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You know what they say about those who wait…

September 24, 2009

Hello, everyone! My goodness, it has been a while. I’ve been eagar to update this thing for quite a few days now, and sitting in my hostel, waiting for my roommates to get dolled up for the evening in Sydney seems like as good a time as any.

For 11 days, I have been exploring New Zealand, and I have to say, I really, really hope Goucher lets me get a summer internship there next year, or even a three wee one over Christmas, because I need to go back. I absolutely loved just about every place we went, and there was so much we missed out on doing, although the list of things is quite impressive. I’m going through the mentally daunting task of replaying and recording all of the events in my journal (yes, because spewing my feelings about stuff online isn’t quite enough =]), so hopefully I can tell y’all lots of fun stories when I get home.

We met a lot of other backpackers on the road and in various hostels who we would run into over and over again. And I’ve discovered that while I really would like to work and travel varius places, and love to hear other people’s stories and expereinces, sometimes I just don’t care. I think that with travellers, most conversations become too much about “you did that there? Well I did this here, so there!” to really be enjoyable. Sometimes it’s not like that. For instance, this girl, Laura, who we met in Fraz Josef, was one of the collest, chillest people we met. She didn’t boast about all the places she’d been, or just turn every round of story telling into a competition (in addition, she really helped make my birthday fun, even though I was so far away from people I knew well).

I think that people are usually just over-eagar to share their experiences. They want others to view them positively, and so experience is measured on a “better than” scale. And while most every traveller will say they love meeting people and hearing their stories, mostly I think they are excited to tell theirs and have someone understand how exciting it is.

This is not a bad thing. I mean, I know I’ll be boring all of you with my stories from Australia and New Zealand. You even come to this blog and read about them, even though you don’t have to. I guess it just tires me out to always have to feel so engaed when speaking with someone. You know, to have to be impressive and enthusiastic, when, really, I usually don’t care that much. And when you travel around with people for long enough, you hear the same story so many times you could tell it, which is fine with close friends, but a bit annoying with people you barely know. Maybe I’m just not a people person. I have a difficult time with very enthusiastic people.

Wow…way to be a communications major, eh?

This, of course, will not keep me from travelling or wanting to meet people when I travel, because 1 in 5 people you stop to talk to is actually a cool person, who you are eagar to hang out with again. Sometimes it’s more than 1 in 5. But, I mean, I have been having a hard time all term finding people who I actually want to be with and will make the effort to seek out. I’ve found a few (very few), but I’m just not a small talker. I honestly don’t care about the little pointless conversations everyone seems to find so delightful. I don’t need to talk about deep, heavy stuff all the time, but when a conversation includes more than “I’m ___ from ___ who does ___, ___, and ___. One time I ____, which was cool” I’m pretty satisfied. It’s just kind of rare than small talk conversations don’t turn into story telling competitions, especially with people who have been enough places in the world.

I know why this happens, or at least a popular theory behind why it happens. It’s really just basic communications theory. When people meet for the first time, they are uncertain about each other, and so start talking about themselves and trying to get information about the other person so that they can lessen that uncertainity. When they find common ground, they can feel connected and start forming a stronger relationship. But I am learning that I don’t care to have a lot of these little, slight relationship, and would much rather have a couple of very intimate, strong ones.

This is not useful for travelling, especially with two girls who are very charismatic, pretty, and love going out on the town and partying. Don’t get me wrong, I like tagging along sometimes. I just find myself generally apathetic in these situations, and fairly bored.

So that’s one of my personal reflections from the trip. Next time I have a moment or two, I’ll tell a little story about a small town called Collingwood at the end of the world.

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3 comments

  1. Did you find any hobbit houses? One of my friends at ND is so obsessed with LotR that she wants to move to New Zealand after she graduates.

    It’s not so bad to want really intense friendships with someone. Sometimes the shallow competitions get really tiring… though sometimes you really do want to outdo people with your ‘I did this!’ story, or you find it so fascinating that you want everyone to know.

    Seeing you make the most of your Australia experience makes me significantly less nervous to leave next weekend. :)


    • haha…no hobbit houses. Those were on the north island, and I just did the south. And all the houses were taken out after the films finished, and the holes were all that was left, but they’re building them again for the Hobbit movie.
      Also, any reason to move to new zealand is a good reason =]


  2. HOBBITS ARE AWESOME

    …that is my shallow, boring chit-chat comment.



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