We’re always busy. We’re always running. We ask someone how they’re doing but rarely want to hear anything more than a cursory response. I’ve made it my goal to slow down a little and really mean it when I ask someone how things are going.
Even if you don’t do this during your everyday life, I challenge you to do it on your next vacation. I know it’s not always reasonable to have a long chat with everyone you encounter during your trip but when you have the chance, take it. Be a warmer, friendlier version of yourself.
Find out if the person at the front desk of the hotel is having a good day before diving into your questions about local attractions and restaurants. Talk to the servers at the restaurants and your tour guides. I’m not saying you have to find out their life history, or share yours, but just take sometime to treat them like a human being and you’ll be surprised how the conversations you’ll have can add to the enjoyment of your trip. By taking this approach, I’ve heard amazing stories, learned about other cultures and customs (even when traveling domestically), laughed my butt off, and been treated to great recommendations. You’ll also find that when you are friendly to those you encounter, they start to look out for you which is fantastic when traveling solo.
By doing this on vacation, I’ve also found it easier to incorporate this approach into my daily life. You be surprised how something so simple can make you happy and help bring a little of that vacation feeling into even the most mundane things.