6 Reasons You Should Talk to Strangers When Travelling

by Kara Byrne

We know this goes against everything you were told as a child, but we’ve got 6 reasons you should always talk to strangers when travelling. 

We make our way through public places all the time; busy shopping malls, doctors’ clinics, university campuses and office buildings. We wait next to each other at traffic lights, stand silently together in elevators, and sit awkwardly side by side on public transit. We frequent washrooms with only a half-wall between us or the “no peeking” Urinal Code of Conduct separating us, but God forbid we say hello, or smile. This, ‘never talk to strangers’ mentality begins as a childhood rule and somewhere along the way, it transforms into a life motto.

Next thing you know you’re going about your day, narrowly escaping the dreaded small talk that almost happens at the bus stop when it starts to snow and you can just see the woman next to you itching to discuss this year’s ever so uncharacteristic weather. You begin to sweat as you barely get your headphones out in time to silence her nearly formed first word… In fact, you start to bob your head to a song that isn’t even playing yet to make sure she gets the hint. You know you’ve done it.

But here’s a thought, and try to entertain it for just a moment: We are not just a bunch of purposeless bodies roaming the earth. We are souls passing each other and hearts beating next to each other and hopes and dreams travelling together. We might think we do things ‘alone’ or we go places ‘by ourselves,’ but when was the last time you sat in an empty movie theater, cut your own hair, or consulted the chair in front of you about your travel plans? We aren’t alone. We never really are.

We’re stories in motion, all of us. And when you’re travelling, someone will come along who is going to talk to you. That moment may be decided by fate or chance or whatever you want to call it, but you’ll open yourself up to these 6 things when you throw caution to the wind, and listen.

1. Compassion

Our hearts were made for more than just survival. How else do you explain the way they swell at the sight of a child’s first step or literally ache with empathy for our fellow human beings? The more we listen to each other, the more we understand each other and that is what breeds compassion.

2. Fun!


One of the biggest reasons we travel. We’re stimulated by new scenery and language and food, and happiness is a natural result of that. When you find yourself in a land where everything feels foreign, you’ll make familiar faces out of ‘strange’ ones and nothing will create that bond like sharing a good laugh.

3. Perspective

girl looking out at mountain


Beauty will redefine itself each time you pass through a new culture, and the value you place on possessions will lessen with each kilometer gained.  It is the experience of life that will begin to matter.

4. Wisdom


How quickly you’ll discover that to be wise, you must first be exposed to the wisdom of others.

5. Opportunity


You never know who you’re talking to. A person’s outlook, profession, or story could be the thing that changes your life. Kind of a silly thing to pass up, don’t you think?

6. Connection


Love is a constant across all cultures, and the more you embrace new people, the sooner you’ll learn an old secret: All that you do in this life won’t mean anything unless you have others to share it with, so be generous with your experiences. At the end of the day, connection is what makes us humble, hopeful and human.

Engage with the world around you with our incredible worldwide airfares. Price and book your adventure by connecting with us online, by phone at 1877 967 5302 or by visiting your nearest Flight Centre store

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