I thought I would start this small series about the differences I find in myself when I travel. Maybe you have found differences in yourself when you travel also. Maybe it’s a bad thing, maybe it’s a good thing. I think for me, the majority of the time it is good.
Today I’m writing about how I’m different socially when I travel. Now for this to make sense you will need to know a bit of background on me. I was always a shy kid. You know the ones, avoiding people, hiding behind their mum’s legs when an adults tried talking to them, always looking at the ground. Yeah… I was one of those kids. Now I did get over my shyness a bit, and was always out at social events, but I wasn’t the type to initiate conversation, or be the guy to make new friends from outside my group. I wouldn’t even really talk to people that I didn’t know at parties.
Fast forward to September 2010, and I was off on my first big trip overseas, travelling solo around the world for 2 months. I didn’t mind going solo because I was reclusive, and didn’t mind not having anyone to talk to, or hang around with.
But by the second night alone in Japan I was already craving some socialness. I was sitting in the hostel bar, and started up a conversation with another solo traveller. I know… me… initiated a conversation. This was a big step for me, as some would know. We chatted for hours, about places we’d been, what we each did and how we got to Japan, where else we planned to go. Chatting with a random person for more than 5 minutes was not something I’d ever usually do, but this was different somehow. We even hung out over the next week, doing all the tourist things around Japan in different cities. I would have never of done anything like that back home.
But it wasn’t just Japan that this happened in – it was nearly every city I visited over the next 2 months. I made friends in them all, sharing stories and adventures.
“So what,” I hear you saying, “you aren’t shy anymore.” Well that is somewhat true, I’m definitely more outgoing now than what I was before my trip, but I’m still shy when I’m back at home in my own country, just ask my fiancé from when we first met.
I really don’t understand it, but I’m definitely more outgoing when I travel, and I’m always rewarded with great stories and new places to visit and good friends. I guess I’m just different when I travel.