The smartphone has become our inseparable companian, accompanying us every minute of the day, no matter where we go. This is especially noticeable when we arrive to a place were we don’t know anyone and, instead of socialising and making new acquaintances, we take out our phone instead. And this doesn’t only happen when we’re visiting another country, but also when we’re on a trip to another town or city, or even when we’re on a train. It’s especially important to start conversations with strangers during a stay at a hostel. We let so many wonderful people pass us by without ever exchanging a word with them. It’s interesting that people believe they’ll be happier and less lonely if they talk more with strangers. But, in order to do that, they usually need to first break the ice and overcome their fears. Are you interested in finding out how you can do that?
Stayokay is part of HI network that lanched that #talktostrangers project with the goal to encourage the Dutch people to talk to strangers. They interviewed people on the street about their experience with talking to strangers and were bombarded with numerous positive stories about making new friends after starting a conversation on a plane or a train. And people are still sharing their experiences. Look up #talktostrangers on social networks and you can see for yourself. They say a warm smile and a friendly glance can go a long way when it comes to breaking the ice. Just go with the flow and don’t think about rejection. Simply start a conversation with your fellow passenger sitting at the same table at breakfast. You’ll be pleased to find out how much information you can exchange about your home countries and your cultures. And you can even gain a fellow companion who can accompany you through the rest of your trip. You can even strike up a conversation with the waiters working at a bar and then being others into the conversations as well. Soon enough, you’ll get to know all the guests. Breaking the ice is the hardest part, but all the inhibitions about talking to strangers magically just start melting away. It’s important that you follow your curiosity and aren’t reluctant to ask about cultural and natural landmarks as well as more personal matters. You’ll be thrilled when you find out all you can learn from people. So, the next time you’re using public transport or fly with a plane, put away your phone and give your fellow passenger a chance to strike up a conversation.
Now that we’ve instilled some courage in you and gave you a few tips, go out and talk to strangers you meet on the street. Or, you can put our tips to the test elsewhere. But don’t forget that small acts of confidence can help you make a lot of new fellow travellers and friends for life. You can also learn many interesting things about travels and adventures that will make your day better. And don’t forget to post any special thing that happens to you while talking to strangers on a social network using #talktostrangers.