“Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.” – Paul Therox
Solo travel is growing more popular every year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to connect with other, like-minded people. There is so much to be learned by having a quick conversation with a reader on the bus, but for an even better experience, try having a late-night secret-sharing session with your new friend from the Himalayas. By traveling with strangers, you’ll make memories you can tell your grandkids and make friends they might even get to meet.
Still not buying it? Here’s why strangers can make your trip abroad so much better!
1. Combining your strengths
You’ll have a blast swapping travel tips, sharing staycation secrets, and taking photos of each other (for the Instagram feed, of course). And if, say, you’re in Gujarat and your new friends there really have to pee, you’ll finally be able to whip out your rusty high-school Gujarati and help them out.
2. Good company
When traveling with strangers, you’ll be able to decide if you want to be alone or if you want to socialize unlike traveling with family, who tend to smother you! You can hop on a stranger’s couch and start chatting with them about the awesome food you tried last week, or retreat to the quiet of your room when you’ve had enough. And if you simply love, love, love meeting new people and talking about life, you’ll never get bored.
3. Building your network
When traveling, you’re almost guaranteed to meet other open-minded, friendly, and adventurous people who will accept you for who you are. Who knows, maybe you can even invite them along on your next big adventure.
4. Establishing flexibility
When you’re sharing a tiny hostel room with five people with whom you’ve never slept before, you’re bound to deal with some pretty weird people. By learning to accommodate other peoples’ differences, you’ll open your eyes to the fact that differences aren’t necessarily bad. Other people have different ways of doing things, but those ways are just as ours.
5. A very different encounter
A person raised by parents in a small Indian town will have a different understanding of the world compared to someone who lived all by themselves. The more you hear about other people and their life stories, the wider your scope will be. It helps develop understanding and compassion. Talking to someone older might help you understand your parents or family better, and talking to someone younger could lead to a perspective you never considered.
So there you have it, five good reasons why you should travel with complete strangers. But remember they are strangers, so you should still take a few simple precautions to enhance your safety. If you are going off the beaten track with strangers, let family know where you are going.
A Travel Psychologist comes in handy when trying to orient yourself in a new place, not to mention, to understand the people and certain cultural norms that they follow in order for you to establish rapport faster than ever!