Travelers come in all types. There
Sometimes that bit of conversation leads to a wonderful, meaningful and educational exchange. And sometimes you want to go back in time and turn left instead of right. But, here are ten great reasons to talk to strangers when you travel.
- You can confess your sins and probably never see them again. BUT be careful of being found if you’re on social media. That’s not a worry if you’re confessing to a priest.
- You can share a moment together. I was sitting in the San Francisco airport when I received a text informing me Notre Dame was burning. I was horrified, started searching for online information, and then heard French spoken next to me. The couple sitting to my left were Parisians and their daughter was delivering the bad news. I told the wife how sorry I was and we shared tears over the loss. I wished we’d shared a joyful moment instead of a sorrowful one.
- You can find something new to do in a new city. On my 2019 Cancerversary trip to Colorado, I planned to visit Boulder to go hiking. A flight attendant suggested a visit to the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. It was a great suggestion for this tea lover!
- You can remove a city from your travel list. Have you met people from the same place who are just plain wrong? That’s happened to me and I’m going to avoid that place until I meet the opposite people. Surely they exist, right?
- You can learn insider information. I always learn about the best local restaurants from my Lyft/Uber drivers and they have always been right.
- You can teach someone how something works. That Parisian couple in San Francisco was using Southwest Airlines for the first time. The seating rules were completely foreign to them and I was able to explain it.
- You can convince someone to visit your home city. In Memphis, I struck up a conversation with a couple who were leery of visiting Birmingham. I get it, I totally get it. But I told them Birmingham has progressed, we have a great food scene, and now they knew ME! I think they’re visiting in 2020.
- You can make new friends. I spent my official 22nd Cancerversary trip on a solo adventure that I’ll share later. But a great thing that happened was meeting my new friend, Amy! Amy was also solo adventuring and not only did we hit it off, but we also had a few meals and did a bit of shopping together!
- You may get an invitation to couch surf. Couch surfing is a real thing and I am a member of a couch-surfing organization but I haven’t had a chance to surf or host. But while in Ireland, I received an invitation to couch surf from the loveliest woman and plan to take her up on it.
- Why Not? So, why not talk to strangers? I don’t mean the creep, the freak or the person who gives you the bad vibes. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT about them! But you’re on an adventure, so why not? What do you have to lose?
Do you regularly talk to strangers or are you a shy traveler?