I recently went on vacation in Arizona, during which I met a handful of people that I will probably never forget — in particular, a man who owned a kayak/SUP shop who raced sailboats and appeared to be living the dream. He was one of those people you meet and instantly want to know more about. One of those people who live and breathe their stories, who are instantaneously intriguing for no reason in particular. A flight home prevented the three of us from getting drinks that night, and I’ll always wonder what the rest of his story was.
You see, I like to have all of the pieces of the puzzle. I strive to understand people and learn what makes them tick. And it leaves my mind reeling for days when there are questions that remain unanswered, pieces that remain unfound.
It was then that it all dawned on me — my favorite part of traveling is really getting to know a stranger with the anticipation of never seeing them again.
It’s marvelous, really.
You should get to know someone just to know them. Get to know someone out of pure curiosity. Get to know someone to grow. To learn – about others, about the world, and about yourself.
You might never see them again. Who cares? Honestly, that’s kind of the fun in it. Find your common ground. Exchange stories. Gain insight into why people are the way they are and what makes them that way.
Strive to understand people. Because we’re by far the most complicated species that roams the earth, and I hear they say practice makes perfect.
One of the most beautiful gifts you can bestow upon a stranger is your story. What makes you tick. What makes you so vastly unique from the human sitting beside you. We all have stories. Why not share them?
We have voices. We have memories. Storytelling is a skill. An art. A gift. Share it. Master it. Practice it.
There’s a very small pool of people that I’ve so deeply resonated with that I’ve been able to open up and share my stories. Stories of heartbreak and low moments, stories of triumph and success. We find common ground in our struggles. Understanding in mutual emotions. It’s a beautiful exchange. A sealed promise. A release of necessary burden.
There’s a lot of open ears out there, eager to hear and eager to learn. There’s a lot of eager vocal cords out there, too, ready to talk, discuss, share, and laugh. Seek them in all that you do. Cherish them. Some of the greatest teachers we encounter in this world are our peers. We learn about them as we discover things about ourselves. A perfect pairing. A win-win.
What’s a stranger have to offer you? It might be worth exploring.