Have you ever spend time with complete strangers for a whole day? No? Well, I did.
And it turns out to be a blessing, even though you might not calculate it when you make your travel plannings weeks before.
In 2016, during my final weeks in Australia as an international student as part of my undergraduate programme in Germany, I did a trip with a bunch of folks from five countries: New Zealanders (those kiwis!), a girl from Denmark, two US-American buddies, a South Korean couple and a French bloke. We spend a whole day together in the Whitsunday Islands: From snorkelling to whale watching, from BBQ to hiking and having dinner together back at Airlie Beach (I actually had to make the trip twice since it was a chilly Aussie winter and all guides had to cancel tours to the Hill Inlet – I got the whole package on my second trip).
Why spending time with strangers will enrich your life
I am a firm believer that travelling is what connects all of us at the end of the day. And while I totally get it that some of you just want to get some peace and #metime, this is why you should consider getting out and meet new people during your journey:
- It will enrich your own perspective about your own country of origin and culture.
- You learn new things about other countries, cultures and world regions that you have never actually considered.
- Another benefit to talking with strangers is you have the opportunity to practice skills you may use in other situations with people you may never see again.
Get out of your comfort zone. Now!
But you know what I most enjoyed during all my trips?
That starting a small talk with a stranger can be that easy. While so many people struggle to simply start approaching to a complete stranger, it doesn’t cost much just to give it a try. The most important gain one can have is the ability to effectively increase one’s communication skills. And if you really can’t overcome it, the old quick and dirty reminder may help: Nobody knows me at this particular place, so why bother?
Until you get to know the locals betters. And they know you.
Header Image: Rawpixel.com / stocksnap.io