I must admit, it felt a bit strange. There I was, in my good old Frankfurt – right where I grew up, but this time, I was a traveler in my homeland.
Expatriate Matt went back home for two weeks this summer to celebrate my brother’s and my best friend’s weddings. The trip was everything you’d expect your best vacation to be:
Gorgeous unseen locations.
A whole new mindset.
Oh yes, you best believe that last one. You see, we went to a place far out in the countryside – a small village amid nature, by a big lake. And I found myself thrown into a crowd with more than 100 strangers.
If you’ve ever taken a trip that was anything less than your token 100% pre-planned beach vacation, you’ll know that it can overthrow all the routine and structure you think you know. It’s a fresh, cool dive into untouched waters.
Are you using this to your advantage? Let’s look at ways you can spark love on your vacation.
Travelling: Your “Carte Blanche”?
But before we go ahead, I want us to get one thing clear. I’ve talked to guys who thought being on the road – footloose and fancy-free – was a “carte blanche” to finally behave like a complete, unrestrained dick.
Lie to women, aggressively hit on them, insult them when they reject you.
What happens on the road stays on the road, right? No consequences, right?
What’s not cool at home isn’t cool on the road either. You’re here to become a better person, so don’t even think of violating, mistreating, abusing others – no matter the situation.
Also: really, if you’re friendly at home just because you fear consequences, you should take a good hard look at your life. Something’s rotten and you need to fix it.
Your Spirit: Good Vibes to the World.
Travelling, instead, is your chance to spread your positive, engaging, shining spirit to the world. Test your wings!
You may be routinely confident, fun and happy in your everyday life, but how do you fare when you bring the same energy out into the great wide open?
You’ll find that the human spirit is universal: wherever you go, you’ll run into people worthy of your love and attention. They’ll appreciate you for brightening their days, making them feel awesome, important, unique. Don’t you want to be treated the same way? Then give what you want to receive.
What does this mean for your mindset?
This shouldn’t be news to you. If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll know we believe in giving to receive.
The Traveler’s Spirit: Daring and Fun.
She had clear blue eyes and a confident smile. “How’s it going?” I said happily as I shook her hand. And: “Dude, that’s a strong handshake. I like it!”
Minutes later, I was teasing her about her British accent, her job in a cinema and her taste in movies – specifically the ones she hadn’t seen. And you bet she had no problem fighting back. We were laughing our asses off.
“I hate to see you go!” I told her when we parted ways. “But I love to watch you.”
Would I have been so forward and playful with that girl in my hometown, in everyday life? Not this fast.
Wanna know something funny? I needed to travel to realize there was nothing wrong with it. In fact, women love if you treat them like your best buddy. And you’re not all lovey-dovey with your best buddy. You get rough and dirty and it’s a ton of fun.
Word One: Striking Up a Conversation.
Tidbit: I was introduced to the girl above. If I was approaching a stranger, though, first words wouldn’t be that different. You know, we spend so much time worrying about those words. Oh my God, how do I approach her?
Look, we all gotta start there. You may be a magic ice breaker wizard or just a normal guy (I presume you’re the latter) and you’ll end up with the same amount of interesting connections either way.
So get those first words outta the way and get talking.
“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Hi! You look great.”
“I love this spot.”
Not from Here: Your Big Advantage.
Hand on heart: how many cities have you visited in your own country? How well do you know them?
In fact, let me ask you this: what about your own hometown? How much time have you spent exploring it, seeing it with the eyes of somebody who’s never been there?
I currently live in Montreal, Canada. I’ve spoken to locals who have never visited the cross on the mountain, one of this city’s big landmarks. And you know why? Because it’s their frickin’ hometown. They could always go there. But they have a life to live, routines to observe, deadlines to meet. So they’ll do it when they get around to it.
Or, you know, not.
And now here’s you!
Getting ’em Hooked: Captain Trivia.
The fresh tourist from abroad. The dude who sees everything with newborn eyes.
The beauty of travelling is that you’ll never have an easier time coming up with stories.
Once you have a conversation going, share your excitement to be on the road and for all you’ve seen. Tell them about the roadside restaurant you discovered and how they had the best beef you’ve ever tasted. About the waterfall you came across, and how you wonder why it wasn’t a tourist attraction. About the way their city looks from the top floor of the highest skyscraper when the sun sets.
“What? I didn’t know you could just go up there!”
“Yeah you bet you can. I’m going back tonight and bringing my camera! Wanna come?”
Did you Know: Travelers are just the Best!
And here’s the real kicker that works in your advantage: if you just stay respectful, happy and excited, you’ll be the star of the locals just for being a traveler.
Well, haven’t you ever run into travelers in your hometown? It’s so cool to spend an ephemeral moment of freedom, worldwide connection and vacation time with them.
If you’ve been spending days, weeks, months in your typical work routine, those strange beautiful birds flying into your life are precious, for they bring the taste of liberty and the big wide world. For a moment, they break open your daily concrete box and let the sun shine in unfiltered.
Their stories are fresh and unexpected. Their spirit is untainted. They show you a glimpse of what you could be, what your life could look like, what you’re missing as you hang out in structures and chains.
This, paired with your eagerness to represent your culture in the best possible light, compels you to be hospitable and embracing towards this person.
Now, put yourself into the traveller’s shoes.
The Loot: Does Does Being a Traveller Get You Laid?
Who the hell cares?
I hope you’re not still seriously asking that question. Yeah, we all enjoy sex. But really, if that’s all you want out of your travels, pay some hookers.
Now go and spread some goodness, all right? Have fun and let me know how it works out in the comments!