Unless you’re a loner who hates people, chances are you enjoy socializing with others. It’s a pesky evolutionary trait we picked up somewhere along the way and unless you flout convention or are calling Darwin a liar (how dare you!), you probably have a few close friends. Heck, even if you claim to hate people, you likely still hang around them if for nothing else than to make yourself feel better or to talk about them once they are gone. Oh we’re a kind species, no doubt.
It’s no surprise then that once you’re out on the open road, you may find it desirable to associate with others, even for an afternoon. Whether it be a few words shared over a brew in the local pub by chance or if you find yourself hiking the same trail as someone else and a few comments turn into a raucous exchange. Who knows – you might even meet someone with ties to back home!
There are a lot of people who go travelling who just want to cut themselves off from the world, but, well, they should probably go to Mars or something because you couldn’t have picked a worse place than anywhere on Earth. It’s understandable that you want to break from your routine and just be by yourself, but when an opportunity to make an acquaintance stares you in the face, don’t avoid it – you can be alone whenever you choose but making a connection isn’t as easy.
In this day and age, keeping in contact with people has never been easier thanks to technology. You could make a friend backpacking through Taipei, fly home to Edinburgh the next day and maintain a friendship for the rest of your life, talking as regularly as you choose over a variety of mediums. Maybe you’ll meet back up in a few years in Christchurch or visit each other’s families once you get to that stage in your life. Who knows, maybe that person could be your family one day?
The simple truth is it’s great to get out there and connect with new people. When people from around the world get together and share ideas, barriers come down and problems get solved. A country once foreign to you doesn’t seem so alien because you know someone from there and it makes you feel good about that place – even if you’ve never been there. You start to realize that you may have your differences and your experiences may vary, but when it all comes down to it, you’re just people and you have the same hopes and dreams and fears as anyone else – and if not, well you just learned something different.
Never be afraid to make new friends when you travel – you would be amazed at how it can improve your life.