When I started to travel I was about 23 or 24.

I would go to these train stations and buy a ticket to the next destination. I had very little money at the time – certainly didn’t have enough to spend night after night in a hotel room.

β€œWhen I would get on the train, I would start walking down the aisle and I would be looking for an empty seat next to somebody.”

I would never sit in a seat that had an empty seat next to it.

I would be looking for somebody who looked interesting, somebody who I thought I could trust; somebody who I thought could trust me.

Now, naturally I wasn’t thinking that at the time.

I was just thinking:

β€œOk, I’m going to sit down in that seat. The train’s going to start rolling. Conversation is going to get started. Person may not speak English. I may not speak the person’s language, but we’re going to engage and by the end of this ride, I need this person to invite me home.”

Otherwise I ain’t got no roof over my head.

And so that really was what taught me trust and that went on for 10 years.

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Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, keynote speaker and corporate culture consultant.