Climbing Back onto the Face of the Earth


“Oh, really? Well, I would love to see those pictures sometime.”

After that statement, I knew that the mention of my travels in Uruguay was categorized and then dismissed in yet another friend’s brain.

While traveling in Uruguay, Sand and I loved to sit and talk with other travelers. We were given tons of advice, got to hear about amazing places, and best of all had the opportunity to share travel stories and lessons learned with others. I was so excited to continue this trend and be able to tell my friends and family all about Sand and my excursion in Uruguay when I finally got home to New York.

Maybe I was a little overzealous about telling my friends and family about Uruguay, but I was so excited to incite the desire to travel in those I love that I just didn’t see it at first. I didn’t notice that most of the people I told about Uruguay simply listened, nodded, and then completely dismissed the idea of ever going.

When I first noticed this trend of dismissal, I was so confused and a little upset feeling like no one wanted to listen to me. Then dwelling on the situation for more time I found that this immediate dismissal did somewhat make sense. I realized that the people that were truly interested in my travels through Uruguay were mostly people who have traveled before. Regardless of where they had been, my friends that have traveled either loved to make connections between Uruguay and wherever they had been or wanted to hear about my travels as a means of telling my about theirs. Although sometimes my friends also wanted to get ideas of different methods of traveling and actually working in another country.

I really do enjoy telling other people about traveling and discussing others’ travels as well, but have really only run into two responses when I’ve told people that I was recently in Uruguay for the past two months. One of the responses is a realization that the reason this person hasn’t seen me around Horseheads for most of the summer was because I was simply not there; essentially I was not existing for that period of time. This is the dismissal that I addressed earlier, the apparent realization that I was gone and am now climbing back onto the earth.

The other response, luckily, was more receipting. The other response was generally to imagine Uruguay and then be excited in the opportunity to learn about it from someone who had experienced the country firsthand; this response normally came from my friends that have traveled themselves. Really, the essence of this response is to think of Uruguay as a real place instead of simply not Horseheads.

I still really enjoy telling my friends and family that I just got back from Uruguay, but have finally realized that not everyone takes this information as I think I am presenting it. For some I am telling them about a real live place, that breathes just like New York and is just as tangible. But for some of my other friends I am not telling them about anywhere specific or anywhere within the accessible world, I am simply announcing that I am climbing back onto the face of the earth.