“Hey Jonah, where did you spend your month off work?” Jonah – a shy guy – felt justified in inflating his chest and proudly telling Betty where he’d been. He felt like such a trailblazer. “I went to Peru.”
“Oh woooow! I went to Peru two years ago. It was great, we did the Inca Trail and drank the tea and rode the train and saw the llamas…” Jonah was instantly deflated. He wanted to feel special, not to make Betty feel special.
Sally walked by and butted in. “Did I hear someone mention the Inca Trail? I taught English at a settlement along the Inca trail a few years ago.” The boss overheard and added his own remarks. “I would have done the Inca trail, but would you believe I ran into John, the department manager in a bar in Cusco. We got drunk on chicha and I missed my train the next morning.”
“It’s such a small world!” Added Betty.
“That reminds me,” said Sally, “last year in Paris I ran into Julie from the accounts department.”
“Oh, and I saw the cleaner in London last July!” Exclaimed Betty.
Jonah slinked back to his desk to get some work done whilst the others were competing in their globe-trotting match. As sure as people have a doctor’s check up or a dentist appointment once a year, he had fallen into the trap of travelling for the sake of meeting the expectations of those around him.
This year, Jonah is going where HE wants to go. When he gets back he’ll tell Betty where he’s been and he won’t care when she cringes. He won’t care that she’ll squirm. And it won’t bother him that she’ll screw up her face when he tells her that he cycled around the local countryside collecting bug specimens, drying them out, dissecting them and donating them to the university’s entomology department.
But, because it doesn’t matter what Betty thinks, maybe he just won’t tell her at all.