At times, it can be lonely. What can be fun is listening into other people’s conversations, and make up stories about their lives.
If you happen to be someone who sings to yourself or has a tendency to accidentally talk to yourself, and then realize only after you pass someone that you are talking to yourself, and then laugh at the whole situation, which only makes you look crazier — its ok, as long as you don’t mind mothers pulling their children as far away from you as possible.
Finding People to talk to:
Conversation Starter: Don’t be afraid to start up conversations at the theatre/ on the train/ in line. People like human connection, especially if you are an exotic foreigner (ok, so Americans aren’t that exotic, hate to break it to you but we are everywhere, but still relatively different!). Some of the best people you may meet are in those little conversations.
Pay it Forward: Find every moment you can to do something nice for someone else, including but not limited to: Helping someone bring their stroller down the stairs, helping someone with their bags if it looks like they are having trouble, picking change up for someone if it falls out while they are trying to pay, holding the door open, saying “thanks and have a good day” every time you leave a store.
Things, though quite kind, you probably shouldn’t do to a stranger unless extremely necessary: trying to walk someone else’s dog, picking up after someone’s dog (while the owner is present, bag at the ready), asking someone if they would like you to carry their wallet and passport, combing someone’s hair (unannounced), asking someone if they want your left overs because you hate food waste but don’t have a fridge, giving someone if they want a horsey back ride (piggy back ride is slightly more socially acceptable, only slightly though) .
Adoption: The urge to be “adopted for a day” by some elderly couple is definitely a real thing. If, after some listening in, you think you have found the right couple, here are some ways to start the connection (blanks refer to filling in wherever you are at): “What do you think of the _____” “Have you ever been to ____ before?” “Have you been to places like _____ before” “What led you to ______” “How old do you think ____ is?” “Isn’t the weather wonderful/horrible? I can’t believe we are having such great/bad weather!” “What else have you seen since you have been here?”
Things that maybe you should avoid starting the conversation with include: “Please be my adopted grandparents for the day.” “I am thinking we all need ice cream right now. Your treat?” “You look like you could use an extra grandchild to spoil. I happen to be available starting now.” “I need some human interaction, you two are humans.” If you do accidentally slip and start the conversation with any of these, my advice would be slowly walk away, facing them but avoiding eye contact, find another couple (IN A NEW LOCATION) and start the process over again.