During a very long time of my life, I didn’t think about the fact that even while moving from one point to another, you are still living.
Whenever you are in a bus or plane or train - life is still ticking. Don’t waste it by putting your earphones in your ears and watching three movies in a row.
Traveling on a vehicle is kinda like waiting while moving forward, get it? Anyone waiting there with you would love to have something to pass time with. What could possibly be better than another person and a good conversation - one of our primary needs as humans? And there’s no stress what so ever in taking up the other persons time, because neither of you are going anywhere, right?
I have met some of the most interesting people in my life on trains, buses and airplanes.
I met David on a bus from Dharmsala and he claimed to have started the entire Chai-tea boom in the US. I haven’t found any proofs that state the opposite. We spoke about hallucinogens and the concept of Saturn Return (it takes 28 years for Saturn to do one lap and be in the exact same position as when you were born. And every 28 years you are supposed to have a smaller or bigger life crisis. It has been the fact with almost everyone I asked since)
I met Christopher and Bahaman on another train over the river Kwai. It was the loudest train ride in my life but they told me about this super-cool bicycle your around Bangkok and I booked it the same night.
For me as a travelling writer and photographer, those meetings are priceless. I always try to find adventures that not too many people know about, because that is the kind of stories I can sell to travel magazines and newspapers. I write down every tip I get in my notebook.
The moment you stick those earplugs in your ears you will kill any chances of good conversation. You won’t learn about things you didn’t know existed in the world. You will never hear about the next big adventure you could’ve done. You might not get the guidelines on how to solve a problem you’ve so desperately tried to find.
Here’s a suggestion. Next time when travelling; find one person and say one sentence to him or her. Just one sentence. If you can’t come up with something better use anything from “Do you know what time it is?” to “Can I sit down?”.
You’ll never know what will happen from then until you arrive at your destination.
If you enjoyed this post, why not e-mail it to a friend? Thank you! :) /Jens