Mom Wasn’t Always Right: Talk to Strangers

Summer is the best season to be in Milwaukee.

Boats glide along the river. Residents and tourists take in cultural festivals. Restaurants patrons linger on patios sipping beverages. Musicians play in picturesque parks.

My friend and I frequent visitors of Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery by the riverfront. Located in the heart of the city, it affords a fantastic view. The service remains consistently impeccable. The diverse crowd intrigues me. Many international and American tourists gather here.

Last week, we met a couple from Thailand, who came on a student exchange program. They shared interesting stories about travelling across the United States. We talked with a Minnesota woman who travelled alone on a business trip. Then, there was the married couple from Chicago who shared a meet-cute story.

Getting to know new people, especially veteran travelers, is fun. It’s a pleasure to learn about different cultures. It broadens my perceptions. During formal networking, people are careful to show only a polished veneer. I’ve noticed that typically when travelling, people, myself included, are more open. They share insightful stories. Sometimes they give you a better advice than even your friends and family. A fresh perspective from an outsider who is an expert on something is quite useful.

I believe in today’s rapidly changing world it’s so important to push the boundaries of conventional thinking. Technology certainly offers many opportunities to connect with people globally and learn different views. This is especially true if you are a writer. I’ve enjoyed learning from different bloggers— chefs passionate about cooking, wine connoisseurs,  feminists inspiring women to change the world, mothers sharing secrets of balancing family and work. There are always new and interesting ideas out there. Nevertheless, I think the virtual world will never replace the experience of tête-à-tête interaction with a new person, sometimes a complete stranger. Do you push the boundaries in real life to find inspiration for your blogging and writing?

Do you enjoy talking to strangers?

Rock Bottom Milwaukee

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