Traveling is such a unique experience. You constantly throw yourself into situations that are new, unusual, and simply awe-inspiring. You get to taste weird foods, experience different cultures, and try new activities. But even better than all the wonderful things traveling offers up, are the people you meet when on the road. Whether it is another lone backpacker, a group traveling together, those on educational or work adventures, or the locals in the city or town you’re in, the people you meet while traveling are the best part of any adventure.
There is something about traveling that speeds up the steps to building a relationship with another person. Whether it’s the fact that you’re thrown together in situations that are often outside of your comfort zone or because you have similar interests, travel relationships can be intense but wonderful. And that’s the beautiful thing about relationships on the road: how swiftly they can be built. These bonds you can form with another person in a very short amount of time are powerful and humbling. Yesterday you were strangers from different countries or cultures, yet today you’ve shared very personal pieces of your lives with each other and it all started so simply with a quiet hello, a smile, an offered piece of advice, or an invitation.
To share an experience with another human in a different country is enriching and rewarding, as it is not always the things you see and do, but the people you see those things with that make an adventure as grand as it is. It’s always surprising the number of people in this world you can have a connection with, regardless of age, race, religion, culture, or class. Because none of that matters as people are the same anywhere you go, all searching for purpose, love, community, and meaning in life.
From sharing experiences with each other, to sharing stories of your lives, the pieces you give to others leave marks on everyone you come across, even if it’s just in the tiniest way. I have had conversations with people that have inspired me and motivated me to make decisions I was uncertain or afraid of, and explored new opportunities and attempted new experiences all because of a shared connection.
So although I love exploring and discovering new countries and cultures, I think my favorite part about traveling is meeting those amazing people who happen to be in the same place at the right time as me. Their stories are both fascinating and unique, and offer broader perspectives of what is really out there in the world. So go travel and explore, and while you do, make sure you meet as many people as you can. It will change you, every single time.