If joining a trip where everyone is a stranger feels uncomfortable to you, we simplify the rules of the game and assure you that once you get out of the comfort zone you will return with new friends and experiences.
In the words of Jan Myrdal, “There is a third dimension to traveling, the longing for what is beyond.” There are times when you don’t want to travel alone and your friends have some or the other plan in place. Does that make you stuck? No, just head out and gang up with a bunch of people who you may not know… be it by joining a travel group, or connecting with people via social media – the crux is the art of turning a few simple ingredients into a feast, a few gathered people into a festival.
All Photographs: Ayandrali Dutta
Smile your way
There is always an itch of uncertainty in the unknown. The lingering thought of how well you will get along with the “Unfamiliar Strangers”. Will it be smooth or will it leave you at the mercy of your books and earphones? Unknown territories and unknown faces make the perfect plot as you kick-start a whole new journey. It is also an exercise in self-discovery.
Here are few pointers from someone who has opted to travel with strangers many times. The journey will see inhibitions being shed, new layers being revealed and sometimes, laying the foundation for lifelong bonding.
- Initiate a conversation Rather than waiting for someone to come forward and say a “Hello” begin with exchanging pleasantries, take the lead and initiate a round of introduction. Don’t go with any preconceived notion. Leave the pages blank and let everyone fill them up for you.
- Be flexible Listen, and be patient. You may not like everything that’s happening around you but be receptive and be flexible. Walk towards the unknown even if it’s a bit scary. Share your uncertainties too.
- Be away from the constant complainer- Connect with all individuals, but be aware, you will come across some who are the constant complainer. Keep a safe distance from them, they might just spoil the whole charm of the trip. The constant complainer always finds fault and are the toughest to please.
- No obligation When you are traveling with strangers there are actually no obligations. You have the space and freedom to be yourself and also appreciate the individuality of those around you. No one’s is judging you or has any expectations from you. A bunch of people with different viewpoints and diverse personalities you walk together and you see the world.
- Exchange stories that will help you bond The group dynamics will always vary, so it’s always good to share stories and break the ice. This also helps you know each other better and at times develop bond of lifetime. The fun lies in exploring the unknown with the unknown.
- Carry your SMILE – Your smile is your strength. It helps to dissolve many boundaries and make your travels much smoother.
When you travel with a bunch of strangers you meet people you’ve never met before. There is a sense of belonging because everyone is travelling alone, too. And going together someplace which is totally unknown. This proposition offers a strange adventure which can be exciting if you are looking to break the routine.