This quote couldn’t be truer, in my opinion. As much as I love to talk and talk and talk and talk (and talk some more) I absolutely adore really getting to know someone. I’m not talking about knowing when their birthday is or how many brothers and sisters they have, I’m talking about the real things, the quirky traits, the philosophical debates and the nitty gritty details. This post is filled with airy-fairy-spiritual-meaningfulness… so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Today none of the buses were running after work due to the festival and I ended up walking home with a peruvian woman… whilst discussing religion and the bible, of course. I’ve been doubting my spanish recently, but it was so nice to prove to myself that I CAN communicate effectively about things that I’m genuinely interested in. I’ve always had a ridiculous amount of interest in religion and philosophy, especially seeing as I’m agnostic myself, so it’s nice to hear other people’s opinions about what else might be out there (but the fact that it was in a foreign language was a total bonus).
I’ve also had some of the most thoughtful and eye-opening conversations with other volunteers here, adressing topics such as feminism, soulmates, Vladimir Putin, gun laws and how to really find true happiness. I always think that everyone who you meet in life knows something that you don’t, and unless you speak to them you’re never gonna be able to appreciate what they have to offer.
You don’t have to travel to do any of this though, that’s for sure. You could speak to a shopkeeper or a neighbour or just someone sitting next to you on the bus. I remember a few months ago I caught the train home from Bath and I asked the crying woman next to me if she was okay. Turns out she was about to meet her birth mother for the first time and had come all the way from New Zealand after finding her online. I didn’t HAVE to start a conversation but at the end of the 2 hour journey I was glad that I did.
Even some of my best friends from home tell me some of the funniest stories and ask thought-provoking questions that lead to hours of discussion and then hours of laughter and fun. You don’t have to have the same opinion to have a worthwhile conversation, in fact I love listening to counter arguments because sometimes it opens your eyes to a new way of seeing things and keeps your ego in check after realising that your beliefs aren’t fact after all.
All in all, travelling for me isn’t just about sightseeing, eating or volunteering it’s about meeting people who impact your life both positively (and negatively) and then choosing how to interpret what they teach you. You never know who you might meet so ask the right questions, share your own answers and you’ll get some things that money can’t buy: friendship, knowledge and maybe even find that new doors start to open for you. So go on, get chatting once in a while!
‘Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people’ – Eleanor Roosevelt