Even now, I can still reel off the list of countries that my friends had visited. In a way, it wasn’t so surprising, considering that (apart from our ages) an interest in travel was the only thing we all had in common. And actually, travel conversation was a pretty good substitute for conversation about home. You could tell plenty about someone from the places they’d chosen to visit, and which of those places were their favorites.

The Beach, a novel by Alex Garland