Imagine bread. Add a generous layer of Nutella (or lettuce if you're vegetarian). That alone is an impressive sandwich. Now add an equally thick layer of cookie butter (or almonds? I don't know how to make vegetarian sandwiches.) Just like making an awesome sandwich extra awesome, travelling is extra memorable when you get to interact with locals and fellow travellers. Who knows? Maybe one of them can turn out to be one of your life-long friends!
I should also probably note that I'm part of a team who interviews celebrities for our job. We try our best to polish our skills with conversations. Credibility boost!
Here is a quick guide on the do's and dont's of making conversation:
Asking routine questions like: what do you do, where do you live, etc. I hardly think you will tell your folks at home "Guys, I met a social media specialist from QC yesterday!" These are dead-end questions most of the time. How do you branch out to more meaningful topics?
Be genuinely curious about the other and ask questions that aren't limited to a yes or no. Opinion questions are a good place to start. I like to ask where people would hide during a zombie apocalypse. It generates a lot of ideas and helps me be prepared should it happen. Such wisdom!
Ignoring the quiet ones. After all, it's easier to notice and talk to those who are uber charismatic
Talk to the quiet ones. Often they are excellent speakers and are just introverts. With a very active filter system, they like to analyze what they say (is it appropriate, what should the tone be, will people relate to it) before actually talking. The good news is that what they finally do say is golden.
Finding ways to outshine anyone. If someone says MOA is the most beautiful mall she's been to, don't horde the attention, butt in and mention your sky-diving trip to Germany. First, it is impolite. Second, those things are not connected. You get the idea.
Follow the golden rule and treat everyone nicely like you want them to treat you. Let them have the spotlight and wait for your turn.
Spreading negative vibes. I usually notice people gossip, complain about their jobs, etc. I then associate them as people who bring the energy down and not so fun people to be with.
Spread good cheer and focus on giving genuine compliments instead! People will feel great and you are happy because you made them smile. Can I get a virtual high five? Up top.
A random road trip in the Philippines is a perfect place to practice your social skills! Visit www.taraletsgo.asia for more details.
Sheena Peña interviews and snaps photos of both veteran and newcomer local celebrities for a living. She finds it challenging to add a witty second sentence to her bio.