I am a very shy person. Particularly when it comes to meeting new people. I may not always come across as shy, but believe me I am! Sometimes there are those situations where you meet someone and immediately hit it off with them, but beyond this “once in a blue moon” scenario, I don’t open up very easily with others. It was this reason that made me nervous going to Thailand. Would I be able to enjoy myself if finding people to grab lunch with seemed like an impossible challenge? Would I be walking around aimlessly in the festival of lights wishing I could talk to someone when I was too nervous to reach out to anyone else? These are the kind of thoughts that passed through my big head. Silly thoughts, but honest ones.
When it came to the moment, like any other nervous person, I hid away at the beginning. I was tired and not as interested in meeting a many new people and sharing different experiences. I was putting up a wall. It wasn’t until I made it to the city of Chiang Mai that I started opening up. I found a comfort level with others in the hostel I stayed at and ended up having a great time with them drinking and eating all kinds of delicious food.
Because of the vast difference in my experience between the two places I visited during the first week of this trip, I started to question myself. Why is it so hard to get a conversation or some interaction started, but very easy to have a great time once I get to know some people? I started to realize that most of the answer to this question lied within the first person to say something. People enjoy being talked to. It makes them feel special in a sense, especially when you have a group of travelers from around the world. To have someone reach out and interact with you feels great! We’ve all been there plenty of times.
So why can’t I or most other shy people get past this silly mental barrier of making first contact? If we just say hi, that could be enough to break open a great new friendship, maybe more. Saying a simple hello is after all, purportedly, the best pickup line to have. So I invite you all to join me in an effort to say hello more. I live in the suburbs of one of the largest cities in the world, and a hello on the streets of NYC is one of the rarest occurrences, but it doesn’t have to be. Saying hello can be a powerful thing, just ask anyone who was greeted with a cheerful hello and tell me if they said their day was anything but brightened up. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it 🙂