What Are The Worst Travel Questions?

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Howdy all. Today, as I sometimes like to do to start the week, I am writing about a topic that I’ve been thinking on for a while. And that is this – ‘what are the worst travel questions you can get?’ Actually I want to ask you, dear readers – what questions do you hate? And if actually like me you find answering questions about your travel as annoying as I do. I feel sure I am in extreme minority here… but sometimes depending on context and I guess my mood too, sometimes there are questions I would rather not been asked!Howdy all. Today, as I sometimes like to do to start the week, I am writing about a topic that I’ve been thinking on for a while. And that is this – ‘what are the worst travel questions you can get?’ Actually I want to ask you, dear readers – what questions do you hate? And if actually like me you find answering questions about your travel as annoying as I do. I feel sure I am in extreme minority here… but sometimes depending on context and I guess my mood too, sometimes there are questions I would rather not been asked!

And let me start with the number one question that bugs me above all others. Drum roll, if you please…

Me and Khomeini

What’s your favourite country/city/place?

Ummm. Honestly, I will put it out there, I don’t really have an absolute favourite. I just don’t. I have places I loved and places I hated, but all in all, I have found something worthwhile in every place I’ve been. So being asked to make a call like that, well, it’s such an over asked question. If I have to pin down a place, a country, I might say ‘Iran’, which always results in strange looks. And then I have to justify it. And hear how someone else’s favourite country is ‘France’. Like… so original. I love a lot of countries – Central Asia, Ethiopia, had amazing adventures in Mali, India is brilliant too and the list goes on.

Oh here’s a question. You come back from a 6 week trip and someone asks you ‘what did you do?’. If I’m at all tired, and I should preface this by saying this is a question that people ask this question as a curtesy and they expect a short answer, I really don’t want to answer this. I mean, what do you say? ‘I went sightseeing and took photos’?, ‘I explored’? ‘A real bunch of different things’? Honestly if I go away for a week to the Gold Coast and chill for a week, I can answer this. But for a longer trip, knowing full well that in general people don’t care about what I did, I don’t see the point. Plus you know, if they were really interested they could just check THIS BLOG 😛

And here’s the secret – unless you bought them things, people often don’t care too much about what you did when overseas. Sure, after your first trip or two you may come home from 7 months abroad feeling like a triumphant hero, having conquered many lands and drunk many beers. And everyone IS excited to see you. And then you get questions like ‘How was it?’. I want to be plainly obvious here. This is a simple question which evokes a pretty closed answer. ‘Great!’, ‘Fantastic!’, ‘Amazing!’, ‘Oh My God, it was SO Good!’. What else are you going to say? Travel is a cartload of experiences tied together by the thread that is you. But to summarise them? Well, to put into a short answer, it’s going to read like the above.

And really, that may be the extent of what people REALLY want to know. My parents would travel and come home and show me all their photos. And this experience is perhaps the best way to share you experiences. Although some people will flick through photo albums so quickly you wonder if they looked at ANY of your photos. Or you will show your grandfather who at one point will make REALLY awkward remarks about the colour of people’s skin in Africa.

No-one cares about how cool your Salar de Uyuni photos look!

But honestly, no-one will care like they expect you to care when they show you their photos. And hey, people’s lives go on when you’re away and you’re having a good time and they are getting u at 630am each day to go to work. You can’t expect them to be as enthusiastic about your travels as you are. And if you’re NOT enthusiastic about your travels, well, maybe you should be going to different places!

However, there is one kind of travel story that is GUARANTEED to evoke interest, and it’s usually not one that is prompted by a question. If it was, it would be something like – ‘Did anything bad happen to you when you were overseas?’

Yes, I have often said that posts about bad experiences, disasters, things that went awry or indeed clearly negative posts in general seem to garner more views than others, and if you have a horror story from travel, people seem to be drawn into these kinds of stories. ‘What? You got MALARIA? What happened?’ – suddenly people are interested, intrigued, they will go on an emotional journey with you. These sort of experiences form the stories that you can tell time and time again. No-one wants to hear about how cool sleeping under the stars in the desert was. But if you got bitten by a scorpion, they will be glued to your every word!

So anyways. This is yet another post that started somewhere and finished somewhere a bit different. But hey, that’s the beauty of riffing online, right? What questions do you hate? And what have been your most popular travel stories? Thanks for tuning in – May the Journey Never End!

20 thoughts on “What Are The Worst Travel Questions?

  1. Bang on…. every one always asks these same damn questions every time you come back from a trip!!! And most of them are hardly even interested in the answer 🎉😂

  2. Why did you go to X or why do you travel are frequent and annoying questions. My experience is the same concerning people having greater interest in what goes wrong versus what is enjoyable.

  3. 🤪🤣🤣🤣 yeah, people love bad news. Its like they can’t bear it if you had wonderful experiences, coz they didn’t. But if you had a bad experience it’s like “tell me all about it” “thank God it wasn’t me”.

  4. One question that irked me when I lived in France was when my friends/acquaintances from the US messaged me saying they were coming to Paris and if they could stay with me. Now, I wouldn’t mind meeting up with them to hang out, but 1) I didn’t live in Paris, and 2) if you can afford a plane ticket over, you can easily afford a hotel/hostel/Airbnb! The nerve of some people…

    PS The second photo of you (in Japan, I presume?). You look younger in it; when did you go there? I’m curious!

  5. Certainly there are questions of courtesy, which do not require a long answer, but I believe that others are genuinely curious to know. When you get to know people better you can make the difference. At this stage the conversation is mainly about practical matters, transport, hotel, food, possibly knowing if people are nice. Being able to show photos allows to go one step further and to direct the conversation to what is more important to you, landscape, architecture, parties, etc. In the end, it’s not just about traveling, it’s a conversation, it will be more or less pleasant depending on the quality of the discussion with the interlocutor(s).

    1. yes sharing photos is the way i like most to talk about my travels. it starts conversation points which is great. but youre right outside closer friends and family most questions are more a courtesy. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Great musings! Working on cruise ships, a question I get again and again from passengers, friends, and family is “what was your favorite port?”

    Another question I have gotten over and over since being in Australia is my thoughts on Trump….

    1. oh gawwwwwd. sorry to hear that. very frustrating. i used to buy loads of presents that i would bring back and my bag would be heavier coming home than leaving. but these days its only immediate family, which is easier to manage. besides really some places you go dont have necessarily something interesting for people back home anyway. then others want duty free cigarettes lol…

  7. I must say my parents are genuinely interested when I tell them about my holiday. But for me the most annoying question is “Where is my postcard”? I grew up sending postcards to friends and grandparents and I still do so 25 years later, because it is expected of me, it has become a tradition and I love sending them, better than a WhatsApp message in my opinion. But I visited countries where I could not find postcards or a post office. Then they made me feel guilty…

  8. Hehe, I think many people are just not that imaginative, I’ve had these experiences where people ask only concrete physical things – like which well-known attraction you saw, how many numerical countries you visited, or how much did you spend?

    Travel is becoming a status symbol. So, when I say – “I’m visiting Poland”, I get both the “Urm, why not France? Is is because Poland is cheaper?” to the other end of – “Poland was my 57th country back in 1995. You need to catch up.”

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