How trusting should you be with new people you meet? Would you leave your drink with your new hostel acquaintance you made 2 hours ago? Do you leave your phone charging in your shared dorm room?
You’re constantly making some sort of assessment of all the people you meet, but there’s something comforting when you meet familiar face in a foreign town. Suddenly you can let your guard down.
Instead of asking “where are you from” and “how long have you been here” to see whether the person is friendly, there’s already an existing relationship to fall back on. Instead of inviting your new acquaintance to wander to the pier with you not knowing whether they’re keen or even free, you know your mate is happy to see you and show you around. And instead of trying to find a polite way to say you don’t trust them with your drink since you’ve only known them for 10 minutes, you gladly hold your mate’s bag as they head to the bathroom.
And because your guard is already lowered, you open up a lot more. Beyond the “what do you do back home?”, I’m now talking about how you want to raise your future kids, and what it was like growing up Asian in our respective countries.
This is so refreshing. To have curious conversations is not always an easy task, but it’s made that much easier when there’s already an established level of trust.
So if your friend is travelling, introduce them to your international friends. It makes a world of a difference.
Thanks to Shen and Jeremy for your introductions