The Stories You Tell

Jun 5, 2013 by

I’ve been back in Winnipeg for less than 24 hours, and I only have a couple of days here before I leave on my next adventure. I have time for laundry (the smell of mould and sea on my clothes and belongings is quite unpleasant) seeing a few important people, cuddling my cat and packing up again.


Photo taken by travel friend, Kevin, in Saba

What I’ve realised is how interesting it is to see what stories are popping up, what I am finding important to tell people. As I normally do, I’ve been writing all the things I’ve been doingย in my journal: scuba diving with sea turtles and Caribbean reef sharks, hiking through mud in Saba, attending a lavish Indian wedding in Anguilla and island hopping by ferry. But it is not these stories that I find myself telling. It’s the stories of Peddy the Saban cab driver, playing backgammon with Michael during a downpour, the chicken and her little baby chicks at my cottage, all the cute island cats I played with, the saxophone player who entertained me in St. Maarten, sampling rum at the tourist information centre in Saba at 10:00 am, night swimming and skinny dipping in Anguilla, comparing treatment at US customs versus Canadian customs.

This clarity, I find, only comes with a little space and distance from a trip. As soon as my boyfriend picked me up from the airport yesterday (yes, flowers in hand, smile on his lips), and I was away from the Caribbean, these stories came poring out on the ride home, and they weren’t the stories I had thought I would be telling.

These little anecdotes, the small details, are what are truly interesting. The big snapshots of my trip (the scuba diving, the places I stayed, the islands I visited, the beaches I walked) are the foundation of a trip, what holds everything together. The little memories, the cherished little giggles, surprises, joys and triumphs of a trip are what make it memorable, what make the trip worth taking at all.


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  1. Wise beyond your years. Those little details are what make the anecdotes so much fun to tell and listen to.
    Keep getting what I call, “Snapshots of Life” Colleen!

    • Colleen

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Maria. Glad you enjoyed this… kind of along the same lines as your writing, non?

  2. Zhu

    Your boyfrien pick you up with flowers? Damn, I’m so jealous!

    It wasn’t snowing in Winterpeg, was it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Awww flowers at the airport? SO romantic!

    • Colleen

      Hehe… out of anyone who would read this, I knew you would love that little tid bit! x

  4. raphael

    You’re absolutely right. The small details are the most important issues to remember.

  5. Yes, the little stories are always the best. I try to write them down as soon as they happen so I’ll always remember them. Even if others don’t really get it, they will always be mine ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful photo of you under the clouds!!

    • Colleen

      Totally agree – I write them down ASAP as well… I love flipping through old travel journals from time to time.

  6. Keep that boyf around, he sounds awesome. I know what you mean — whenever someone asks me for a story on the spot (usually about something big, ie scuba diving or a particular tourist attraction or something like that), I struggle to tell a good story, but then usually if I’m just hanging out with someone something will trigger a memory of something small that happened and I’ll tell a story about that small thing. “This one time in ____” turns up in more of my conversations than I’m proud of.

    • Colleen

      Ha, this boyf is awesome! He’s loving all the attention he’s been getting…

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