Wide Awake in a New City
It’s 11:30pm in Antigua, Guatemala and there is definitely a party going on at a local club because I can hear the music through my AirBnB windows. There is an occasional car or motor bike rumbling down the street every five minutes or so and a gecko who sounds like he is right outside my window. Beyond the gecko and the cars the barking dogs lay the foundation for this strange musical background that is currently keeping me awake. Though my little room is quite warm, there is just enough fresh air blowing through the windows to keep me comfortable. I just finished a lovely yet overwhelming day of apartment hunting with new friends I’ve made. The day ended with a nice walk around the city in the company of a wonderful girl I met here at the AirBnB.
Meeting Other Female Travelers
The conversations I had with different travelers I met today got me thinking about how meeting people while traveling leads to knowing others and yourself in a more intimate way. What is it about the connection that travelers have with each other that opens them up to sharing intimate details about their life? Or is it just my own experiences that lead me to believe that travelers have a unique ability to be vulnerable with other travelers?
Or is this just exclusive to female travelers? I have met quite a few female travelers who have fascinating life stories. I feel like in some ways when I hear their stories, their background, and their beliefs, I become even more sensitive to my own story. In general I feel more connected, more open with strangers, and more vulnerable.
I also am not sure what it is about this particular trip that has made me feel vulnerable. Traveling has always been easy for me. This trip feels different because I’ve decided to stay in Guatemala for awhile, instead of hopping from place to place. I feel like I am pushing myself to be more open and invested in people. What scares me the most is how I am perceived, and for crying out loud I thought my insecurities didn’t run so deep. I thought I had gotten over much of my awkward and shy stage, and yet it sneaks up on me every once and awhile.
I am reminded where my strength and security lies in, and it doesn’t lie in my ability to make friends, or my personality, or my travel skills, it lies in the One who created me, the One who fashioned me. This Wonder who holds the world and the key to my heart. He isn’t a religion. He isn’t a fantasy. The reason I mention God in an article about Travel is because the more vulnerable I allow myself to be with people around me, the more I am reminded of His presence, and how real He is.
Connecting with Travelers
The truth is that many travelers have their reasons for traveling, maybe it’s the need for adventure or a holiday. But I think a huge part of travel is the desire to find yourself, or if not to find yourself to learn more about yourself. When you travel you learn more about the world, but somehow this new knowledge and experience of the world directly affects how you view yourself. It’s almost impossible to remain the same person after you’ve made a trip to another part of the world.
Tips on Connecting with Other Travelers
- Be willing to share something unique about yourself and why you travel. Other travelers appreciate honest sharing, we love to learn from each other.
- Listen, really listen. Travelers are vulnerable whether or not they want to admit it, they are away from home and possibly their friends and family. They probably have some amazing life stories to share. They want to connect just as much as you do.
- Don’t judge. You meet so many different kinds of people who are traveling, be respectful of who they are. If you don’t know their story, then you may not understand them completely. It’s ok not to understand them, but it isn’t ok to judge them.
Traveling Leads to Knowing Yourself and Others Better
It’s pretty obvious that traveling leads to knowing yourself. What’s interesting is when you meet other travelers there is an excitement and almost a “knowing” in their eyes of what you are going through. We all go through journeys in life, whether traveling or not. But traveling opens your eyes to many things you didn’t know or realize, and it makes you think and it helps you dream. It’s almost guaranteed you will meet someone who is wants to share what they’ve been through, or why they are traveling, or what they’ve learned through traveling.
How to Be More Open to Meeting People While Traveling
There is a chance that some people don’t feel the same way I do about traveling. Traveling is not just about site seeing, it is about connecting with yourself and others. In our world of technology, it’s easy to disconnect with those around us. Remember when you are traveling others aren’t judging you, and if they are who cares? Your story, what makes you unique, is what other people need to hear.
You have something to offer those you meet. You never know what part of your life will help someone else. I am thinking about many of the women I’ve met through travel who have been sweet enough to share their stories with me. I learn so much through these conversations and honest sharing. I am grateful for those who have opened up to me about their life. I feel more open in my own life because of them. Here’s to becoming a better person and a more connected person because of traveling!
Talk to you soon,