10 Things To Talk About When Your Friend Who Always Travels Comes Home


Remember that one friend from college who went to go find love themselves in Thailand, and then ended up embarking on a crazy world adventure, and now 3 years later, they’re coming back home and want to meet up, and you have no idea where to even start with catching up?

Ahh, bless. Those glorious low-maintenance friendships where you can go months, even years, without talking and pick things up seamlessly once you reunite in person, are the best.

But one thing frequent travelers want their friends back home to understand, is that despite the snarky heartfelt posts about how everyone is having babies while we’re just staring at a globe, mapping out how to prolong entering the real world, we really don’t think our lives are better than yours.

You see, the beauty of life is that there’s no one right or wrong way to live it. I understand our lives may look grandiose when paled in comparison, but that’s just simply not always the case.

There are so many dynamics to life abroad, and just like everyone else, we curate the best content to only show you the highlight reel.

So if you think catching up means us just telling you how amazing and incredible our travels were, think again. Because we’d much rather share with you…

1. That time we almost missed our flight

You could blame Trump traffic or you could blame oxygen, but the universe was just not letting anything go our way that day. So we exchanged socially acceptable looks for swampass and made a nonstop 5-minute sprint through the terminal to make our gate just minutes before it closed. It was the worst.

2. That time we cried over “spilled milk”

Traveling takes a mental toll on your body. And for no Earthly clue, something as menial as not being able to get a bus ticket past a certain time will make salt water excrete from our eyeballs. Actually, we don’t really want to talk about this. It’s still kind of a sensitive matter.

3. That time we almost got deported

Because the Thais are so friendly, why wouldn’t you chance it and overstay your visa by like 10 days? Whatevs, right? Ha, $120 later. Don’t do this guys.

4. That time we almost went broke

Wait, what do you mean all five of my paychecks that were supposed to conveniently be deposited this week are all somehow delayed? Do these brands work together and do this on purpose? Cool, no worries. 100 Croatian Kuna ($15 USD) can buy at least a couple bottles of wine.

5. That time we had no idea what we ate

Yay for being adventurous and going to that one hole-in-the-wall restaurant to avoid the tourist traps! Hoo-rah, we’re such real travelers now. But wait, was that duck, chicken, or liver? Or none of the above?

6. That time we told people we were “so pregnant”

Curse my never-ending bouts with the Spanish Language, but estaba tan embarazada cuando me pidió bailar! Because who doesn’t get pregnant when someone cute asks you to dance? Circle of life, yo.

7. That time we found our soulmate

Ahhh, yes. Our happily ever after that turned into a sadly never again. There are many. Take your pick. We will sing like a bird about our failed romances on the road to make you feel better about your beautiful vomitting little humans growing family.

8. That time that one food gave us explosive diarrhea

Speaking of ladylike things, sorry we have to skip the hike we planned out. If I leave the toilet for more than five minutes, bad things happen. Very, very bad and colorful things.

9. That time we wished we could’ve shared a moment with you

Nevertheless, there’s no better thing than seeing the world and sharing that moment with a friend or family member back home. We think about you guys often and wish you could’ve been with us.

10. That time you messaged us and said you’re finally ready to travel

And this is what make our lifestyles all the more worth it — when we can inspire our hometown or childhood friends that the world isn’t the scary dungeon the media want you to think it is. And now that you’ve got your passport, world domination awaits us both.

Gloria Atanmo is a world traveler and author of From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World, available here!