Talking to Strangers

Roma, Italia
7th August 2018

They were quite chaotic days, it was time to wrap up some work and then leave for the next trip. My mind was everywhere and nowhere and even the smallest things kept on getting messy.

I left home in a rush to catch the train to the last work meeting in Rome and then I would have gone to Prague for a short winter break.

I closed the door behind me and started walking with a fast pace to the central station as I was running late, it was snowing and my brain was checking that I had everything: ‘I got my camera, I got the passport, I got the wallet..Lipstick..Did I bring that lipstick? Yes, it’s in the suitcase..the suitcase..’

A quick look at my hands.. why are my hands free? Where is the suitcase? Sh*t I left the suitcase home.

I run back home while my backpack opens up on the road and the camera falls.

Sometimes I think that some trips start with a curse, they just keep getting more and more chaotic. Not that this trip was one of them, but that was the feeling.

Finally just ten minutes in advance, I arrive at the station and catch my train that was actually running late.

The working meeting in Rome was somehow even more chaotic. I didn’t know the people I was meeting, but I knew we were all young people. I’m a great observer, especially when I’m traveling alone, and I saw a girl getting on the train in Florence and I was sure she might have been someone who was going to participate to my same meeting. But I mean, how many chances there were on catching a train in Bologna to participate to a meeting in Rome and sitting right next to a girl who catches my same train in Florence and find out we were going to the same place? Few, enough to make that actually happen though.

I get to the meeting place in Rome, I look around as I greet everyone, and of course I find the girl from Florence, we look at each other in disbelief of that coincidence.

After a full day of working and meeting new people my focus and my social skills were gone. I was tired, so so tired. But the night wasn’t over and all my colleagues were going out to party and I felt I couldn’t miss that.

So add to that tiredness a full night out of karaoke and pubs in the capital. Sure, that night gifted me some precious views of Rome framed by the light of a romantic full moon but I was completely drained too.

The morning after I had to catch my flight to Prague, but in Milan. I packed my bag, this time I tried my best to remember it. I said goodbye to everyone and rushed once again to the station only to find out that that rush wasn’t actually needed (once again) because I miscalculated the time of depart and I had to wait another full hour.

As my social persona was totally over conversations I sat at the station and started scrolling my social medias. I really don’t like to be THAT kind of person but I was done with talks for a while now. I keep scrolling probably looking like the most anti social person on earth, but apparently I don't because a girl approaches me. I eye her upside down, was she going to ask me for money? Was she asking me for directions? She looked younger than me but not a kid. What did she want from me? ...Turns out she wanted to.. ‘talk’.

She goes off with ‘Hey I’m waiting for a train and I saw you’re waiting too. Do you wanna chat while we wait? My name’s Sarah’

Is this real? Sarah? I was caught on the break.

I feel like in that moment I just nodded my head as she proceeded to tell me that she was in high school and for the first time she was ditching school without telling anyone to go visit Milan because ‘she always wanted too’ and she was so surprised that she could actually do that. You could tell she was shocked to find out that if you want to do something badly you can actually get yourself to the station and leave.

In that moment I was just really confused as to why this girl was telling me all this stuff and why she thought it was completely normal to go up to a stranger and ask her to.. ‘talk’.

Her naivety and authenticity left me without many words. In that moment I was just SO tired and confused and skeptical that I didn’t even know how to act.

Imagine you could just make new friends going up to strangers and asking them to talk, imagine how many stories you would know and you could tell.

Looking back, I just wish there were more people like Sarah in this world.

Silvia Race
Hello, my name is Silvia and I'm a travel enthusiast! I love organizing trips and I'll share all my tips and knowledge because we all deserve to experience the best of the best while traveling!
  Italy
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