Originally Posted by Bigolechalupa
Hey Kedg.....have you had many people asking about living in Canada on your travels down south?? The ole maple leaf on your pannier sticks out nicely ;)
I really kind of lucked in when I found that Maple Leaf Sticker. Fit my panier just perfectly and it is the first thing people see.
I have had so many questions about my trip when i stop anywhere, I'm getting so I can answer most of them in Spanish, or at least something the Spanish speakers can understand.
One of the things I like best about solo travel, is that you are approachable when you stop. People will walk over at gas stations and restaurants for example and talk to a solo rider. You meet a ton of people. Some people, down here especially, are too shy to talk, so I started writing the names of the countries I've been through on my windshield. That breaks the shyness barrier. I start talking to them while they are reading the list. It works really well.
When I bought gas today, the girl at the cash in the store, wanted to know where I was from. So many are shy to ask but she just blurted it right out. I don't think they see a lot of out of country travelers here in this town. I told her as best as I could in Spanish about my trip. She had enough English to wish me "Good Luck" when I left. Nice!
Something else that I learned by reading ADVrider a great ice breaker, when you can't speak the language and are sitting around, like I am today at this hotel, is to have a few pictures of home on your computer. I showed the ladies working here today the pictures i posted at the start of this ride report of, me and Angele, ( Mi Espousa) our house and the tons of snow that Shediac gets. Even though you can't really have a conversation the people like to see the pictures from Canada and they get a much better sense of who you are. It really works well. They seem to feel then that they at least know something about you and you are no longer just some guy sitting around the hotel.