‘When I arrive in a new place I always say ‘Hello!’ and start a discussion because no one knows you and you don’t know anybody so that’s something you need to learn.
In your country, you are in a soccer team, on a tennis club, in high school, university, you have a job, colleagues, … you are always in group and you don’t have to push yourself to meet new people because you already have your own network.
But here it isn’t exist. Back home, I wouldn’t be so open minded to other people, I wouldn’t go to anybody and talk to them. For example, one day I saw a girl alone at the lagoon, I sat next to her and started to talk to her. I wouldn’t have done that in Germany and most people wouldn’t as well because they don’t need somebody. Here you need to make new friends, you need to recreate contact. When I talked to the girl, it was a bit strange because you never know what she’s gonna think.
The language is also really important. Better is your english, easier is for you to integrate a group. Otherwise you stay stuck with people who speak the same language that you. When I was working on a boat, the people who lead the group and entertain the people are mostly english native speakers. I don’t feel confident to entertain the all group has I know my english is not good enough and maybe the things you want to say or the joke you want to make is funny but then you don’t have the word to explain it. Language is important but more than that, being confident is much important otherwise you can’t really integrate yourself. The way you present yourself you get it back. When I start talking to people and I’m very self confident and open minded, people will react the same way. But if you are hiding yourself, then it becomes a problem.
What makes the big difference for you by being a backpacker in Australia compare to your life in Germany ?
I think it is easier in Australia to get contact with people because it’s maybe more relax. Here, I’ve never had trouble or bad discussion with people. Back in Germany this could happen and it happened to me. For example if you are in school with 25 people in your class and there is people you don’t like, you have to deal with that because you are gonna be with them for some time. But we can talk at the beginning and make clear that some points are different and what we can do. Here if I don’t like the person, I don’t talk to him, I don’t care I won’t see them again.
On an other hand, by being a backpacker you meet more people but the problem is to get friend or even to get in a relationship. I would say, you are always social, but you never feel as you would feel with your family or friends.
There is an other good point I liked here is even if people had an important job back to their own country, it doesn’t count because we are all equal and we all start again something new, not taking in consideration what is in the past.
What change for you since you are traveling ?
I grew up in a conservative family, thinking about making money, getting power and everybody is looking up to be better than the others. It is a capitalistic thing and to be honest now I question everything.
In Germany I think I shouldn’t waste my time, so either I work or I have an effective free time. Relaxing is not effective enough. I met a guy who is into Buddhism and he said ‘It’s better to do nothing than to do something.’ I don’t say that we have to take this quote word by word but you understand what is the main point. For us, relaxing could mean being lazy sometimes, but in Buddhism relaxing is the aim. And it’s funny because when I said to some people in Germany that I was going to Australia, they told me it was a waste of time. Today, I really don’t think it is a waste of time, in fact it’s quite the contrary.’