When I arrived to my hostel in Quito everyone sitting in the common area was from different countries. Green to the lifestyle, I was so excited to learn everyone’s plans. Where are you going? How long are you gone? The shortest journey was 8 months, the longest a year, the most common was an undecided return.
Then they told me about “The Conversation.” The one thing every traveler has in common and the only thing she talks about: her plans. Apparently it’s desirable if you DON’T start with “The Conversation.” And if you carry on a discussion without even going there, then you’re set to be friends for life.
We started devising canned questions that could replace “The Conversation” starters. Our top was “If you could open a bar/cafe anywhere in the world, where would it be and what food would you serve?” Everyone from England chose places nearby to his/her hometown. Everyone else chose locations in S. America or S.E. Asia.
I’m sure I’ll get sick of it (“The Conversation”), but I was very glad to meet a sola traveler who had recently crossed the Peruvian-Ecuadorian border. She said it was a piece of cake. She has been traveling the continent for 8 months and she goes home on Wednesday. Sad to be leaving, maybe she can pass her good luck and good spirits onto a sola traveler like me.