(Really, you can now download our collection and take it all around!)
I have been going through a phase lately that involves a lot of sitting on my couch looking at old photos of myself on foreign trains, watching films I made of my fellow Greyhound bus passengers, and wondering how someone so outgoing just a year ago could suddenly be satisfied with the weekly social interaction that comes from visiting Burger 101 for Bacon Wednesday.
The answer, I think, is that life comes in phases, and that we seek substitutions when the situations we find ourselves in alter their offerings. Sometimes, we have the energy and opportunity to chat up the guy, sitting greasily beside us on a cross-country Greyhound, who just got out of prison and now works in a circus. Sometimes, we’re good with a smile from the burger guy. Each kind of being can serve us differently, but for now, I’d like to focus on some of the benefits of unabashed openness.
My current substitute for social curiosity, I suppose, is that the editors of Outside In and I ask for stories in a formal way; this month, we have received a remarkable collection of global stories from Colombia, Germany, Japan, China, New Guinea, Greece, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos, India, Argentina, and from multiple locations within the United States. Having taken in the thirty-two different experiences shared within the pages of Issue Eleven, I am enriched. From looking at each story alone, and from my own understanding of the narrative of the collection as a whole, I am able to unravel just a bit more in my attempt to get this whole humanity thing sorted.
It is my sincere hope that the stories we share here can offer you an insight or two (or thirty-two) into the ways in which we all connect, but more than that, I hope it will inspire you to act on the inner nudge it might take to ask someone you come upon about him/herself in a more casual way, or to share a bit of your own tale.
Even if you’re not running into the sort of folks who are obviously intriguing, is there not something to be learned from each kind of character we come across? Add a new friend to your routine; no matter how ordinary your life might seem, wouldn’t it be nice to understand a bit more about the girl who makes your daily latte, the bus driver who delivers you on your daily routes, or the guy who brings you Bacon Wednesdays?
Get out there, tigers. Know people.