From my very first European vacation, I have enjoyed traveling alone. The freedom to change your itinerary on the spot (mid-museum even!), do nothing or jam pack the day, and randomly decide to simply take in a film…. or a nap. When I am abroad, I prefer to stay in hostels. This way, I have built in conversation partners.
During my 10 day Scandinavian adventure right before returning home from England, I spent most of my days sightseeing and reading (Denmark will be the topic of a future post!) and saying maybe a handful of words. I was starved for conversation when I got back to the hostel each night. I fondly remember my Stockholm room of six women. The woman on the bunk above me was a Canadian attorney who also happened to be travelling alone. We got to talking and had a rather lively discussion of comparative human resources law! As boring as that might sound to the rest of the world, we both thoroughly enjoyed it … and the company it provided.
When I went to Salt Lake City on my vacation, it would have been really nice to meet up with someone (a friend of a friend) and have a shared meal. Traveling alone means a lack of other-than-transactional interactions. Unfortunately, none of my friends had friends in that city.
Hmmmmm …… Maybe a new network building site could be arranged that would help people in their extended social circles. I’m not a programmer or anything, but I thought that might be something cool. Like Couchsurfing, only not with complete strangers which freaks me out.
Not everyone is so freaked out by that, though. Rebecca, my little sister, recently returned from a grand European adventure, during which she had wonderful experiences with couch surfing. I am envious both of the courage that takes and for the research grant that paid for the trip!!!!!
Now if there were a site that where I could meet people based on social circles (very LinkedIn-esque), I would love to host new people who happen to be visiting in my fair city or to take advantage of such opportunities when I’m traveling. Being able to exchange stories of how we know our mutual acquaintance, or piecing together our own 6 degrees puzzle to see whom else we might know sounds like a very entertaining evening.
Would you be willing to go out to dinner with a friend of a friend who is a stranger to you? or How weird is it that one of my favorite memories in what I consider to be the most beautiful city in the world was a conversation about HR law?