The rush of the holiday season can feel overwhelming at times. There’s almost more good cheer than any individual can be expected to navigate, and it all seems to happen at once. Inevitably, you’ll find yourself at a holiday party, face to face with another human being whose name you’re supposed to know (but don’t) and your brain simply shuts off. You smile blandly, then sputter a little bit over the weather forecast while the other person fidgets uncomfortably and appears deeply absorbed by the vast cognitive effort required to remember your name.
This holiday season, when you find your reservoir of creative conversation starters running a bit dry, don’t panic! These travel-related ice breakers are sure to put the spring back in everyone’s step. So, fire away! And if you ask them, be sure you’re willing to answer them.
Which countries have you visited other than your own?
Like you, people love talking about where they’ve been in the world. You might discover that Aunt Jean and Uncle Harry are long-time Europhiles or lovers of Southeast Asia. Ask them which was their favorite country and why, and you might discover what they value most when they travel.
What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your travels?
Sunrise or sunset. A work of art in a world-class museum or the stylings of the museum itself. The soaring snow-capped peaks of the Alps or the magnificent coast of Northern California. A baby elephant bathing in a river or a scarlet macaw taking wing above a rain forest. No matter the answer, this simple question can lead to a long and winding conversation full of storytelling and shared wonder.
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
If you typically travel with a tour operator like Country Walkers, you know that a lot goes into the quality of a trip – the beauty of a destination, the local connections, traditional cuisine, your guide. And maybe you’ve had a peak immersive experience during a trip even though that trip didn’t make #1. Discuss.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve had on your travels?
With this one, you’ll get a real sense of how fully Cousin Kim immerses herself in her destinations. If she’s tried crickets in Thailand and mopane worms in southern Africa … handmade pasta in Italy and haggis in Scotland, you know she goes all in and deserves your respect.
What does your ideal weekend away look like?
The notion of escape can morph into all kinds of experiences. A cozy getaway at a mountain inn might sound blissful to some, especially if there are ample walking trails nearby. Others might like to “hop the pond” for a long weekend. Or maybe two days of yardwork is enough to feed the body and calm the mind.
Who have you liked traveling with the most and why?
Always an interesting question, this can reveal what your best friend of 20 years values most when she travels. Maybe she prefers a companion who brings a sense of fun and adventure with her wherever she goes. Or maybe she’d rather have her more erudite friend tag along so she’ll learn more at museums and historic sites.
Where are you planning to travel next?
Yes, this is also a question for you! Whenever you’re planning your next walking vacation, we hope you’ll join Country Walkers. And if you’ll be seeing friends and family at holiday parties and events, invite them along!