Okay, so picture the scene: you’re sat on a packed bus or train, heading off to your next destination; you’re tired, you can’t wait to get to where you’re headed, but you’re also bored, and that person sat next to you seems to want to talk. So, what do you talk about?
All too often we head to the same topics when meeting likeminded travellers, namely where are you from, what do you do, and how long are you travelling for?
After about five minutes the conversation dries up and you head into awkward territory. With that in mind, here are ten conversation topics you can use the next time you’re sat next to a potential chat buddy.
1) The weather.
Yes, we all do it at some point, it’s the conversation starter of years gone by, but it works! Breaking the ice by talking about how stinking hot it is, how freezing cold it is, or simply how weird the rain was last night, is the perfect in-road into a free-flowing conversation.
2) Where your travels will take you.
It’s easy to ask how long someone has been travelling for, or where they’ve been, but asking where they are likely to be heading to may find you a travel buddy, or at least fill an awkward silence.
3) Have you met any interesting people on the road?
Everyone has a story to tell about the strange person they met on a train to such and such a place, and it’s usually quite an amusing one to share.
4) Do you have any ideas on where I could head to next?
Similar to the question about where their travel is going to go to, asking someone if they have any ideas on places you could see and experience in the future may throw up a few places you never thought of.
5) How do you plan your travels?
Picking the brain of someone in the same sort of situation as you could yield a few ideas you never thought of on how to get about, how to plan it all, where to buy cheap tickets from etc.
6) How your family and friends feel about your travels.
I find this a useful one, because it’s always interesting to get a perspective on how other people’s nearest and dearest view their travels and adventures. Not everyone reacts the same way, so it could be an interesting topic to discuss.
7) Tips on how to store photographs/memories.
You don’t want to lose your precious travel snaps, and whilst you may be relying on one particular method, someone else may suggest something that will suit you better.
8) Where is your dream destination?
Everyone loves to talk about far off plans and possible exotic locations, so asking about that number one, dream destination is a topic nobody will turn down.
9) Food, glorious food!
Eating on the road is hard, so any tips of different meals and ways to eat healthily, or maybe even new cuisines to try, is very gratefully received!
10) What you miss about home?
Travel is all very well and good, but we all miss certain things about not being in our home sweet home. Discussing this topic with someone who may feel the same way about things is good therapy, if nothing else!
It’s important to at least chat a little to people you meet on the way, otherwise what is the point? You might not feel like it, and I’m not suggesting you pour out your life story, but a little company in what can be a lonely experience if you let it be, could be just the thing you need.