When I travel I often have somewhere to stay with people I know. I spend many hours at airports, on planes, trains, buses and on foot. I also stay in B&B's and hotels on my own as I travel through from place to place.
There are plenty of people who like to while (or wile) away the hours with a chat, but how do you know they want to talk?
It may sound relatively simple to start a conversation with someone, a stranger, but it can also be hard work, they may want to sleep, they may not be a sociable person themselves, they may not even speak the same language, but I've whiled away many an hour, in transit, chatting to people I'll never see again and for me it does make a journey a lot more pleasurable and time passes quicker.
People can be suspicious of strangers talking to them, so if you don't succeed the first time, keep trying or you'll end up sitting in silence watching back to back movies or completing puzzles. You'll get a good feeling if someone is interested in chatting or whether they just want to sit/sleep in silence by:
- Making eye contact and smiling, it lets people know you are friendly and approachable.
- Offering to help someone who are struggling with a bag, bay, small child, TV screen on the plane.
- Commenting on something you have in common, such as the waiting, destination, where you're from.
- Commenting on a general topic of current interest, either in the country your flying from or to.
- Asking open questions.
- Responding to what the person says.
Do you have have any other tips on starting a conversation or are one of those people that prefers to sit in silence?
How else do you pass the time on long journeys?