My husband has taught me this same lesson, Aleesa Toman. He is a street walker. He loves to spend time walking the streets of our city and any other, with NYC being his favorite, and mine. He strikes up conversations with strangers, often making new friends in the process, usually inviting them to an asado (Argentine cookout) at our house. Once we had an asado with 20+ guests of whom four were a family from Puerto Rico visiting a relative who was a friend of ours. They didn’t want to come, thinking it was an intrusion to join our dinner party when they didn’t know us. Their relative insisted, assuring them that we wouldn’t mind and could accommodate 4 extra people. In spite of the assurances from her and us, they felt uncomfortable until they began meeting others at the party, most of whom we, or my husband on one of his walks, met randomly around town. Even their relative met us at a concert! We have met the nicest people by just asking a question, as you did, or making a casual comment.
Every city or town can be an adventure if you explore beyond the confines of a meeting or convention or seminar. Even if you are short on time, allow a mere 30 minutes to take a walk or have a cup of coffee at a local café. You never know what you will see or who you will meet!
I thoroughly enjoyed your piece, Alesha!