Catching up with people I already know has become one of the harder things about having a life of travel.
Not because of time. I have a spreadsheet of people in my life that scores them, 0 - 5 across my values. The ones over a 4 are the ones I invest time in. I will manage my time to ensure this happens.
No, catching up with people I already know is tough because I still have not figured out how to respond when someone asks: "What's new with you?"
What the Fuck Moments
Travel is expansive. And it is this way because everything around you is new. You have no routines outside of the ones you create -- and you must consciously choose to create them. It requires a hyper sense of awareness to do even the most basic routine tasks. Rinse and repeat when you change locations.
But the impactful moments, the ones that really get you; tend to be small. Small compared to the grandeur around you. Like walking around Panajachel, Guatemala on a Sunday listening to "Can I Kick It"
I call them "what the fuck moments."
And they hit you at random times. They result in awe, gratitude, and a bit of ecstasy. You just smile and shake your head and think "what the fuck am I doing."
Thus the name.
The key is they only exist in the unknown. You can be grateful going to your local Starbucks every morning and it might even make you happy. You will most assuredly be comfortable and can tune out on the ride there. Which is lovely.
But you won't be struck with an overwhelming sense of awe and you definitely will not say what the fuck in a happy way.
This is the difference between comfort and desire. Both beautiful in their own way. Both with different results. A balance between these two are what we humans constantly seek and choose for our own individualized selves.
As an intensity addict, I tend to always push away from comfort (whether this is right or wrong will need to be another discussion). Which means I love WTF Moments.
"How Have you Been?"
So when someone asks how I've been, I want to share these small/huge moments. But it's almost impossible without a boatload of background context and stories.
Which is not what we humans mean when we are catching up. A punchline of "so I walked around on a Sunday listening to a Tribe Called Quest" after a rambling story of how I got there is hard to listen to. I glazed over even thinking about how to start.
People want fast highlights of Guatemala (oh it was beautiful) and a laugh or two (I got my phone stolen! But we got it back with a machete!). Again, not wrong. As humans, we are blessed with limited mental processing power. WTF Moments are a personalized gift meant just for the feeler. Whereas travel highlights are external events that look great on Instagram.
Which is why I love meeting people while traveling. They also get the WTF Moments. And if you do something together, it's probably the only time you can share a WTF Moment with another person.
I still love catching up with my friends. There's nothing like a hour dose of known chats to help when you feel homesick. But just know the beauty I really want to share with you is something that will be hard to put into words.