This is something that comes into conversations once and again when I´m traveling with random people or friends. My travel mates ask me why I strike up random conversations with random people in random moments. It obviously makes you look like a weird person. Everybody starts a converation a little bit restrained when a stranger starts speaking with you in the middle of the Central Plaza with all his friends giggling like teenagers behind him..
But its worth it. I am yet to meet a person who travels a lot and is not talkative or out going. And most of these are also risk takers! Many people who I look up to because they are great travelers are experts in asking a stranger for some basic information…and ending up with a party plan, lodging or a ride(the one with the car… pervs……well…ok sometimes even the other kind.)
And I think I have found the complicated and intricate philosophy or mind set which brings us to “risk” a bit of humilliation just to see what you can “take out” of a sudden random conversation, and it goes kind of like this:
“fuck it. I´m going to talk to those girls/boys/back-packers/orks/etc”
Quite simple. But it still takes
balls courage to go, introduce yourself and start up a conversation when you know the other girls are thinking “who the hell is this idiot” and the guys are probably thinking “this fucker is here for our girls”. Both groups will “kind of” be right…
It is always easier to do this with travelers. When you see people with big back-packs..quite sure you will find party mates, good info, and friendly people…because they have the same mind set as you. If you don´t believe me…go to a hostel somewhere far and try to talk to some back packers…you will be in for a night of party and sad goodbyes with vague promises of future meetings..!
You might think I´m exagerating something easy. “Rafa, it´s just going and talking with somebody, there is no complicated science here”. Well yeah…but what can you get out of a random weird struck up conversation. Well, for me, lodging, party plans, free alcohol, a couple of beds to sleep, transport, food, getting invited to Woodstock to a barbecue, tour guides, travel companions, free beeeer, extra unexpected visits, some..”late-night-fun” in a car outside of a crowded Disco, and many MANY more…! Oh yeah…and information 😛
And I´m not even the biggest conversation-striker!!! I have friends, like Martijn var der Veldt who can arrange a week long party tour by just speaking with random girls while walking to a Disco. He doesn´t even need the beer/vodka combination in his blood which helps you find your
balls, I MEAN CORAGE, to do this.
I have read about long term travelers who started off(before becoming epic travelers) as very shy, quiet people. ALL OF THEM talk about the importance of risking a bit of humilliation striking up conversations with strangers in exchange of the possibility of getting something more out of it. Just be ready for anything. You might have to start conversations with 200 people but you will be surprised by what you might achieve!
Therefore, these long term travelers have really “trained” themselves in going to bars and talking to random people, or stoping someone on the streets, etc etc. Just for those who think “either you are born like that…or you are not”. Seems not to be true. You CAN train it. I do. More and more when I travel I take more little risks. Who cares?! They might laugh at you, just like many drivers when you are hitch hiking, but they wont remember after some hours…and probably…something will work out for you.
I do a really weird thing. When finally I find somebody who helps me out, brings me around, shows me around, gives me a place to sleep or gives me a ride…I think of all those people who didn´t…and who don´t live these kind of adventures and with a broad mental grin I think “rafa 1- random fuck face stranger/s 0”.
Just check out the people who are very out-going and risk a weird conversation with strangers. They normally are the most adventurous, bigger party-people, have more to talk about, more experiences, …HAPPIER.
Do it. Risk it. YOLO or whatever….just think…what´s the worst that could happen?..and…what is the best..;)