I love to travel, not for the destination but for the actual journey. I have taken the train across the country several times. The train is an interesting place to meet people from all different walks of life. You get to listen to their stories and really get to know them.
When you are on the train you are almost forced to meet new people, unless you simply choose to stay in your seat. You sit with strangers in the dining car, in the lounge and the attendants are usually quite friendly, unless your train has been delayed 6 hours and you’re on your last leg of the trip to Boston and there have been nothing but issues. This is when you have to cut them some slack, they’ve all had a rough day too!
I rarely talk about myself when I meet strangers. I’ll mention little things if they ask, but for the most part I really enjoy listening to their stories. This is how I met a woman who had a similar childhood to my father growing up in Europe during World War II. She too was bounced from camp to camp while she and her family were never sure if they would make it out alive. I also met an iron sculptor from the mid-west. He finds scrap iron on his property and turns them into dinosaurs!
When you take the time to listen to others their stories become your stories as well. I am always more than happy to share one of my stories, because sharing stories is sharing memories and it is a way we can connect with others. But I also like creating new stories, which is why I travel. I seek out new experiences and wish to learn new things. This is why I love to listen, it feeds my curiosity to learn.
I remember walking the streets of New York City alone all day. I was an observer in a city of millions of people. I found quite spots to sit alone, I watched the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center and found this bustling metropolis a very calming place to be. It is moments like these where I fully understand the love New Yorker’s have for their city.