The people you meet abroad

Jan, our Airbnb host/chef from Copenhagen, who cooked us ramen for dinner our first night.

There’s something really special about the people you meet abroad.

For me, it wasn’t necessarily the romanticized stranger that “changed my life” with one conversation. Rather, it was my Airbnb host in Copenhagen who was a chef that cooked dinner for us the first night. It was our other 22 year old Airbnb host who took us out clubbing in Berlin. It was the friend of a friend who willingly took time out to hang out with another Californian. It was the Denise Chan from London who I blindly contacted and randomly met up with. It was seeing friends from home in a new, foreign place and being able to explore together.

Sweet Berit from Berlin ❤

Those moments are humbling because I don’t know anything about what’s around me. In a foreign place, I’m not the expert. I have to rely on the word of others and my own interpretations of people’s actions to figure out what is happening. In the most basic terms, I had to talk less and watch/listen more.

And yet, how refreshing to be in a position of curiosity where I don’t assert some sort of assumed knowledge. I’m not jaded by what I think I know because I don’t really know that much.

In return, people gave me a slice of their worldview.

As I’m back home in New York picking up my life again, it’s easy to fall back into the cycle of doing what I know to be true. But here’s a friendly reminder to be less of a know it all because sometimes it can be delightful to allow others to show me how they see and experience some of the same everyday things.

Denise Chan from US and Denise Chan from London