“Where are you from?”
“Where have you been?”
“Where are you going next?”
They’re the three most common questions when meeting people while traveling. Over the last 2 days, I feel like we’ve asked and answered them innumerable times as we met people on our first hostel stay of the trip in Prague.
After a while, the questions get a bit tedious, but everyone has their own story, and you do have to get through the basics before you can get to the fun stuff—the reason for the travels, what life is like back home, and start getting to know the actual person.
In Prague, we’ve met tons of interesting people. A gaggle of Canadians who didn’t know each other at the beginning of the night, but were part of one big group by the end, a guy from Singapore who’s studying in Germany, Swedes on summer holiday, Brits celebrating university graduation, and two highly entertaining Americans who work for Chevron in Iraq and were on an all-expense paid trip in order to keep their travel visas relevant. Together we sampled local dishes, got to know each other, visited new establishments, and laughed a lot. While most of the people we’ve met we will probably not see again, the camaraderie and shared experiences are what traveling is all about, and it’s what has made Prague so entertaining for us. Sure, the castle grounds were beautiful, and the Jewish quarter highly interesting, but what I will remember most about Prague is dinner of 2 half ducks and 2 pork knuckles split between 9 of us, the excited recounting of the fact that the men’s urinal at the restaurant had orange slices laid on clear glass, learning the made-up phrase “gizouloos” (any currency other than the US dollar), and a Texan modeling Swedish fashion by borrowing a hat, twirling a bit of his hair, and popping his collar.
We leave for Budapest tonight at midnight, and I could not be more excited to meet the people who will share the next leg of our adventure with us.