I have to say, this was the highlight of the trip. The ease with which people strike up a conversation in these small towns struck a chord with me. I have this same natural inclination – one has to after years of watching her folks talk to just about anyone just about anywhere – but it’s definitely stifled in the city.
Moreover, I know many of those in my circle, even minus the country upbringing, feel stifled in this same way. We walk around with our heads down, avoid eye contact, always leave a space between ourselves and the other person at the bar. It’s amazing that, with a multitude of opportunities to enjoy other people, city dwellers end up feeling the most disconnected and alone. What’s up with that!?
I think what happens in this instance is that people lack a sense of belonging and ownership and the resulting ease and so become stifled and closed off, because they never go to the same place more than a few times. They have no “home base” so to speak.
Create a home base, take the risk and start a conversation, and smile at strangers.
Now, your home base doesn’t have to be a bar, but it should be a place you can easily get to and that’s small enough that some of the same people might show up over and over again.
If you could use some support in learning how to take healthy risks, please don't hesitate to connect with me.