We Were all Strangers Once Upon a Time

In 12. Strangers, Places, Sydney by Flurin1 Comment

“The best way you can find out if you can trust someone is to trust them” – Ernest Hemingway

Trusting someone is a funny thing. To me it has always seemed to be one of the oddest phenomenon in social interactions. Essentially, after knowing someone for some period of time we decide that we have enough information about this new person to ensure that they won’t betray us further down the line. It seems to me that a lot is riding on our ability to correctly assess another person’s personality and tendencies. So, logically I would contend that trusting someone is always a mistake, because we can never have certainty that we assessed this former stranger correctly, which leaves us open to all sorts of problems. Yet, trust is what makes the world go round. Without trust the human experience would be quite miserable. We would always have to look over our shoulder. Do everything on our own or only act in situations when it is in the best interest of everybody to not betray each other. Friendships wouldn’t exist and romantic partners would probably only exist for the purpose of procreating.

I met Adam while I was traveling in Australia about 18months ago, so over a year before I started my study abroad semester in Sydney. We met a business conference that I had planned into my schedule during my 10 day trip. The seminar was interesting, but the networking session was definitely more worthwhile. We started to talk and we hit it off immediately, so I had told him that I will likely be studying abroad in Sydney at some point and we agreed to hangout then. Again, I almost feel like this borders on insanity, I had known this person for a total of maybe one day and we had made plans one year or more in the future. I’m glad I did though.

Fast forward to the present. About one month into my stay in Sydney, we went out together, had a good time and have been friends ever since. I think the main reason for why we get along is because philosophically we are at similar points in life, even though he is older than I am. We see the need to grow in a variety of areas and are willing to work at it for a while, which is a refreshing change of mentality for me, because I do feel that a lot of people around me want to change something, but don’t try or give up too quickly. So, having someone else on a similar path helps me stay on track with what I am trying to do. If anything his presence is extra motivation, because he is probably operating under a significantly higher amount of pressure than I am. While I get to enjoy the ‘hardships’ of University life and focus on my growth, he needs to deal with the real hardships of getting his new business off the ground and in addition to that grow on a personal level. That kind of dedication is good to see and really leaves no room for excuses on my end.

To be totally honest, I actually don’t know Adam that well. In large part this has to do with the fact that we just haven’t spent enough time together. Oddly enough though, in spite of this lack of knowledge I do trust him. He seems to have a good heart and is always encouraging. So, I am very glad I took a leap of faith with him and my experience in Sydney has been all the better for it.


  1. Hi Flurin,

    I’m so glad you met someone like Adam who actually helps you grow and improve yourself! I think those relationships are some of the most valuable ones, even if you might not be the closest of friends, or if you don’t actually know the person that well. I think in this time and age, it can definitely be very hard to trust a stranger, especially someone in a foreign country, but sometimes it is certainly worth the leap of faith. I think it’s especially important when we’re abroad to really talk to the local people and learn more about their lives, whether it’s to learn more about the culture there, or just to get to know someone that we would never have met otherwise, so I think it’s really great that you found someone who can be a positive influence in your life. Hope all goes well with Adam and the remainder of your time in Sydney!

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