On my last trip, I met 3 people from countries I had not yet visited -- Mauritius, Romania and Czech Republic.
The first fellow was a tall handsome young man who is one of those innately kind souls. I would observe him with young and old and was impressed at how relating to people came so naturally and genuinely. He would greet me with a big smile each time I arrived and left the restaurant. He's one of those sharp, stands very straight, fit, successful people whose energy just catches your eye.
For some reason, he spoke up on the last day I was going to be in Barcelona and asked me where I was from. It didn't occur to me at the time to have him guess and see what nationality to potentially add to my list of "identities". I told him Canada and asked in return. He looked Indian to me (zero accent) which could mean anywhere in the world nowadays. Never in a million years would I have guessed Mauritius.
I don't know much about the country outside of location and language. So I asked him if he spoke French. Looking surprised, he said yes. He also knew that Canada has French as one of its official languages so he asked if I spoke it too and I said yes. That was it to our conversation as I had to get going. But I've since learned more about his home country because of our encounter.
The second fellow is a Romanian sales manager at a jewellery store where I ended up buying a watch. He called himself the store's "watch guy".
Not sure if I've ever mentioned it but I have a "thing" for men's watches. Women's watches don't interest me though I do own and wear one for work where a smaller size is more prudent. I much prefer the larger face of the men's especially with the sportier ones. And I like stainless steel. So I've been looking for one for the last couple years, something that would fit my smaller wrist but not overpower it.
It is likely a good thing my wrist isn't larger because I would have been even more tempted to buy this one. Instead I went with a more appropriated sized mainstream one at a much lower cost but still good quality. After the purchase was wrapped up, while we were in the removing links to fit my wrist phase, he asked how large a group I was travelling with.
I think I surprised him when I said I was travelling solo because my husband doesn't get enough holidays plus I have a stronger desire to travel than he does. Turns out he is known amongst his friends as "the solo one" because he primarily travels solo too. His goal is to see 100 countries.
As I am not a travel country counter, I just commented that was great and I hope he reaches his goal and got ready to leave. The spark that catalysed our subsequent conversation was when he took out his iPhone to show me pictures of him in Iceland.
To be continued...