I am certainly no expert on travelling. Although I may like to think it, there is still a lot I need to learn. Like how to properly use a map, how to adapt to all different cultures and how to embrace all different foods. But having done the equivalent of two years abroad I do have one major piece of advice I would give to any traveller. Embrace everyone you meet. You have left your little bubble. The world were you are friends with certain people and these are the ones you hang out with all the time. This is the best thing! You can now meet people outside this square. People who don’t fit your social norm or maybe your friends norm. Someone you may never talk to at home. You are a traveller. That in itself gives you the right to make conversations with anyone. And it’s really easy. -How long are you travelling for? -Where have you been? -Where are you going? These three questions stem on to a million other questions which leads to many engaging conversations! I would know since it has happened to me many times. When I began my first trip abroad at twenty years old, to the USA for six months, I remember writing a letter to myself with the promise to embrace everyone that I met and not to judge. This was the best thing I ever did. In my six months abroad I pretty much met everyone on my exchange program and had a decent conversation with them. Some of these people I quickly became great friends with, which would not have happened if I did spark that initial conversation. While I became friends with these people within the first few weeks, other people mentioned at the end of the trip how much they regretted not getting to know everyone or that they wish they got to know someone sooner because of how well they got a long. The opportunity was there. I believe it was them not making the effort soon enough but merely staying in their comfort zone. Even backpacking. This is the perfect place to go up and talk to that crazy person with lots of tattoos, or long hippie hair or someone who just does not look like “your type of friend.” Go up to them and say hey. Take yourself out of your comfort zone because that one crazy person you may never have talked to back home may share the coolest story or enhance your trip like you could not imagine. I cannot stress this enough. If you let loose of all social norms, all judgemental thoughts, any ideas of it being awkward and just talk to someone it could honestly be the best decision you have made. I know this for sure. When you think back about an experience or place it is the people you met that you think about. You will meet people that you just can’t even imagine exist! Doing crazy things like biking all around Europe, have been travelling for five years or living off 20 euros a day. You will meet people who will tell you stories that stay with you for your entire trip and you will meet people you wish could become your best friend. This is honestly the best part of travelling. They will open your eyes to the world and make you want to travel more, so you can meet more of these kinds of people. Have you had this experience? What kind of people have you met while travelling? What is your biggest piece of travel advice?