On Conversation

I’m following both my mom and Theresa’s recommendations and am currently reading Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux. Its a great book, a relatively easy read filled with the adventure, difficulty, and aura of travel. What I keep getting from it though, is the myriad encounters he has with locals. How easily he meets people wherever he is, and manages over the course of a few drinks to pull out a captivating life story. He does this over and over. Now, naturally, a fair amount of this is because he is the storyteller and this is his narrative;  I’m sure there were many very boring stories and uninteresting people he has blessed us not to write about.

But when I think about how I want our trip to go, that is it—seemingly constantly falling into interesting scenarios, going out of our way to meet what turn out to be fascinating people, having a keen eye for who is trustworthy and worth our time. And while our one week in Egypt says all these things are bound to happen in spades, I can’t help but worry about it.

So let’s have a conversation about these conversations. Obviously the discussion depends drastically on who you are and where in the world you are, but tell us what you think. Do you find yourself easily talking to locals? Do they talk to you first/annoyingly barrage you? Where are the friendliest people? The coldest? Do you have to force yourself to make the effort to talk to new people? Are you as outgoing when you are already traveling with people you know? Is your personality different abroad versus at home? Share your thoughts.