Psych Central


9 Questions To Ask About Someones Life-Changing TripOne of my resolutions is to Enter into the interests of other people’s lives. When you think of people getting along harmoniously — whether in a family, or among friends, or in an office – people make an effort to enter into the interests of each other’s lives.My friend Michael Melcher (author of the terrific book The Creative Lawyer — which isn’t just for lawyers) pointed out to me an area where this is often an issue: with travels. It’s quite common for people to come back from big, life-changing trips, and feel let down because no one seems very interested in what they saw or thought or experienced.

Part of being a good friend, colleague, or family member is to show an interest, but this can be challenging. Often, people need help finding ways to talk about their travels in ways that are interesting to people who weren’t there.

I’m not much of a traveler, myself, but Michael is. He suggested nine questions that you might ask, to enter into the interests of a newly returned traveler. The point, of course, is not to fake an interest, but rather to find a way to be sincerely interested.

1. What was the best moment of the entire trip?

2. What are two interesting things about China [or wherever] that the average person doesn’t know?

3. Tell me about one person you met.

4. Now that you’ve been there yourself, when you think of China, what’s the first image that comes into your head?

5. What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?

6. Did anything go wrong that seems funny now? (I often remind myself of my Secret of Adulthood that “The things that go wrong often make the best memories.”)

7. What little, ordinary thing did you miss from your usual routine?

8. What did you learn about yourself?

9. Now that you’ve been to China, what are two other places you’d like to go?

?What am I missing? Have you identified any questions that are good at invoking interesting conversation? And travelers, when you come home, what questions are interesting to answer, and that show interest in what you’ve experienced? Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that people don’t seem interested in hearing about a trip or adventure that was very significant to you? Because I’m not much of a traveler, myself, I know that I haven’t shown as much interest in people’s travels as I should have. Something to work on.

Because I’ve been thinking a lot about “home” for my next book, Happier at Home, I’ve spent time cruising around Design * Sponge — “your home for all things design.” Good stuff!

Volunteer as a Super-Fan, and from time to time, I’ll ask for your help. Nothing onerous, I promise! Sign up here or email me at gretchenrubin1 at gretchenrubin dot com.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 2 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks

No trackbacks yet to this post.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Oct 2011
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2011). 9 Questions To Ask About Someone’s Life-Changing Trip. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/10/22/9-questions-to-ask-about-someones-life-changing-trip/

 

Recent Comments
  • Elizabeth: This is one of my favorite of your recent posts. I am the same as you were when you said: “Like most...
  • Elizabeth: I read this post a few weeks ago and found it really interesting and I want to read her book. My father is...
  • Hello: When you say people can rise above this using other means…what are these other ways? IMHO bullying works...
  • Maureen: Hi I dont know if” i am in a abusive relationhship even though i know i should as i was in one before...
  • Fritters: I have the same “what now” question.
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 7414
Join Us Now!