Sometimes when I'm telling stories, you know at a bar, or a party, or just to myself before I go to sleep, I will hear myself sounding a little like Hansel from Zoolander. (He's so hot right now).
"Me and my friends have been too busy bathing off the Southern coast of St. Barts with spider monkeys for the past two weeks."
"So I'm rappelling down Mount Vesuvius when suddenly..."
"This one time, I was whitewater rafting down the Urubamba River in Peru..."
When I'm recounting said stories, I'm honestly not trying to work in that I've been to somewhere superspecialthatyouhaven't, and neener neener neener. It's just that when I was riding a funny bike with a bell and a big basket, trying to find the McDonald's, I happened to be in Beijing. Or that when I had my eyelashes dyed, I was in Bali. Or that when I met my friend Whitney, we were on a cruise to Antarctica.
The things I'm doing really aren't any different from the things anyone else is doing: riding bikes, beauty treatments, meeting new friends. I just occasionally go a little further to do them.
Sometimes the activities will be once-in-a-lifetime things that could be construed as somewhat outrageous, like bungee jumping in New Zealand, paragliding in Oman or sky-diving in...Washington state. See? I do things in normal places too!
I travel because I'm a visual learner, and I won't truly understand a place until I've been there myself. I also travel because I'm moderately claustrophobic (albeit self-diagnosed) and begin to feel trapped if in one place for too long. The trips I take, and the activities in which I participate, are solely designed to keep myself entertained, and not to impress anyone else.
If I'm really trying to impress you, I'll just challenge you to a walk-off.