Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meeting New People - A Challenge to Myself

Yesterday I listening to CBC Radio and the whole topic was about how focused we all are as a society on ourselves and how we don't engage and meet as many strangers as we use to.  They were interviewing a guy who is blogging about his challenge to meet and chat with a new stranger every day. Here is his link:  The Stranger Project link.

Also I have some friends who I have sailed with independently who just happen to be on the same cruise right now. They were both posting to their Facebook page about their embarkation and I thought "hey here is a chance for them to meet". I sent out a group private message to the two couples and they arranged to meet on board and they even had dinner last night in the Crown Grill. I knew they would get along as they had similar values, and of course they did. Here is a picture Larry posted today of them.  

This got me thinking.

When we cruise we meet new people when we are forced to meet new people. Like when we choose to sit with others at breakfast. When we have to share a van on an excursion. But what about the other times?

How many times have I been at the railing looking out and someone is beside me, or I am sitting enjoying my coffee in the International Cafe. Or I am waiting in line for something. Sure sometimes conversations may start, but often I just try to keep to myself not wanting to bother anyone.

I am going to change this. The whole purpose of travelling is to get to experience new things, to learn from the places you are going. So many people have amazing stories and I bet I would learn a lot.

I remember on our last trip to South America I was sitting in the International Cafe one day when we were in port in San Martin, Peru by myself and a couple was sitting beside me. I had my head down focused on my Suduko but the man next to me wanted to talk. At first I was a little annoyed but i put down my puzzle and we struck up a conversation. I learned that they both were originally from Chile and that they had to flee Chile as he was an activist that fought for student's/women's/worker's rights many years ago for which the government at the time did not like. He came to Canada as a refugee and he has written a few books on the subject and he is now a professor at a university in Manitoba.  

We chatted for at least an hour and I learned so much.

I have had many experiences since starting this blog and my facebook fan page, of passengers coming up to me on a ship and introducing themselves to me. I have loved this experience and it has stemmed many new friendships or at minimum the chance to meet someone new. 

So for my next trip I will challenge myself and I will try and include these new encounters in my daily blog. I am sure there will be some people who just want to be left alone, heck even I sometimes just don't want to be bothered but I will not take it personally.  

So here is to learning not only about where you travel to but to learning about the people you are travelling with.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! As a teacher librarian, blogger, international speaker, Tweeter, & extroverted introvert I meet new people all the time & it's great -but often just surface. But what I've really tried lately to do lately is shut up & listen without thinking of what I'm going to say next.

    I'm going to try & be open to meeting new people on this cruise & dig a little deeper than "Did you just see that eagle?" and "Where are you from?"