Before we embarked on this trip, our “real lives” were filled with dozens and dozens of people – colleagues, best pals, landlords, casual acquaintances, favorite waitresses, job contacts, regular baristas, you get the idea. Now it’s just us. Always. And though we like each other about as much as two people can, sometimes we don’t have anything new or witty to say to each other anymore. If you’ve been following us here, you know we’ve had an incredible few months filled with exploring, snapping photos, making great meals. What we haven’t done a lot of is chatting with other people. Because we tend to boondock on public land and spend our time out on hiking trails, we go days without running into anyone besides a camp host or park ranger. It’s been six weeks since we last saw any family or friends.
This is a long way of saying we’re itchy for conversation.
Neither of us is very outgoing – I definitely consider myself to be shy – but suddenly we’re trying to perfect the art of small talk. We strike up conversation with random folks whenever possible. Fellow hikers? Hello! Store clerks? Give me a sales pitch! Bartenders? Captive audience! We’re eager to hear someone else’s voice, get a new perspective, have a discussion where we can’t guess with near-accurate precision how the other person will respond.
Of course, meeting people is also part of the whole “road trip” experience. To this end, Patrick, who yearns for interaction more than I do (perhaps I’m duller than he is?), has taken the lead on making new friends. We’ve had a few lovely evenings swapping stories with other travelers and getting sightseeing tips from chatty locals. We even picked up some hitchhikers. Mind you, they were obviously backpackers heading to a hiking trail, but still.
Yet we crave more. So, consider this a both a warning and an invitation – if we see you at a campground, if you’re about our age and happen to make eye contact, you can count on being asked to stop by the Minnie for a post-dinner cocktail and banter.