New & Interesting People | Served Daily

It is nearly impossible to be alone while traveling alone. Hostels, train cars, under small, green and white-stripped awnings during low-level hurricane winds and excessive lightning (epileptics beware) caught in route between the train station and the hotel are just a few of the places you may meet someone new and interesting. The places that you meet someone new will vary, however, and I assure you, the questions will be the same. To name a few…

What is your name?
Where are you from?
How long are you traveling?
How long have you been traveling?
Where are you going?
Where have you been?
Did you like it?

They begin benign and get progressively more pointless and uninformative. Asking these questions, in my opinion, almost seems selfish (especially that last example). These moot questions to a traveler would bear in comparison to…

Is it going to rain tonight?
How bout’ them Braves?

to a co-worker. At least these last two examples serve a purpose. They fill a socially awkward void of having to see the same colleagues’ day in and day out.

The specific reason for meeting new folks will vary from person to person. Conversely, the general premise tends to be more consistent; simply getting to know someone. Unfortunately, these generic questions do not ask anything about whom that person is.

A person is not, their name, where they are from, where they have been and surly not where they are going.

Where are you from?
Where do you live?

The answers to these questions describe something about your life, but not who you are. They act as a cognitive shortcut for the listener to blanket the individual with a sociological vial. Often times, making the listener feel more confident and comfortable about the conversation – personal gain.

Arguably, this imaginary sociological vial I referred to is placed over us at a very early age. Possibly even before we are born when the question is asked, “is it a boy or girl?” Try this experiment: The next time you hear someone is having a baby, try asking her or him several questions without asking whether or not it will be a boy or a girl – was difficult for me on my first attempt.

Not everyone asks these same travel questions when meeting someone new; there are always exceptions to the rule. If this is you then wonderful! I love meeting new people and I’m searching for some fresh new questions to ask!

If you can think of any fun and insightful questions I can ask the next person I meet – I would love to hear them!

Please list your insightful questions below in the comments area.

I will give them a try and reply with the results!

I cannot wait to hear what you come up with!

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12 Responses to New & Interesting People | Served Daily

  1. kevatga says:

    Here are some suggestions I’ve received via email…

    -Where does your name come from/why is that your name?
    -What’s your favorite time of year?
    -If you had to pick only one band/musician to listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be?
    -If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?
    -What was your favorite childhood book/movie?
    -Any guilty pleasure music/books/movies?

  2. david williams says:

    Good observations, Kev.
    Yeah, some of the opening questions get old after awhile, but some are inevitable
    or, at least, it seems that way.
    A question for other Americans: Do these crowded conditions (or maybe expensive,
    poor service, irritable service providers, etc.) remind you of a worse version of USA? of New York City?
    In what country have you found the people to be the friendliest? most jaded toward
    In France. Have you found that the French live up to their reputation of being
    the most snobbish? most hostile toward non-French speakers?
    Has the European experience been oversold in your experience?
    So what is it like being the “ugly American” here in ________?
    I would like to go to some place in ________ that gives a true picture of
    ________. Where would you recommend?
    I find that if I even make an attempt at the local language, I am much more
    likely to get a positive response? What has been your experience?
    What do you miss most about not being in USA? I miss ________.
    Are you keeping your US citizenship as well hidden as possible? I am because______.
    Once people from ______ find out I was from the US, they treated me______.
    What was your experience?
    Any embarrassing language mix ups thus far?
    Have you visited a country yet that you would actually like to live in?
    To a local: So what is the general perception of Americans here in ______?
    Just some ideas, Kev. Hope they are helpful.

    • kevatga says:

      Thank you Pops! These are some great suggestions – I especially like “What do you miss most about not begin in the USA?”

  3. leah says:

    Where is the red light district?

    • kevatga says:

      Hi leah,

      Ah where prostitution may legally take place. That would be Amsterdam – which I would love to visit. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Donna says:

    Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels?
    Are you on Facebook? Would you like to be ‘friends on FB?’
    What places will you revisit?
    Have you visited the US/where/what was your experience like?
    Have you stayed in hostels/couch surfing?
    If you could choose only one incredible moment so far…what was it?

    • kevatga says:

      Hi Mom,

      Great questions! so far I have written one down from everyone who has submitted – so I will have them readily available. I chose your last one “If you could choose only one incredible moment so far… what was it?”

      Thank you for participating!


  5. Michael says:


    I like “What is your story?” as an opener. Some–well, many–would find that question a little aggressive, but that’s sort of the point. It wakes people up, it grabs their attention. HOW people choose to respond is as informative and enlightening as the answer itself. Many will respond with “What do you mean?” or “What do you want to know?” but I don’t let them off the hook. I do not narrow the question for them.. Afterall, that is the beauty of the question; it is totally open-ended. People can define the question–and therefore their answer–any way they want. The question is a conversational vehicle that the respondent can drive anywhere they’d like to go!

    • kevatga says:

      Hello Michael,

      What a wonderful opener! I appreciate your description and your experience with this question. It was very useful to describe what to do during one of the most common rebuttals – “What do you mean.” Now I’ll I feel armed with the right tools to deliver this open-ended question correctly. I am excited to give it a whirl!

      Thank you,

  6. Chris says:

    Hello Kevin!

    I hope you are having a great time on your travels.

    Other than your wonderful parents , who has had the biggest impact in who you are?
    No need to mention any cool hockey coaches , unless you want too.

    • kevatga says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your post! I am back in GA now for a couple months and I was wondering if any cool hockey coaches need an extra for their team – would be cool to play together like old times! or we can meet up at a stick time.


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