Do Talk to Strangers

762761D9-36BE-4E7D-B6BC-483845A3C154Do you have any idea how interesting it is to wear a bona fide men’s hat these days? No, not logistically, although being 6’4″ and then adding 6 more inches is somewhat interesting when walking onto a plane. I’m talking about the conversations it starts. We’ll come back to that.

76719BA5-EAD8-42D0-84DB-9F2D02ED17CDOriginally, I was going to be in Toronto, Canada last week, but due to the extreme northeast weather, I ended up in Dallas, Texas. (I’m not even going to talk about that cluster, although I am basically a travel agent now.) You know what else I’m not going to talk about? How cool it was seeing Air Force One at the Charlotte airport. Or how good the Texas brisket was. Or how sobering exploring the JFK assassination site was.

BA870DC8-D0C4-4308-B98A-2BBF3B6D2D657C70C27A-0574-47D8-8F07-8AE078F1178AOr how neat it was to be atop the city with 360 degree views. Did I mention the brisket? I’m also not going to talk about the jalapeño margaritas. Or the FC Dallas soccer game. Or the personal tours of Cowboys and Rangers stadiums. Definitely not going to talk about seeing Dirk, Mark Cuban, and the Mavs up close and personal. That stuff was incredible, but let’s go next level.

42227A66-C929-4C18-8D39-EB90ECDBD9CA1BDD7A30-E14B-4B74-B0C9-7F082974CCCB8D0BDEFA-1E47-4EE9-994F-1D86CE0D2182FD6D3680-FA28-4802-8423-000EC8245576I want to tell you about the conversation with the lady from Bloomington, Indiana, where I just was a month ago. I want to tell you about the Friday Night Lights conversation with the rural Texas local. I want to tell you about custom making a hat with Cassie at House of MacGregor, and our Kentucky Derby conversation (where I also just was). I want to tell you about my conversation with Luke (friend, Wingate family, professional footballer) after the FC Dallas game. I want to tell you about local legend Michael Jones, who gave me a very cool tour at the JFK site for $10 cold hard cash. The accuracy of this “tour” is debatable. The once in a lifetime experience is not. I want to tell you about my Uber drivers Allan, Aaron, Angela, and John who advised me on my blog, social media, the suburbs of Dallas, American Ninja Warrior, keeping up with the Joneses, race relations, and parenting. And last but not least, I want to tell you about my new friend Victor, who gave me the ultimate experience of kicking field goals and catching touchdown passes on the field at Cowboys Stadium. (If you are not following my Instagram Stories, you are missing out.)

6B825FA5-AB60-455C-BDA7-AF31D76CDA60B0F5C19A-C2F9-448D-8306-A7D5313EA1EFI want to tell you the importance of getting out of your comfort zone. I want to tell you the importance of periodically leaving your inner circle and conversing with others. And I want to tell you the importance of visiting the real world instead of just the resorts, which is kind of just fantasyland.

I’m going to let you in on a couple of secrets.  My hats are great conversation starters.  So are my clothes.  I have quietly been building quite the list of new friends and acquaintances across the country with all of my travels.  Which makes me giggle when people inquire about me occasionally traveling alone.  Because really, it’s exactly the opposite.  I feel more in tune, more connected, and better able to communicate with ALL people because of how I do what I do.  And that’s really what I wanted to tell you.

Have a great week.-Benj

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