Inspired by Eater’s clever and spot-on list of 27 Food Stories Nobody Needs To Write Again, Travel + Leisure editors pulled together our own register of travel stories that we’ve all heard countless times before, have told ourselves, and, if we’re being honest, might potentially even tell again. Admit it: you’re guilty, too.
1. I ate my way through Andalucia and found my inner child.
2. I went to a tech-free resort for a weekend in Oaxaca and didn't die.
3. My digital detox almost killed me.
4. I was that guy: snoring, tuna fish sandwiches, and one angry tour bus.
5. We met real, live harpischordists in Vienna and hung out in their apartment and talked about the struggle of the creative class, and the whole thing was amazing and so “real,” thanks to arrangements painstakingly made by people at my travel agent-approved tour operator.
6. I got to know Italy through my Sicilian host-nonna’s hand-cut pasta.
7. I learned how to really eat ramen at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
8. I went to this incredible hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the middle of nowhere, where no one spoke English and they DIDN’T EVEN HAVE MENUS!!!
9. I went all the way to Lisbon to eat this one type of pasteis de nata, the recipe of which is kept in a locked safe and guarded by monks.
10. I learned everything there is to know about foraging in a 29-course feast at Noma. See the mind-blowing recap on Instagram, Flipagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, Tinder, Hinge, MeetMe, Burn Note, Whisper, Ello, and MySpace. (I’ve got a #tbt planned for this week, as well.)
11. I visited [insert ancestral land here] and now I totally appreciate my family.
12. Glamping taught me to love camping.
13. Voluntourism helped me help Aboriginal people.
14. We finally got there after two flights, three trains, a bus, a rickshaw, a pedicab, a donkey, and an air carrier pigeon. Totally worth it.
15. I went on a luxury safari, and one day they took us outside the five-star camp and we saw African bush people make crafts.
16. I survived the Haleakala Skyline Tour in Maui: my fellow zipliners taught me to get over my fear of heights.
17. I took a trip with my boyfriend, and then came back alone.
18. I found my soulmate while traveling through the Negev on Birthright.
19. Our cabbie invited us to dinner with his family at this place only his family knows about, which was basically their living room, and OMG totally bonded over a shared love for Top Gear.
20. I went on a cruise with my parents.
21. I went on a cruise with my in-laws.
22. Venice?! Ugh, the WORST.
23. I really learned how, you know, culturally different Asia is. Things just LOOK different.
24. Even though I don’t have kids, I learned SO much about parenthood by watching parents of small children on planes.
25. Now I’m a parent and traveling with kids sucks—and I hate going to Disney.
26. Driving through shantytowns—gosh, there is just so much poverty out there.
27. I went to Morocco on a 102-degree day in June, and as a white American woman with pretty good civil liberties, relatively speaking, I learned so much about what it must be like to be a Muslim woman garbed in a burqa.
28. I traveled to Mendoza and sat around the fire drinking Malbec—and man! Do those guys know how to live, or what?
29. I stayed for two weeks in Paris and didn’t see the Eiffel Tower once. Not once!
30. My family beat me through security even though I paid $100 for pre-check.
31. We took this train from Bologna to Firenze—whoops, sorry, you probably pronounce it “Florence.”
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.