Being a solo backpacker I’m almost constantly talking to new people, even in the short 4(!) weeks I’ve been here I’ve started to come up with quick stock answers to questions, the things everyone wants to know.
1) Where are you from?
A) Oregon, west coast US … it’s north of California (sometimes adding) It’s about the size of the UK but only about 4 million people live there.
2) Are you traveling alone? (followed up by, Aren’t you brave? or Don’t your parents worry?)
A) Yes. No. Yes.
Traveling alone means I get to do all the things I want to do and none of the things I don’t. It’s its own brand of awesome, but yeah, sometimes I’d like to share it with other people. I don’t really see it as brave, I didn’t do anything that seemed scary to me. Nerve wracking maybe, but not scary. I’m not overcoming anything, this trip didn’t take courage it took some planing and a bit of money and an adventurous spirit. Parents worry. That’s their job, I’m always online, just like at home, so it’s easier for them because they can “watch” me while I travel.
3) How long are you here? (do you like Australia? where have you been? where are you going? Sorry about the weather.)
A) 5 weeks. Yes. Melbourne, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Cairns, Brisbane. And guys, this is not winter weather. It’s been rather mild and lovely for “winter”.
3b) Where have you been?
A) France, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden.
3c) Where do you want to go next?
A) Everywhere! Top of my list right now: Japan, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Czech Republic
4) Have you seen a drop bear yet?
A) I’ve been sufficiently warned ;)
5) Isn’t 5 weeks a long vacation? (for an American, rarely said but always implied)
A) Yes, but my job is awesome and letting me do some work while I’m here so I get to stay and explore.
6) What do you do?
A) I’m a social media specialist for an IT training company. (this is almost always met with a blank stare and a what does that mean?!) Well, it means I manage FB & Twitter & G+ & YouTube, etc. etc. for the company I work for. I get to talk to our customers. It’s awesome and uses my degree.
7) Do you know any Australians?
A) Yes! I do! They’re awesome! … and they all work in medicine. I don’t know if that says something about me or the Australians who like to travel.
Maybe I should just print this out and keep it handy to give to new people…