Last night, as my husband, mother-in-law and I walked around Rome I noticed we all spent time reminiscing about previous trips to this ancient city. We told stories of happenings from other trips, with other people. We pointed out places, hotels and restaurants we had experienced. I found it interesting that we all participated in this storytelling and wondered why we do this. Does it bring comfort of some sort? Are we trying to one-up someone else’s story? Yes to the comfort, no to the one-upping. I’ve seen this happen before when I’ve traveled and it’s almost as if the sharing helps us to build up our mental scrapbook of memories. We have the photos from previous trips in our head, but pointing out the scenes, telling the stories is like putting the glue on the back of the photo and securing it into our memory books. It’s a way of acknowledging the wonder and uniqueness of a place, not just here in Rome, but anywhere we visit that is different from our day-to-day life. Being in a place we’ve heard of or seen pictures of seems so daunting – Am I really here? Am I really seeing this? Telling stories of experiences in the places we visit, whether those stories are told back at home or to a traveling companion on a return visit, reinforces that we truly were here, that our being here is a part of this place’s history and this place is also a part of our own history, carried in our memories and, when we have the opportunity to share, relished like a scrapbook containing pictures of old friends.