The thing about traveling is that you have to make peace with the fact that you are a stranger in a new environment. You also have to overcome your fear of stranger danger. For a New Yorker this is hard. We are taught from the age of one that strangers are bad and we should tread lightly around them. Well today this has completely changed…
While waiting for my art teacher I met a wonderful stranger that reminded me of what it meant to live. As I was sitting in a small cafe I took and chance and asked a stranger if he was American. Turns out he was.. His name was Ryan. He was California and he had been traveling all around Europe after a working with sharks in Africa.
Basically, I spent the whole day running around the Vatican and geeking out. After that we shared a wonderful dinner and some gelato afterwards. It was honestly one of the best days. What he taught me was invaluable. He reminded me that life is short and the time I have in Rome is short. Yes, I am a stranger but that is lovely part of traveling. See when you travel you begin to shape your own world. You begin to realize the perfections and imperfections that make you, you. Also, you begin to love those imperfections. You begin to realize that those flaws that you try and hide from the world, are what makes you, you. Finally, when you travel you are boiled down to your most fundamental self. In a foreign place the only person you can be is yourself. Anything else and you will have a terrible time.
So if you are ever abroad please take the time to talk to a stranger. Please take the chance on a person unknown. Cause really when you think about it, a stranger is just another potential friend.