“Sometimes the greatest adventure is simply a conversation” – Amadeus Wolfe
One of my favourite things about travelling is meeting new people.
Part of my Japan trip was spent with a G Adventures tour group. On the first night I curiously waited to meet my roommate (check out Cameratic!). I’ll never forget the night we met. She knocked, I opened the door, and a perfectly synced “haaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” came out of our mouths. I knew at that moment we’d get along. We instantly clicked and still keep in touch.
I’ve been very lucky to have had awesome roommates when I travel in groups. I’ve met so many amazing people from different parts of the world. There have been some hilarious nights, absolute mayhem when getting ready and sharing one bathroom, plenty of gossip sessions and even some deep and meaningful talks. All the girls that I travelled with in Spain and Portugal (with G Adv again) were fabulous, as well as a group of other girls I hiked with at Lake Bled, Slovenia. I recall jumping on a bus in Lisbon with a guy from a tour group. We sat at the front of the bus, watching the city whiz by through the windscreen, in random conversation for hours. And it was fun! There was also the time I spent my last night in Madrid with a small group, sharing stories of our lives, and our travel bucket lists. It’s such a unique and brief moment in our lives when we cross paths. Even though I don’t speak to them every day, I will always remember them.
Outside of tour groups, I’ve had some great company. When I was in London and stayed in a hostel, all the girls in my dorm were lovely and I was intrigued by their stories. I met an Argentinian woman exploring London for a month, a gorgeous Russian who was about to start university in Newcastle, a German who was in town for just 2 days to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, an American with Cambodian heritage who looked 20 years younger than what she actually was and still preferred to rough it out in hostels, and a Korean who spoke little English but still happily engaged in conversation. For most of our lives we are scattered across the globe. But for a short while, we connected in a humble London hostel before moving on.
Then there are the chance encounters, like…
- Meeting up and coming hip-hop artist HNTR JMZ on a Royal Caribbean Cruise (and a whole bunch of other cool cats).
- Sitting next to a South Carolinian at a FIFA World Cup match in Brazil who later showed me how to swing dance and joined me for ramen (there’s a Japanese community in Sao Paulo).
- Helping out a fellow Aussie at Santiago airport in Chile who happened to live roughly 20mins away from me.
- Making friends with a fun group of people on a day trip at Plitvice Lakes and randomly bumping into them the next day in Split, where we drank booze on a bench.
- Joining a pub crawl in Copenhagen on Halloween and meeting a European couple who are obsessed with Australian MasterChef (the TV series).
- Michael the Irishman who never left his farm for 60 years then decided to take a leap of faith and travel the world. I met him in Vietnam.
Meeting new people can be so special. It’s hard to do if you’re comfortable (or stuck) with routine. I think it’s a brave and wonderful thing to put yourself out there, allow people into your world, and graciously make yourself part of their memories.