Stranger not-so-danger

I know I said this week was going to be about solo traveling and going on dates, but I’m pushing that until next week. I was speaking with a friend last night (H.F), and we were discussing whether or not to trust certain people, including strangers. A year ago, I had no idea that H.F existed, had she walked past me on the street before? Who knows? She was a stranger. We quickly became friends as our morals aligned, come to find out we had a lot in common, more than I had ever imagined when I first started talking to her. That is the background to this blog post, she will be referenced later.

Everyone has heard the saying “stranger danger” or the advice “don’t talk to strangers.” Well, stop listening to that. Yes, some strangers are no good, but hell we’ve all known someone that turned out to be a bad person, it’s part of growing up and lessons learned. It will also become vital to talk and trust strangers while traveling. I am not saying go out and trust every single person you see, please use your brain, but it is necessary to trust some strangers. As H.F and I spoke last night, she said that she trusted me even though we were strangers at one point, and then I started thinking, literally every single person you ever meet is a stranger at one point or another. I was looking at all the people I was texting this past week, and aside from my family and a few high school classmates, every single one of them was a stranger less than 3 years ago. And yet, I trust most of them.

Story time: Boston, MA 2015. I was in Massachusetts State House, and I didn’t have the slightest clue what to do, I had gotten separated from a tour group I had weaseled myself into. I was standing near a column, certain that I would get reprimanded for being unsupervised in a government facility! I saw two ladies about my age and I just asked them if they were on a tour. They said they had no idea, they were just walking around. Now, for sure, I thought I was going to get in trouble, there were Senators walking all around and high ranking military officials. We were terrified. We walked into the office of the House of Representatives and the Senate! Nobody ever said anything! After thoroughly going through a few more areas, we were escorted out of a few, we left the Massachusetts State House. I asked the girls, Jessica and Ashley (names have been changed due to my memory loss), where they were from and we got to talking. As it turns out, they were supposed to go to MY hometown that week, but decided at the last second to take a trip to Boston. What a small and crazy world! I spent the remainder of the day with Jessica and Ashley walking  all around Boston, they spoke of their lives in Philadelphia and I spoke of my life back here. And at the end of the day, we said our goodbyes, and I never spoke to them again.

Double bonus story time: New York City, NY 2015-2016. As most of you have heard the story of Officer Segerdahl from the wonderful NYPD, I will not repeat the story, but you can reach the link here: NYPD . Officer Segerdahl was a complete stranger to me but he helped me nonetheless.I now have several friends in NYC who are willing to help me out after this story went viral.

The moral of this blog is this: it pays off to trust people. It can be scary, but traveling is all about stepping out of your comfort zone.

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