One of our favourite aspects about travel is the people that we meet, be it a local or fellow tourists like us. And sometimes friendships can be formed quite quickly and intensely. We’ve met many people who we are lucky to call friends from previous travels, with these friendships surviving distance and in most cases language barriers too. And now with email, Skype, Facebook and Twitter, it’s easier to keep in touch.
Yet as the XIV Dalai Lama put it, “We have been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.”
But something strange happened recently. At a parent’s event at our pre-school, I struck up a conversation with a fellow parent. We were both there alone and it turned out that we had a lot in common—a six-degree of separation sort of thing actually. Surprisingly a few weeks later, he invited us over to his house for dinner with his family.
This invitation was a first for us at home and as the date got closer, we started to feel a bit of apprehension. People just don’t seem to do this sort of thing, especially after only a single meeting. It’s somehow just too risky and awkward.
But we love meeting new people and if we were traveling, we wouldn’t think twice about such an occasion. In fact, it turned out to be a nice way to spend an evening with the adults and kids all getting along.
This evening has inspired me to take more chances with making new friends. Maybe we might seem weird, but then again, maybe we’ll inspire others to do the same.
After all, we could all do with more friends, can’t we?