that make each place unique so it’s probably better if it doesn’t all reach our starting points.
Travellers tend to immerse themselves where possible in the trends that are going on around them in the places they visit. Personally, your GTG often associates a particular song or collection of songs with where it was heard or the trip to which it provided a soundtrack. Like many things, music is now more globally available than ever before through digital options. This means, provided you can find out and then remember the names, that you can continue to enjoy your musical discoveries upon your return. As no two trips are the same, travellers will always have some new banging beats to get the hips swinging at the next party.
This is one of the less-advantageous distinctions your GTG came up with. So what if I worked in different hospitality or retail jobs for nearly ten years? Your typical traveller’s CV will have one or two university or educational qualifications (at various stages of completion), some gaps in employment and a whole range of quick-find jobs in hospitality or retail. Yep, most of us had to flip a burger, or scrub a toilet or two to get by. The trick to overcoming this seems to be learning how to sell your travel experience as an asset in interviews.
You’re a pro at improvisation
Old habits die hard. Your GTG is still ready to pack a bag or crash on a couch/floor at any moment. While ideal circumstances would never lead us to set up camp in a bus station or airport when our trip is delayed, these things do happen from time to time. From strategic thinking to the practical abilities we have had to apply in times of need, these are some of the more useful and widely applicable assets travellers develop.
Well we may be scratching the surface, but somehow the mystery of ‘what is a traveller?’ starts to become less of an ‘unknown’. It may be worth noting that these are often character traits or attributes that travellers had to begin with, that became more pronounced the more they travelled. As always, your GTG has enjoyed your company and looks forward to your feedback. Please let us know what you think, if you have any questions you would like answered, or if you have any great ideas, by using the contact form below. Until next time!