Going to a party where I don’t know anyone (other than the people I went with) is always a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand there’s the possibility of meeting new people who will be fun and awesome. On the other hand there’s the possibility of not meeting anyone and sitting on the couch pretending to be involved in the conversation of the people you’re sitting next to, while in reality just wondering if I should a.) go get another drink or b.) figure out how to get to the bus to go home.
I went to a party Saturday night that was somehow a mixture of both. The beginning was pretending to be interested in other conversations. Then I somehow met a fellow traveler. He has been travelling the world for the past few months and had stopped in DC to meet some people he met at a hostel a few years ago. (Also, he was from Australia…. G’day.) So that brought up the subject of me planning to go traveling. He basically had been in my position and now travels, goes home and lives with his parents and saves up enough money to go travel again. He and I also had a part of a conversation how there are jobs out there. They’re not the glamorous high paying high profile jobs, but there are some out there that can enable you to earn money. It was reassuring to me to hear someone who is in my exact same position. He also told me that he has met some of his best mates (yup, went there) at hostels and that they still keep in touch three years later. He said that when you’re traveling and staying in hostels, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone wants to meet people and for the most part they’re friendly and more than happy to invite a straggler in because they’ve been one themselves. Talk about a timely encouragement.
He also encouraged me to get a bus pass instead of a train pass since it’s considerably cheaper and he had a good experience traveling Europe with one. Which is basically what I needed. I had all the information but I couldn’t determine which one was better and my pro/con list came out pretty much even. I just needed a nudge in a direction. So now I just have to buy one.
Also I found a website (www.travellerspoint.com) that is an online map/guide/open forum for travelers. I put some information out there that I’m planning to go abroad and looking for anyone that might be interested in meeting up. Hopefully something will come of it and I’ll get to meet some new people for when I arrive. It’d be nice to have people to go visit various places with.